Common Network Troubleshooting

Note: This article is geared towards “power users” of Windows, and if you are confused on something mentioned here, look it up on Google or find more information about it other wise. Anyway, this is a guide to some REAL network troubleshooting issues that truly occur on a day-to-day basis. Whenever I had these problems, I was never able to find them in any network “troubleshooting” guides on the Internet. Instead, I had to figure these out by long searching or trial and error. Here are some fixes to common problems:

Problem: I cannot see people on my network using “My Network Places” or “Network Neighborhood” and they cannot see me, yet I can use the Internet!

Solution: You are probably on a different subnet than the others. Open up your TCP/IP configuration in Windows and change your subnet mask to whatever the other people are.

Problem: I have rejoined another workgroup; yet, both the new one and the old one show up in “My Network Places” or “Network Neighborhood.”

Solution: Give it about 30 minutes. The Windows browser service is screwed up.

Problem: I cannot access the Internet but my friends can!

Solution: Make sure that you have the same TCP/IP settings as the rest of the people (except for IP address – make sure it is unique). If the other people obtain their IP’s automatically, do the same for your computer. Then, open a command prompt [Start->Run->Cmd] and type in ping If it says “Request Timed Out.” then you still cannot connect to the Internet. So, we will continue. See if you have the Internet Connection Firewall enabled. If so, disable it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, check to see if your cables are snug in both ends and to see if both the hub/switch/router and your network adapter are both blinking. Next, go back to command prompt and type in ipconfig /release. Wait a bit, then type ipconfig /renew. If you do all this and your Internet still does not work, then restart your computer and pray.

Problem: I cannot host a game over the Internet.

Solution: Usually has something to do with routers. Find out which port(s) that your game uses. Then, in your router configuration (usually located at or or, go to the “Port Forwarding” section. Forward requests from the port(s) needed by your game to your computer’s ip address (you can find it by typing in ipconfig /all or winipcfg). Then, you are set!

Problem: I cannot join a domain from a computer that is otherwise perfectly configured for networking.

Solution: The most likely reason for this occurring is that your domain requires an Administrator’s login and password to confirm a computer joining a domain. When the box comes up that requests a username/password for your domain have your domain admin type in his or her password. The computer will then require a restart, and when it has restarted, you will be able to login to your domain with your own username and password. Don’t forget to update your user settings on your own computer!

Problem: I cannot ping localhost or

Solution: TCP/IP is not installed. Install it using the Network Connections properties configuration screen.

Problem: When I plug in a network cable into my NIC, the “Link” light does not light up like it should be doing.

Solution: This could be due to three problems. I will list them in the “most likely” order they would occur:

  1. The “other end” of the cable leads to nowhere, or is not connected to any powered network device.
  2. Your NIC is not properly inserted in your motherboard.
  3. The cable is bad.

The fixes for these problems are self-explanatory.

Problem: Occasionally, my computer will bring up a dialogue box that says something like “System Shutdown In Progress: Shutdown initiated by my computer\SYSTEM” and the computer is forced to shutdown. How do I stop it?

Solution: This dialogue box usually comes up when the RPC server on your computer is shutdown or crashes. The most likely cause of the error is that you accidentally closed down a “svchost.exe” process in Task Manager that happened to be the RPC Server. The second most likely cause is that you are under attack and you should immediately shutdown your computer.

Problem: I keep getting an “IP Address Conflict” error at the bottom of my screen.

Solution: Someone on your network is using (or trying to use) the same IP address as you are. If you manually assign IP’s, then choose a different one either for yourself or for the other person. If you use DHCP or APIPA, type in the command prompt: “ipconfig /release” and then “ipconfig /renew”

Problem: I have a “10/100″ network adapter (NIC), yet my connection speed is only 10 MB/S.

Solution: Well, there are a few causes and therefore a few solutions. They are ordered from most to least likely.

  1. Your Ethernet hub does not support 100 MB/S. Buy a hub that does.
  2. Your adapter is improperly configured. Go to your Adapter settings and change it to “Auto-Negotiation.”
  3. There is a bottleneck in your network. If you are trying to connect over a WAN (such as the Internet) realize that you will never achieve full 100 MB/S or even 10 MB/S for that matter. Run tracert to find bottlenecks, and then consider an alternate route or a different routing protocol (if the option is available).
  4. The end that you are communicating with does not have a 10/100 NIC. Buy the other computer a 10/100 MB/S. card.

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