Handy diagnostic tools

Windows 2000 carries forward many of Windows NT's familiar TCP/IP diagnostic commands, but the more recent OS also adds several new commands. Whether you're an experienced or novice Win2K administrator, you'll learn a thing or two from this list of top 10 TCP/IP diagnostic commands.

10. Hostname—Hostname is one of the most basic TCP/IP utilities. It displays the name of the system running the command.


9. Lpq—The Lpq command displays the status of a remote Line Print Daemon (LPD) print queue. To display the status of a printer named HPLJ4 (identified by the -P switch) on a system named teca4 (identified by the -S switch), enter

C:\>lpq -Steca4 -PHPLJ4

8. Arp—You use the Arp command to view, add, or delete entries in the IP-address-to-physical-network-address translation tables that the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) uses. To display the cached IP and MAC addresses on your system, enter

C:\>arp —a

7. Ipconfig—The Ipconfig command displays your system's current TCP/IP configuration settings. Ipconfig can also report your current DNS servers' addresses.

C:\>ipconfig /all

6. Netstat—The Netstat command displays your current TCP/IP or UDP connection's status and statistics. Netstat shows both the local and remote name and port of your active network connections. The ? switch displays all the available Netstat switches. To display all active connections in port order, enter:

C:\>netstat -n

5. Route—You can use the Route command to edit or view the IP routing table from the command prompt. Win2K uses the routing table when it needs to find a path to another TCP/IP host. The ? switch displays all the available Route command-line options. To use Route Print to view your system's routing table, enter

C:\>route print

4. Nslookup—The primary command for diagnosing DNS problems, Nslookup is an interactive utility that displays a special command prompt. To display the Nslookup commands, you can enter help at this command prompt. The ls subcommand lists the DNS domain information.


3. Tracert—You use this command to verify that a router path exists between your system and a remote system. Tracert reports the number of hops necessary to reach a given destination. For example, to trace the route to http://www.winnetmag.com, you would enter

C:\>tracert www.winnetmag.com

2. Ping—The Ping command is the most basic TCP/IP network diagnostic tool. If you can't ping a system, you probably won't be able to communicate with that system. To ping a system with the IP address, for example, you would enter


1. Pathping—One of Win2K's coolest new TCP/IP tools, Pathping combines the functionality of the Ping and Tracert commands into one handy and robust diagnostic utility. Pathping pings each router between the originating computer and a target destination, then records each hop's duration and packet loss. To use Pathping against http://www.winnetmag.com, enter

C:\>pathping www.winnetmag.com