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NetShell Utility (netsh.exe)

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| Arp | Finger | Hostname | IPconfig | Nbtstat | Net | Netsh | Netstat | Nslookup | Pathping | Ping | Route | Tracert |

The NetShell utility (netsh.exe) is a command-line scripting interface for configuring and monitoring Windows XP networking. This tool provides an interactive network shell interface to the user. Netsh.exe is available on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Usage: netsh [-a AliasFile] [-c Context] [-r RemoteMachine]
             [Command | -f ScriptFile]

The following commands are available:

Commands in this context:
?              - Displays a list of commands.
add            - Adds a configuration entry to a list of entries.
bridge         - Changes to the `netsh bridge' context.
delete         - Deletes a configuration entry from a list of entries.
diag           - Changes to the `netsh diag' context.
dump           - Displays a configuration script.
exec           - Runs a script file.
firewall       - Changes to the `netsh firewall' context.
help           - Displays a list of commands.
interface      - Changes to the `netsh interface' context.
ras            - Changes to the `netsh ras' context.
routing        - Changes to the `netsh routing' context.
set            - Updates configuration settings.
show           - Displays information.
wins           - Changes to the `netsh wins' context.
winsock        - Changes to the `netsh winsock' context.

The following sub-contexts are available:
 bridge diag firewall interface ras routing wins winsock

To view help for a command, type the command, followed by a space, and then type ?
More Information: Using Netsh

Here are a few usage of netsh to repair problems with the TCP/IP stack and troubleshoot network problems:

1. Reset TCP/IP

In Windows XP, the TCP/IP stack is considered a core component of the operating system, and you cannot remove TCP/IP. Therefore, when you view the list of components for a network interface, you may notice that the Uninstall button is disabled when Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is selected. In extreme cases, the best solution for this issue may be to reinstall the IP stack. But with the NetShell utility, you can reset the TCP/IP stack to restore it to its state that existed when the operating system was installed. When you run the reset command, it rewrites pertinent registry keys that are used by the IP (TCP/IP) stack to reach the same result as the removal and the reinstallation of the protocol.

Command usage:
      netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Source: How to reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP

2. Recover from Winsock2 corruption

Manual steps to determine whether the Winsock2 key is corrupted:

Use the Netdiag tool. To use the Netdiag tool, you must install the Microsoft Windows XP Support Tools. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Insert your Windows XP Setup CD, and then locate the Support\Tools folder.
  • Double-click the Setup.exe file.
  • Follow the steps on the screen until you reach the Select An Installation Type screen.
  • On the Select An Installation Type screen, click Complete, and then click Next.

When the installation is complete, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, click Run, type Command, and then click OK.
  • Type netdiag /test:winsock, and then press ENTER.

The Netdiag tool will return the test results for several network components, including the Winsock.
For more details about the test, use /v at the end of the netdiag command: netdiag /test:winsock /v

Manual steps to recover from Winsock2 corruption:

To repair Winsock if you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed:

Command usage:
      netsh winsock reset

Restart the computer after you run this command.

Source: How to determine and to recover from Winsock2 corruption in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows Vista

3. Clear out the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache

If you can ping both the loopback address ( and your IP address but you cannot ping any other IP addresses, use the Arp tool to clear out the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache.

View the cache entries:

Command usage:
      arp -a or arp -g

Delete the entries:

Command usage:
      arp -d IP address

Flush the ARP cache:

Command usage:
      netsh interface ip delete arpcache

Source: How to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity with Windows XP

4. Network Diagnostics Interface

One way to simplify diagnostic tasks is to use the Help Center interface. With this interface, you can carry out a number of diagnostic tests with one operation.

Command usage:
      netsh diag gui

Source: How to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity with Windows XP

5. Windows Firewall Configuration

Displays the local configuration information of the Windows firewall. Also useful to display listening ports that are open.

Command usage:
      netsh firewall show config

Source: Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2 for advanced users tries to supply accurate and up-to-date information but it is possible that this page may contain typographical errors or technical inaccuracies. Any errors will be periodically corrected as they are made known to us. If any such errors are found, we would appreciate if you would report them here.
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