Tech Tips / Windows NT / Networking

Troubleshooting TCP/IP in five steps

Since TCP/IP is the protocol of choice among admins in the NT world, here are five quick steps to troubleshoot connectivity issues if machines don't seem to be able to contact each other:

  1. Ping the IP address of a remote host to verify that the computer can communicate through a router. If you get no response, go on to step 2.
  2. Ping the IP address of the default gateway to make sure the gateway is functioning and that the computer can communicate with the local network. If this works, you know the problem is with the remote host; if it doesn't work, go on to step 3.
  3. Ping the IP address of your workstation to verify that it was entered correctly and to check for possible duplicate addresses. If everything seems okay, you know the problem is probably at the gateway. If not, move on to step 4.
  4. Ping the loopback address ( to verify that TCP/IP is installed and loaded correctly. If you get an error at this step, reload TCP/IP. If everything's okay, go on to step 5.
  5. Run the TCP/IP utility Ipconfig to check for TCP/IP configuration and initialization. This is the place to check for improper addressing (if using static configuration) or possible DHCP problems. If you get a result of an IP address for the workstation showing as and you are using DHCP, the next step would be to check DHCP.

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