The Windows 2000 Network Connectivity Tester

The Win2K Network Connectivity Tester (netdiag.exe) is a command-line diagnostic tool. Netdiag.exe helps you isolate networking and connectivity problems by performing a series of tests to determine the state of your network client (whether it be on a server or on a workstation). The tests that netdiag.exe performs expose key network status information, thereby providing IIS administrators, network administrators, and support personnel a more direct means of identifying and isolating network problems. Training users on this powerful tool is unnecessary because the tool doesn't require that you specify parameters or switches. Running without requiring parameters lets you focus on analyzing the output rather than on training users how to use the tool.

Here are a few Network Connectivity Tester features:

  • The tool is command-line executable, which allows for easy scripting or inclusion in .cmd files.
  • The tool gathers static network information and tests the local machines' network drivers, protocol drivers, send/receive capability, and well-known target accessibility.
  • Netdiag.exe runs on Windows 32-bit OSs (e.g., Win2K, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 9x, Windows Millenium Edition—Windows Me).
  • You can use the tool with the Scheduler Service to generate reports at regularly scheduled intervals.
  • The tool receives input and returns output that other applications and services can leverage.
  • Netdiag.exe ships as a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Source Provider DLL, so software developers can leverage the tool's power in their applications.

I'm writing this column on my notebook computer, which runs Win2K Advanced Server (AS). I'm on an airplane and have no network connectivity. As expected, netdiag.exe has identified problems with my network connectivity. Here's a snippet of the results the tool produced:

   Per interface results:
      Adapter : Local Area Connection
         Netcard queries test . . . : Failed
         NetCard Status:          DISCONNECTED
            Some tests will be skipped on this interface.
               Host Name. . . . . . . . . : timh.huckdomain
               IP Address . . . . . . . . :
               Subnet Mask. . . . . . . . :
               Default Gateway. . . . . . :
               Primary WINS Server. . . . :
               Dns Servers. . . . . . . . :

Netdiag.exe is part of the Win2K Support Tools. The support tools aren't installed automatically when you install Win2K. In fact, their installation isn't an option in the Win2K installation. For instructions on installing the support tools, see the February 29 issue of IIS Administrator UPDATE (go to the IIS Administrator UPDATE Archive page and select February 29, 2000, from the drop-down box).

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