Running XP’s built-in troubleshooting tools is a good first step after completing the preliminaries above. Open XP’s Network Connections folder and click Network Troubleshooter.

The Help and Support Center opens, showing a series of networking problems and tasks.

Under Fix a problem, click the entry that best describes your networking problem, and XP will lead you through a troubleshooting procedure for that specific problem. For example, here’s the first screen of the File and Printer Sharing Troubleshooter.

Click the button that best describes your problem, put a check mark in the I want the troubleshooter to investigate settings on this computer box, click Next, and continue.

If you’re having problems connecting to web sites, news groups, or E-mail, click Diagnose network configuration and run automated networking tests, then click Scan your system. This option runs a series of tests and presents the results.

Some of the results are simply informative. For example, Computer System shows the name that you assigned to the computer, and Operating System shows whether you have XP Home Edition or XP Professional. For each test, the result appears as FAILED or PASSED.

Click the plus sign next to any result for more detailed information. Here, I’ve done that for Default Outlook Express Mail to see why that test failed. The detailed results show that the outbound mail server that I specified can’t be found – its name starts with smtp, but I entered it incorrectly as stmp.

If you’re having problems with connectivity using the TCP/IP protocol, click the entries under Pick a task and follow the steps that

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