Friday, October 16, 2009

Expedite TCP/IP troubleshooting with our PathPing Gadget

When you’re troubleshooting TCP/IP problems on your network, chances are the first tool you head for is the Ping utility. By default, the Ping utility sends four ICMP (Internet control message protocol) echo packets to a remote computer and listens for the replies. You can then use the information generated by the utility to move on to the next troubleshooting step. In some cases, you may find that this second step involves using the Tracert utility, which traces a packet to a remote computer, showing how many hops the packet requires to reach the host and how long each hop takes. As it does so, it displays the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) and IP address of each gateway along the route to the remote computer.

While the results generated by these two utilities provide a good view of the problem, you can get all this information, and more, by using the PathPing command. As you can surmise from its name, PathPing is basically a hybrid of the Tracert and Ping utilities bundled into one utility. However, PathPing is a more powerful troubleshooting tool than either of its predecessors. It generates a detailed statistical report that can more precisely indicate the cause of the network problem.

As a follow-up to the popular IPConfig Gadget, I decided to create a gadget to automate the PathPing command. Let’s take a closer look at the PathPing Gadget.