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Tip: Know and Understand the Network Troubleshooting Tools Available in Windows 7


When the troubleshooters don’t solve the problem, it might be time to dig deeper into the Windows toolbox. Windows 7 contains an assortment of utilities you can use to diag¬nose, monitor, and repair network connections. Here are some of the more useful networking-related command-line utilities in Windows 7 and a summary of how you can use each. To learn more about a utility, including its proper syntax, in a Command Prompt window type the executable name followed by /?.

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Get MAC Address (Getmac.exe) Discovers the Media Access Control (MAC) address and lists associated network protocols for all network cards in a computer, either locally or across a network.

Hostname (Hostname.exe) Displays the host name of the current computer.

IP Configuration Utility (Ipconfig.exe) Displays all current Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network configuration values, and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and DNS settings.

Name Server Lookup (Nslookup.exe) Displays information about Domain Name System records for specific IP addresses and/or host names so that you can troubleshoot DNS problems.

Net services commands (Net.exe) Performs a broad range of network tasks. Type net with no parameters to see a full list of available command-line options.

Netstat (Netstat.exe) Displays active TCP connections, ports on which the computer is listening, Ethernet statistics, the IP routing table, and IPv4/IPv6 statistics.

Network Command Shell (Netsh.exe) Displays or modifies the network configuration of a local or remote computer that is currently running. This command-line scripting utility has a huge number of options, which are fully detailed in Help.

PathPing (Pathping.exe) Combines the functions of Traceroute and Ping to identify problems at a router or network link.

TCP/IP NetBIOS Information (Nbtstat.exe) Displays statistics for the NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) protocol, NetBIOS name tables for both the local computer and remote computers, and the NetBIOS name cache.

TCP/IP Ping (Ping.exe) Verifies IP-level connectivity to another internet address by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets and measuring response time in milliseconds.

TCP/IP Route (Route.exe) Displays and modifies entries in the local IP routing table.

TCP/IP Traceroute (Tracert.exe) Determines the path to an internet address, and lists the time required to reach each hop. It’s useful for troubleshooting connectivity problems on specific network segments.

There is one very powerful and handy tool worth mentioning that is not available in Windows 7 but is available as a free download. Network Monitor is a protocol analyzer that lets you capture network traffic, view it, and analyze it. You can book get the free download from Microsoft.

From the Microsoft Press book Windows 7 Inside Out by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson.

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