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How To Troubleshoot Networking Issues In Vista

Before we go into details on troubleshooting our network we should first discuss the OSI Model. There are seven layers in the OSI model, if we can understand what each layer is responsible for then our troubleshooting efforts will be targeted instead of guessing. Take a look at the seven layers of the OSI Model article for further information.

In Windows Vista or any other operating system such as Windows XP there comes a time when you will need to troubleshoot networking issues. Either because your network IT department screwed something up or maybe your kids did something, or maybe it is just because shit happens. How do we start the troubleshooting process, where do we begin? Follow the instructions and you should be able to determine what the issue is. If for some reason you still can not figure out what the problem is, then give me a call, I will be glad to diagnose and repair the problem.

The first thing we should do after analyzing the OSI Model, is troubleshoot the physical connections.

  • Is the network cable connected?
  • Is there a link light on the Network Interface Card (NIC)? Check the back of the computer where the network cable plugs into it. Do you see a light?
  • Does the Ethernet Switch and or Router show a link light?
  • Does Windows Vista see your NIC as connected? The illustration below will help you determine if Vista see’s your network Interface Card (NIC).

To view your connection status do the following:

  • Click Start and then right click Network and choose properties.
  • Next, click on View Status as illustrated below.

network  status

After clicking on status you should now see a properties sheet like the one illustrated below.

connection status for media state

If your media states you are disabled then make sure you are connected to a network, especially if you are using a wireless network connection and or a dialup connection. Right click the computer icon in your system tray and select View Available Wireless Networks, connect to a network, preferably your own.

Continue on to Step 2 of how to troubleshoot networking issues in vista.

Skip ahead to Step 3 of how to troubleshoot networking issues in vista.