WinXP IPconfig Tool

Setting up a home or small office network is easy to do. If something goes wrong however, it can be a nightmare to fix.

This week’s download is a cool little tool or utility that simplifies a common networking tool called IPconfig. IPconfig is a tool used for troubleshooting TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) errors. It is the standard by which almost all networks run on. Without getting into too much detail, TCP/IP is basically a set of rules that all network devices use when communicating with one another, sharing resources or surfing the Web.

You may have found yourself thrown into the position of the home computer tech/ network administrator, which is all too common lately with the popularity of Broadband and more than one PC in the house. So, now everyone in the house are all depending on you to fix the network when one of the PCs can’t get online or access a shared printer. Well, if you have no formal training in figuring out what’s causing your problems, that can be more than a little confusing, even for the computer savvy.

This is where IPconfig comes in. It is a simple command line tool that is absolutely invaluable for seeing everything behind the scenes, such as raw connection information. IPconfig is a command line utility, which means you have to open up a command prompt in order to use it. (Start, Run, type cmd and select OK).

For instance, if you wanted to see if a PC that can’t access the Internet has a valid IP address, you would type in the command prompt ipconfig /all and hit Enter. A bunch of text will come up on the screen. This information is all of your network settings. Here, you will see your IP address (private), DHCP server, your DNS servers, your Mac address, etc.

So, it should be obvious that the IPconfig is a very useful tool, but you may not feel comfortable using the command line. That’s fair enough. In my experience, most users don’t like using the command line for anything if they can help it.

Well, if you’re one of those people, you’re in luck, because with the WinXP IPconfig tool, you don’t have to use the command line to get IPconfig functionality. WinXP IPconfig is a small program that runs the IPconfig commands for you. So, all you have to do is check what specific IPconfig commands you want and select OK. A blue DOS looking window will appear with the results of your query, which will look identical to the output from the raw IPconfig command.

This is great! You can put this in your utilities folder (I know you have one) and if you ever have problems with your Internet connection, you can always launch it and this will tell you if it’s a local connection problem or an ISP issue right away. You can then take it from there.

There is also a Help file in this program, which takes you to the same help that you can access with the IPconfig. It basically shows you what switches (command options) produce what output data. The Help file can actually help you get used to the actual command and what its limitations are.

So, you may want to test this out on your network if you do download it. Get used to it and what it can do. This way, when your network crashes, you will be able to assess the situation and scope out your issue more clearly.

One more thing that is really cool about the WinXP IPconfig tool is that it is a HTA file type, which allows you to run it from a thumb drive, a floppy disk or a CD. The program doesn’t install, but i rather runs in place (portable application), which makes WinXP IPconfig that much more invaluable for troubleshooting other PCs.

You can download the WinXP IPconfig tool here.

I hope you enjoy the download!

~ Chad