The most basic troubleshooting step is to reboot.
Too often, a problem will be solved by a simple reboot of a system. After rebooting, check the event logs, paying close attention to the System and Application event logs for any errors that occur after the reboot. Look up the errors in the Microsoft knowledge base before pursuing any other troubleshooting steps.
The following are steps to resolve, or at least isolate the source of common issues. Assume nothing; go through each step so you can check it off the list.
Network Connectivity Problems
- Check the Lights
Does the NIC have a link? Check the NIC link light and then make sure the OS is also aware of the link by going into the Network and Dial-up settings, right click on the link and select Status. The number of packets received should be about the same as the number of packets sent; if not, then you are not receiving traffic from the LAN.
Does the switch have a link? Go to the switch or log in to the management console and verify that the switch is also aware of the link.
- IP Troubleshooting
Run ipconfig /all to find your current IP.
If your IP starts with 169.x.y.z this IP has been auto-selected by Windows because the system cannot successfully connect to a DHCP server. A client with a 169.x.y.z address will be unable to do anything until it receives a real IP address.
DHCP Enabled: Yes or No? If yes, do you have an valid IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway? If you do, skip to Link Troubleshooting. If not, enable DHCP and run ipconfig /renew.
Make sure the DHCP server has addresses to hand out and that the service is running.
DHCP Enabled: No, is your IP address valid on the network? Ping the default gateway. If the ping fails, it is most likely because the subnet mask is wrong or the IP address is conflicting with another device. Check the subnet mask and try another IP.
- Link Troubleshooting
If there is still no link, go into the NIC configuration and make sure it is set to Auto negotiate. If the NIC is already set to auto negotiate and there is no link, try changing the link speed to 100/Full, 10/Full, 100/Half, 10/Half.
- Still no link? Call support; you have a real issue.
Internet Connection Problems
- You have an IP address, right? Run ipconfig /all just to be sure, then ping the default gateway. If you cannot ping the default gateway, go back to the link troubleshooting section.
- If you can ping the gateway but cannot access any websites, run tracert IP address of an external system -d to verify that IP routing is occurring. Do not use a DNS name, use an IP address since you may be having DNS problems. If the tracert dies after a few hops, your upstream connection may be down, run tracert against another host. When that fails, call your ISP.
- If the tracert to an IP works, but you still cannot browse the web, sounds like a DNS problem. Run nslookup and query for the FQDN that you are trying to connect to, try a few other common sites like Google.com, MSN.com, or CNN.com. If those queries are working, restart your system, restart the firewall and/or router, and try again to connect.
- Still nothing? Call the experts.
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