Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Troubleshooting TCP/IP in Windows XP Professional - Part 1

by Jason Zandri

Welcome to this week's installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 minutes a week, the 14th in this series. This article will continue covering the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP Professional and will specifically focus on troubleshooting the network protocol under Windows XP Professional.

Jason Zandri's latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series continues a discussion on the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP Professional and specifically addresses troubleshooting the network protocol.

Internet Protocol Addressing Overview

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a network communication protocol. It can be used as a communications protocol on private networks and is the default protocol in use on the internet. When you set up any system to have direct access to the Internet, whether it is via dial-up or one of the high speed technologies in use today, your system will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol (whether it is a Windows-based system or not).

Also, if the given system needs to communicate with other TCP/IP systems on the local LAN or WAN, it will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol as well.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - This is just a basic overview of TCP/IP, and I didn't want to get too involved with it within this article. There is bountiful information on TCP/IP all over the internet and before pouring through the RFCs I would first suggest you try these two resources -- TCP/IP Frequently Asked Questions or TCP/IP Protocol Suite - Questions & Answers.

I have gone into a more detailed overview of the TCP/IP Protocol in an article from a couple of weeks ago, which covered the four-layer conceptual model of TCP/IP and how the model stacks up against the seven layer Open System Interconnection (OSI) protocol model.

TCP/IP Troubleshooting

Windows XP Professional offers several native programs for use in helping to troubleshooting TCP/IP.

PING - Ping can be used to test your TCP/IP connection by sending a message to the remote node or gateway from a local system. (It can also be used to test the loopback locally only to see if it is working correctly.) If the remote node or gateway receives the message, it responds with a reply message. The reply consists of the remote's IP address, the number of bytes in the message, how long it took to reply (given in milliseconds), the length of time-to-live (TTL) in seconds. It will also show any packet losses in terms of percentages. Here's what a sample reply looks like:

Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

Usage: ping [-t] [-a] [-n count] [-l size] [-f] [-i TTL] [-v TOS]
[-r count] [-s count] [[-j host-list] | [-k host-list]]
[-w timeout] target_name


  • -t  - Ping the specified host until stopped. To see statistics and continue, type Control-Break; To stop, type Control-C.
  • -a  - Resolve addresses to hostnames.
  • -n count  - Number of echo requests to send.
  • -l size  - Send buffer size.
  • -f  - Set Don't Fragment flag in packet.
  • -i  - TTL: Time To Live.
  • -v  - TOS: Type Of Service.
  • -r count  - Record route for count hops.
  • -s count  - Timestamp for count hops.
  • -j host-list  - Loose source route along host-list.
  • -k host-list  - Strict source route along host-list.
  • -w timeout  - Timeout in milliseconds to wait for each reply.

This article was originally published on Sep 2, 2002
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