Windows 2000 / XP TCP/IP protocol

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 18 Feb. 2001 / Last Updated on 18 Feb. 2001]

As part of your network check, you need to verify your TCP/IP-configuration
( if you intend to use TCP/IP-protocol):
- Properties of "My Network Places" on your Desktop (via Right-Click), then
- for your network connection ("Local Area Connection"), right-click and select Properties :
The "Local Area Connection Properties" will show:
Connect using : <your network adapter>
Components checked are used by this connection :
- Client for Microsoft Networks
- File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
- Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
(when selecting/clicking on any of these components, the box "Description" will show a description)


- then click on "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and select the button "Properties":


Windows 2000/XP has configured TCP/IP "to Obtain an IP address automatically" , i.e. via DHCP.

Lets verify the current TCP/IP configuration:

Unluckily, I could not find the equivalent of the Win95/98 utility "winipcfg" included with
Windows 2000/Xp (there is a "wntipcfg" available as download from Microsoft) , so I use the same utility
as under NT4: "IPCONFIG"
- select from your Start-Menu: "Programs" / "Accessories" / "Command Prompt",
- enter: IPCONFIG
Sample Reply:

Windowss 2000 IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Autoconfiguration IP Address . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . .:

169.254.4.69
255.255.255.255.0


Note the info, that the IP-address has been generated by the "Autoconfiguration", not via DHCP.
( IPCONFIG can also be used to request a new IP-address: to ReNew the IP-address )


If you do not want Windows XP to use the Auto IP Configuration,
you can configure a static IP-address to be used in case that no DHCP-server
was found on the network.



Windows XP allows to check the IP-address
via "Network Connections" by displaying
the "Status" of a connection
( right-click the connection , pop-up menu ) :

tab : Support


Note: when booting Windows2000 / XP , the start-up process will NOT wait for the DHCP /
IP-Autoconfiguration process to be completed (as on Windows98, where this causes a
boot-delay of several seconds).
When making quickly the Login and using IPCONFIG, the IP-address may not yet be
established, the system will then display as IP-address 0.0.0.0 :

Example:
Windowss 2000 IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Connection-specific DBS Suffix . :
IP Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .:
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . .:

0.0.0.0
0.0.0.0


Without an IP-address, the network is NOT operational !

After a few more seconds, the search for a DHCP-server will time-out, then the
IP-Autoconfiguration process will assigned the IP-address.
Example :

Windowss 2000 IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Connection-specific DBS Suffix . :
Autoconfiguration IP Address . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . .:

169.254.4.69
255.255.255.255.0

( you have the possibility to disable the Auto IP-address generation ).


If you tried to access the "My Network Places" / "Computers Near Me" during
the time, where the IP-address was not yet assigned, you will get an error message :
"....is not accessible" :

If you do not like to use the Command-Prompt
window, you can view this information also
via the Control-Panel :
"Administrative Tools" in the
"Computer Management":, section

Look under "System Tools"/"System Information"/"Components" /"Network" / "Adapter":



In Windows XP, "System Information"
is not anymore included in "Computer
Management
" but a stand-alone utility,
which is selected via the Windows Menu
Programs / Accessories / System Tools

Look under "Components" /"Network" / "Adapter":



search in the right plane for your network adapter (example: the Realtec RTL8029) , it may be
defined multiple times in the list. If you find as IP-address: "Not Available", continue to scroll down:



As Windows98, Windows2000/XP tries first to find a DHCP-server on the network.
If this fails, it then uses its own "AutoConfiguration" method to generate an IP-address. In such
cases, the "DHCP Server" in Computer Management (see above) is marked as 255.255.255.0.
( you have the possibility to Disable the Auto IP-address generation )


In case that a DHCP-server is found on the network and the DHCP-server assigns an IP-address,
then IPCONFIG shows a slightly different information:

Sample Reply:

Windowss 2000 IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
IP Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .:
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . .:

192.168.1.101
255.255.255.255.0
192.168.1.10



In "Computer Management", it will list the IP-address of the DHCP-server, which assigned the
IP-address to this system:




But a lot of networks work with a predefined range of IP-addresses (which also shortens the Boot-up time
of Win98 and Windows2000, since they do not have to wait anymore for the request to a DHCP-server to time-out)
:

My home-network uses the IP-range
reserved for private networks:
192.168.x.y, so I am assigning
manually the IP-address:
192.168.1.2


Nice new feature on Windows 2000 / XP : after changing the IP-address, it is NOT anymore
required to restart the system (like on Win95/98/Nt4), so I can run again "IPCONFIG"
to check the change:
Example:

Windows 2000 IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Adapter Domain name . . . . . :
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .:
IP Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . .:


182.168.1.2
255.255.255.255.0



A last low-level check to verify, that the network is working, using the
TCP/IP diagnostic tool "PING" to test the connection to another system on the network:

Example :
C:\>ping 192.168.1.1
pinging 182.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data :
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128



If PING does not get a reply, verify your TCP/IP settings and trouble-shoot your
network card and cables
.

See Also


The Author — Johannes Helmig

Dr.Johannes Helmig is working as Director, Technical Knowledge Management in the Belgium office of Gerber Technology where he is involved in Customer Service and internal training, with special interest in Networking.

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