Thursday, 26 April 2012

Troubleshooting Internet Wireless Connectivity Problems

Quickly diagnosing Network Issues on your Windows XP PC

If you are like me and have a WinXP laptop at home then you will miss some of the nice diagnostic features Windows 7 comes with (we will skip Vista for obvious reasons) - By the way I have finally got a Windows 7 machine at home and at work!

I like WinXP purely because it lets you do what you want without all those annoying pop ups asking you to confirm everything you want to run.

However the other day for some reason I opened my laptop only for my Internet connectivity to be disabled with the message that the relevant driver was no longer installed! Why I have no idea as I had been using the laptop only hours before without an issue.

No I hadn't accidentally turned off the Wireless switch at the top of the Sony Laptop or accidentally disabled the radio from the utility and a quick virus scan using my last update showed nothing untoward.

The Intel Wireless Troubleshooter had all the options greyed out and the Windows Wireless Network Manager wasn't even in the task bar for some reason so I couldn't check the repair function on that either.

However (and this might be obvious to people who know) but there is a little tool you can run from your Start Menu which will diagnose any network issues and fix them if it can. This is probably the same tool that Windows Messenger uses when you use their own diagnostic tool.

To run this tool do the following:

  • Go to the Start Menu
  • Choose the RUN option
  • Enter the following into the input box: %windir%\network diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
  • Hit OK
If it can fix the problem it will tell you and if it can't then you will need to look deeper e.g check your router, check your inbound Internet connection and make sure there isn't a local Internet problem in your area.

The diagnostic log that I got looked liked this:

Last diagnostic run time: 08/20/11 13:33:34 HTTP, HTTPS, FTP Diagnostic

HTTP, HTTPS, FTP connectivity



info HTTP: Successfully connected to www.microsoft.com.

info HTTPS: Successfully connected to www.microsoft.com.

info FTP (Passive): Successfully connected to ftp.microsoft.com.







DNS Client Diagnostic

DNS - Not a home user scenario



info Using Web Proxy: no

info Resolving name ok for (www.microsoft.com): yes

No DNS servers



DNS failure









Gateway Diagnostic

Gateway



info The following proxy configuration is being used by IE: Automatically Detect Settings:Disabled Automatic Configuration Script: Proxy Server: Proxy Bypass list:

info This computer has the following default gateway entry(ies): 192.168.1.1

info This computer has the following IP address(es): 192.168.1.5

info The default gateway is in the same subnet as this computer

info The default gateway entry is a valid unicast address

info The default gateway address was resolved via ARP in 1 try(ies)

info The default gateway was reached via ICMP Ping in 1 try(ies)

info TCP port 80 on host 207.46.19.254 was successfully reached

info The Internet host www.microsoft.com was successfully reached

info The default gateway is OK







IP Layer Diagnostic

Corrupted IP routing table



info The default route is valid

info The loopback route is valid

info The local host route is valid

info The local subnet route is valid

Invalid ARP cache entries



action The ARP cache has been flushed







IP Configuration Diagnostic

Invalid IP address



info Valid IP address detected: 192.168.1.5







Wireless Diagnostic

Wireless - Service disabled



Wireless - User SSID



action User input required: Specify network name or SSID

Wireless - First time setup



info The Wireless Network name (SSID) to which the user would like to connect = BLAH

Wireless - Radio off



info Valid IP address detected: 192.168.1.5

Wireless - Out of range



Wireless - Hardware issue



Wireless - Novice user



Wireless - Ad-hoc network



Wireless - Less preferred



Wireless - 802.1x enabled



Wireless - Configuration mismatch



Wireless - Low SNR









WinSock Diagnostic

WinSock status



info All base service provider entries are present in the Winsock catalog.

info The Winsock Service provider chains are valid.

info Provider entry MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP] passed the loopback communication test.

info Provider entry MSAFD Tcpip [UDP/IP] passed the loopback communication test.

info Provider entry RSVP UDP Service Provider passed the loopback communication test.

info Provider entry RSVP TCP Service Provider passed the loopback communication test.

info Connectivity is valid for all Winsock service providers.







Network Adapter Diagnostic

Network location detection



info Network location could not be detected

action User input required: Select network location

info Using home Internet connection

Network adapter identification



info Network connection: Name=Local Area Connection, Device=Marvell Yukon 88E8036 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller, MediaType=LAN, SubMediaType=LAN

info Network connection: Name=Wireless Network Connection, Device=Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection, MediaType=LAN, SubMediaType=WIRELESS

info Network connection: Name=1394 Connection, Device=1394 Net Adapter, MediaType=LAN, SubMediaType=1394

info Network connection: Name=Strategies VPN old, Device=WAN Miniport (PPTP), MediaType=TUNNEL, SubMediaType=NONE

info Network connection: Name=Strategies VPN, Device=WAN Miniport (PPTP), MediaType=TUNNEL, SubMediaType=NONE

info Both Ethernet and Wireless connections available, prompting user for selection

action User input required: Select network connection

info Wireless connection selected

Network adapter status



info Network connection status: Disconnected

info Network adapter hardware problem: This device is disabled.

warn Network adapter status not healthy

action Automated repair: Enable network connection

action Enabling the network adapter

info Network adapter successfully enabled

info Network connection status: Connected







HTTP, HTTPS, FTP Diagnostic

HTTP, HTTPS, FTP connectivity



warn HTTP: Error 12007 connecting to www.microsoft.com: The server name or address could not be resolved

warn HTTPS: Error 12007 connecting to www.microsoft.com: The server name or address could not be resolved

warn FTP (Passive): Error 12007 connecting to ftp.microsoft.com: The server name or address could not be resolved

warn HTTP: Error 12007 connecting to www.hotmail.com: The server name or address could not be resolved

warn HTTPS: Error 12007 connecting to www.passport.net: The server name or address could not be resolved

warn FTP (Active): Error 12007 connecting to ftp.microsoft.com: The server name or address could not be resolved

error Could not make an HTTP connection.

error Could not make an HTTPS connection.

error Could not make an FTP connection. 


If like many people you have now moved onto a newer operating system like Windows 7 then you can take advantage of their inbuilt network troubleshooter which can be accessed by following this guide:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Control Panel‌.
  3. In the search bar in the top right corner enter "Troubleshooter".
  4. Run the search and click on "Troubleshooting" in the list of results.
  5. Click Network and Internet
  6. Pick the type of problem you are having and it will run a diagnostic test for you. If you are having internet connectivity issues then you should select the first option "Internet Connections"

For more information on troubleshooting internet and wireless connectivity problems on Windows 7 machines read this step by step guide on troubleshooting connectivity problems.

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