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Network Troubleshooting

We know how difficult it can be for a business when there are networking problems, which is why Far Reach includes networking maintenance and assistance in our total care package at no additional charge. If you are a business and you are having networking problems, web issues, hardware problems, need database or design help, it's nice to only need one number for support. If you are not a client and want to work through it yourself, we hope this XP networking guide will help you.

Here are the most important steps in Windows XP network troubleshooting. Follow them, and you might not need to read the rest of this article! Ignore them, and your network might never work properly, no matter what else you do . Click each step to see the details:

All networks:

Networks that use the TCP/IP protocol for any purpose:

Networks that use the TCP/IP protocol for File and Printer Sharing:


As you look for troubleshooting help, youíre likely to come across information that looks helpful, but will actually interfere with your efforts. Make sure not to listen to bad advice by reading our article on Windows XP Networking Myths.

Use Windows XPís Built-In Troubleshooters

Windows XPís built-in troubleshooting tools are much better than those in previous versions of Windows. Give them a try, especially if youíre new to networking, by following our instructions.

Simple Steps

Youíve performed the preliminary steps, avoided the missteps, and run XPís troubleshooters, but your network still isnít working right. View some simple steps that can solve problems quickly and easily.

Detailed Steps

Problem not fixed yet? Itís time for some heavy-duty troubleshooting. Roll up your sleeves, and see how to Troubleshoot TCP/IP and Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing.

Advanced Steps

If none of the preceding steps solve your network problem, follow the advanced procedures in these Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

Slow Network Browsing in My Network Places

This might be the most frustrating problem in Windows XP networking: you double click My Network Places to browse the network, and then you wait. And wait. And wait. Sometimes, it takes several minutes before you can see the shared disks and folders on the network. The lights on your hub, switch, or router blink continuously, as XP appears to be scanning the network.

If this sounds all too familiar to you, find out some ways to solve (or at least work around) the problem of Slow Network Browsing.

Other Problems and Their Solutions

Some times you might have very specific problem Ėview our list of specific problem descriptions and error messages, along with the likely solutions.

Avoiding Future Trouble

Once your network is running right, follow these tips to keep it healthy.

  • Use System Restore in Windows Me and Windows XP to create a restore point before making network changes, installing software, or changing hardware. If something goes wrong, you can restore the system to its previous working configuration.

  • Reboot all computers after adding a DHCP server (e.g. ICS host, hardware router) to the network. This will make them get new IP addresses from the DHCP server.

  • Disable and then re-enable all firewall programs after making any IP address changes on the network.

  • When you remove computers, shared disks, or shared folders from the network, open My Network Places and delete shortcuts to them.