Troubleshooting Home Networking:
This article explains how to troubleshoot problems you may experience with Microsoft Windows XP Home Networking. Learn how to perform the following troubleshooting tasks:
? How to use the Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter.
? How to determine your network structure (topology).
? How to troubleshoot either basic connectivity or file and printer sharing issues.
This article describes how to troubleshoot a Microsoft Windows XP-based home network. To troubleshoot a home network issue, first use the Windows XP Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter in Help and Support Center. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
2. Under Pick a Help Topic, click Networking and the Web.
3. Under Networking and the Web, click Fixing networking or Web problems, and then click Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter.
Answer the questions in the troubleshooter, because the questions can guide you to a solution. If the troubleshooter does not resolve the issue, follow the troubleshooting steps that this article describes.
Determining how the network is structured
Before you troubleshoot home networking issues, first determine the topology of the network. The network's topology is how the network is structured. There are several common home network topologies:
? The computers are connected to a hub, and there is no Internet connection. In this configuration, the computers are generally assigned IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y, where x and y are numbers between 1 and 254.
? The computers are connected to a hub. One computer has a connection to the Internet. That connection is shared by using Internet Connection Sharing. This connection can be a dial-up connection or a broadband connection (typically xDSL or a cable modem). In this configuration, the computer that shares the connection generally assigns IP addresses to other computers on the home network. The computer that is sharing the connection will have IP address 192.168.0.1 configured for the adapter that is connected to the home network. Other computers on the network will have addresses in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
? The computers are connected to a hardware network address translation (NAT) device that provides a connection to the Internet. In this configuration, the computers generally receive an IP address from the NAT device. Typically, the NAT device uses the address 192.168.0.1 and assigns addresses to other computers in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
? The computers are connected to a hub, and the hub is connected to the Internet through a broadband connection. This configuration is also known as an edgeless network. In this configuration, the computers on the home network each have an IP address that is provided by the Internet service provider (ISP). The addresses that are used vary depending on the ISP.
? The computers are connected to a hub, and each computer has a separate dial-up connection or broadband connection to the Internet. In this configuration, the computers generally use automatically assigned IP addresses for their home network adapters. Typically, the network adapters assign IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y. The computers use ISP-provided addresses for their Internet connections.
To troubleshoot these configurations, you use two main steps:
? Troubleshoot basic connectivity
? Troubleshoot file and printer sharing
Troubleshooting basic connectivity
1. Verify the physical connection between computers. The back of each network adapter in a desktop computer has visible lights. These lights indicate a good connection. If you are using a hub or a switch to connect the computers, make sure that the hub or the switch is turned on and that the lights are on for each client connection. This indicates a good link.
2. Make sure that all computers have TCP/IP installed. This is particularly important with Microsoft Windows 95-based computers. By default, Windows 95-based computers do not have TCP/IP installed. If you are using computers that run Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition on the network, you can look for TCP/IP by using the Network tool in Control Panel. If TCP/IP is not installed, you must install it to communicate with Microsoft Windows XP-based computers on your network. TCP/IP is always installed in Windows XP.
3. Gather network configuration information from at least two computers on the network by using the adapter status. The information must include the IP addresses. To do this, follow these steps: a. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
b. Locate and right-click the icon that represents this computer's connection to the home network, and then click Status.
c. Click the Support tab, and then note the IP address.
If the assigned IP addresses do not match the topology that this article described in the "Determining how the network is structured" section, the computer that is assigning the addresses may not be available. This is likely to be true if 169.254.x.y addresses are in a configuration where you expect a different address range.
Note The addresses on the home network adapter for each computer must be in the same range. If one computer receives an address in the range 192.168.0.x, and another receives an address in the range 169.254.x.y, determine which address is correct based on the network topology. Troubleshoot the computer that has the incorrect address.
Note For Windows 95-based computers in a network that uses 169.254.x.y addressing, you must configure IP addresses manually. For information about how to do this, see the online Help in Windows 95.
4. Verify that the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) or Windows Firewall (WF) feature is not enabled on the adapters that you use to connect the computers to the home network. If these features are enabled on these adapters, you cannot connect to shared resources on other computers in the network.
Edgeless networks are a special case. Use ICF with edgeless networks. However, you must take additional measures to enable connectivity in the home network.
5. Use the ping command to test connectivity between two computers on the network. To do this, follow these steps: a. On one of the computers, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b. At the command prompt, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the other computer), and then press ENTER. You receive several replies from the other computer. For example, you may receive the following reply:Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
If you do not receive these replies, or if you receive a "Request timed out" message, there may be an issue on the local computer. Follow the next step to test the local computer. If the ping command is successful, the computers can connect correctly, and you can skip the next step.
c. Test the local computer. To do this, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the local computer), and then press ENTER. If you receive replies, the network adapter is installed correctly, and the TCP/IP protocol stack is likely to be working correctly. If not, troubleshoot the network adapter. It may not be installed correctly, or the TCP/IP protocol stack may be damaged.
How to reset Internet protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP
d. After you can ping the other computer by using its IP address, ping the computer by using its computer name. To determine a computer's name, right-click My Computer on the desktop, click Properties, and then click the Computer Name tab. To ping a computer by name, type ping computername (where computername is the name of the remote computer), and then press ENTER. If you receive successful replies, you have connectivity and name resolution between the computers.
After you have verified connectivity and name resolution between computers, you can troubleshoot the connectivity for file and printer sharing.
Troubleshooting file and printer sharing
Through a home network, you can share files and printers between computers. To test the file-sharing and printer-sharing functionality, follow these steps:
1. Run the Network Setup Wizard on each computer in the network to configure file and printer sharing.
2. Make sure that file sharing is configured correctly on the computer.
Note All network access to either a Windows XP Home Edition-based computer in a workgroup or to a Windows XP Professional-based computer in a workgroup uses the Guest account. Before you continue troubleshooting, make sure that the Guest account is set up for network access. To do this, follow these steps: a. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
b. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
net user guest
c. If the account is active, a line appears in the output of the command that is similar to the following:Account active Yes
d. If the account is not active, use the following command to give the Guest account network access:
net user guest /active:yes
e. The following text returns after the command:The command completed successfully.
If you receive any other response, make sure that you are logged on as an Administrator, and then confirm that you typed the command correctly before you try again.
3. After you have verified the configuration, locate the computer name for each computer, and then make sure that a folder is shared. To do this, follow these steps: a. Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
b. On the Computer Name tab, note the computer name on the "Full computer name" line.
c. To determine if a folder is shared, click Start, click Run, type fsmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
d. In the left pane, click Shares.
A list of shared folders appear in the right pane. Make a note of one share name for each computer.
4. Test a connection from one computer to another. Click Start, click Run, type \\computername (where computername is the name of another computer on the network), and then press ENTER. A window opens that contains an icon for each shared folder on the other computer. Open one of the shares to confirm that the connection is working. If you cannot open a shared folder, test in the opposite direction between the computers or between other computers to make sure that the problem is not with a particular computer on the network.
5. If you still cannot connect to the other computer, test again, but replace the computername with the name of the local computer. This tests the connection locally. A window appears that displays an icon for each shared folder on the computer. Try to open one of the shares to make sure that you have access.
6. If you do not receive any error messages, or you do not find related information in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, look in the Network Setup Wizard log file for errors in any steps that are not followed by successful operations. To open the log, click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\nsw.log, and then press ENTER. If you find errors in the log, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for additional information about how to manually configure the computer to have correct settings.
7. If the Nsw.log file does not give you any information about the problem, look in the system log for errors, and investigate those errors.
? Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
? Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
? Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition