Thursday, May 18, 2006

Troubleshooting Your Network Connection

Did you know that the Windows XP Help and Support Center has built-in tools for performing system and network troubleshooting. Today I am going to cover the Network Diagnostics tool, and how you can use it diagnose a problematic network connection.

When you first launch the tool, you will be given two options, one to 'Scan your system', and two to 'Set scanning options'. If you choose the first item, the program will start scanning your system right away. If you select the second option, you can configure which tests and network components get scanned (such as: mail, Internet Proxy, etc.)

When the scan completes, a list of different network components and connections will be displayed and whether they passed or failed the diagnostics. If a component fails you can drill down into it to see what is wrong. This tool returns a lot of good technical information, and may not be too understandable to for someone doesn't understand what they're reading.

Below is the quickest way to access Network Diagnostics tool:
  • From the Start menu, select Help and Support.
  • In the search box, type "Network Diagnostics" and press Enter.
  • In the search results, double-click 'Network Diagnostics'
  • From here you can select: 'Scan your system' or 'Set scanning options'. If you select 'Scan your system', the program will start checking your computer's network components.

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