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:
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:
- Click the Start button.
- Click the Control Panel.
- In the search bar in the top right corner enter "Troubleshooter".
- Run the search and click on "Troubleshooting" in the list of results.
- Click Network and Internet
- 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.