Home/How do I/Troubleshoot my network
The steps and tests illustrated below are intended to help you resolve problems with your home network. A good plan would be to complete a step and then test to see if you have connectivity. Before beginning take a couple of minutes to think about when you lost your connection. Was this after a power outage? This would indicate a possible hardware problem. Sometimes after installing certain types of software problems start occurring. If the steps below do not help you, consider visiting the Hit List and check to see if you have installed anything on the list. If you have, you may be able to use another computer to download software from the to a USB drive and then install them onto the problem computer. Always remember to restart the computer experiencing problems after each install of software or step listed below.
Check the physical connection. Check to see that the light is on (it's usually green) on your network card on the back of the computer, right where you plug in the cable. Then check your router to see that the light is lit there (there's usually a number for the port). Try switching cables (a known good cable that works with another computer) if you have an extra one.
Let's check some numbers. Click Start>My Network Connections>Support. Hopefully you'll see some like this:
Address Type: Assigned by DHCP
IP Address: 192.168.X.X (the X's should be lower numbers typically 0 or 1 for the first one and a number under 10 for the last one). *
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0 (This rarely changes from one computer to the next)
Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1 (This is actually your router) *
Next, click Start>Run then type cmd then press enter. this brings up a black box. Here you have your choice of things to do:
type ipconfig then press enter. (This gives you much the same info as step 2 above).
type ping 192.168.1.1 (The last two numbers should match your gateway numbers from step 2 and/or step 3.1 above.
type ipconfig /release then press enter. This basically undoes what the router does, that is, issuing a IP Address.**
type ipconfig /renew the press enter. This tells the router to, you guessed it, issue you a new IP Address.**
type ping yahoo.com and press enter, just as you see it here, no www. You should get a message like "reply from......."
type ping -t google.com and press enter. Now wait for 5,10 or even 15 minutes (the longer you wait the more information you get). What this does is ping google continuously. To stop this process, hold down the Ctrl key and press the C key. Look through the results. If you see timeouts this means a failure to connect. A few are ok but a lot means it's time to panic, or run more tests. You decide.
* The last two numbers are the most important pieces of information here. Most routers use either 0 or 1 in the third spot (as in 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) the last number is actually the device itself (because everything on the network requires an address just like every house on a street). The last number is typically 1 for the router and rises sequentially for the rest of the devices. If you have a wireless printer it too will have it's own address. These numbers are handed out by the router through DHCP as each device is turned on and hence added to the network. If your device (computer) does not have it's own address it may be connected physically to the network but not actually on it. If it's not on the network, it cannot use the internet or see or be seen by other computers (devices).
** Note the space between ipconfig and the next part of the command, like this: ipconfig_/renew (the underline represents the space so don't type it).
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