Print this page and a trace from your system to ours and keep it handy for when you have problems.

You should check back periodically to see if new techniques have been added.

Is the server down or is there some other problem?

Try tracing the route to where the problem is.

To trace the route:

  • On Unix: traceroute www.domainname
  • On Windows(from a MS-DOS prompt) tracert www.domainname or use the graphical traceroute tool PingPlotter.
For the examples below, we will assume a Windows machine.

Of course, if you can't get to the machine, you may not be able to look up the name, so you can also use:

Sample Windows tracert

C:\Documents and Settings\Charles>tracert

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  2   138 ms    47 ms     8 ms []
  3    10 ms    13 ms    13 ms []
  4    24 ms    14 ms   186 ms []
  5    20 ms    35 ms    69 ms []
  6    28 ms    82 ms   105 ms []
  7    78 ms   102 ms    37 ms []
  8    66 ms    55 ms    59 ms []
  9    87 ms    51 ms    47 ms
 10    83 ms    97 ms   180 ms
 11   210 ms    87 ms    84 ms []

Trace complete.

What you will see is a list of machines that the packets go through from where you ran tracert to the server. The output will include 3 times (in milliseconds) for how long it took a packet to reach that machine and return. If the packet did not return before the timeout, an asterisk(*) will be listed instead. In the tracert above, the first node doesn't respond to ICMP packets and that is why there are 3 asterisks. Once the tracert reaches the target machine the output will stop.

Possible problems and their cause:

Output ends in all asterisks for times (for the last few lines).
Target machine was unreachable - the problem is probably at the last machine listed.
A loop where one machine is listed repeatedly (either by itself or in a loop with some others).
This indicates a routing problem at the machine(s) where the listing repeats.
IP addresses are listed, but no names
You are unable to do a reverse lookup on the IP address to get the correct name for that machine. If this happens for all the machines(and will also result in slow output), then something is wrong with your DNS(Domain Name Server) settings or the actual DNS server. Check your entries in Start->Settings->Control Panel->Network->TCP/IP->DNS Configuration. Try a tracert to the IP addresses you have listed.

Other places you can try tracerouting to see if the machine is down or you can't route to it are:

You might try a traceroute now and save the output somewhere so you have it when you have problems.

NOTE:If you are behind a firewall, tracert may quit giving useful information at the firewall.

If you have problems understanding the output from tracert, copy it into an email and send it to me and I will help you find the problem. To copy it: In the MS-DOS window, choose the select button (the dashed square), drag your mouse over the text, choose the copy button (the two sheets of paper) and then paste it into your email program. The way to paste may different for your program, but <SHIFT>-<INSERT> (holding down the Shift key while hitting the Insert key) works with most.

I can get to the machine using tracert, but cannot load my web pages.

See if another machine can get to your pages. One way to do this is to use AltaVista's translation services and see if it comes back with a translation of your pages. If so, then there may be a problem between you and your web pages. Most likely, your ISP has a proxy server that is not working properly.
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