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Windows XP Power Hound by Preston Gralla

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Evaluating and Troubleshooting

There's nothing more maddening than not being able to connect to the Internet when you absolutely, positively have to check your email or pay a quick visit to mary-kateandashley.com for some quick fashion advice. Fortunately, unless a backhoe has cut through an Internet backbone or a major power outage has left half the country in the dark, there are usually ways you to troubleshoot virtually every Internet connection problem. This section offers a few hints on what to do and how to fix minor glitches when the Internet misbehaves. (For more help and shareware options, see Sidebar 6-5.)

Peering into Your Internet Connection

Here's how to discover everything you ever wanted to know about your current Internet connection: open the Local Area Connection Status box. It reveals your IP address, how long you've been connected, how much data you've sent and received, and a whole lot more. This information is vital when troubleshooting a connection problem, or when communicating with technical support.

To access this box, right-click My Network Places (either on the desktop or from the Start menu) and choose Properties to open the Network Connections folder. If you double-click the connection you want to investigate, the Local Area Connection Status box appears, as shown in Figure 6-18.

Click the Support tab for even more details about your connection, such as your IP address. If you click the Details button, you can find other goodies, like your network adapter's ...

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