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What Is A Trace Route (tracert)? How Do I Run One?

 

A traceroute is a function which traces the path from one network to another. It allows us to diagnose the source of many problems.

Note: To be effective, the traceroute MUST be run during a time when you are experiencing the problem, from a computer that is experiencing the problem. A trace when you are able to connect, or one from another computer, is not helpful. Therefore, you should try to connect to your site again just before you run it. If the problem is no longer occurring, you will have to wait until the next time the problem occurs (if there is a next time) before running your traceroute.

This article includes instructions for both Windows and Macintosh.

To run traceroute on Windows:

  1. Open the command prompt.
    1. Go to Start > Run.
    2. Type cmd and press the Enter key.
      (On Windows 98 or ME, type command instead and press the Enter key.)
    3. This will bring up a command prompt window. It has a line that looks like this:
      C:\Documents and Settings\yourname> _
      with a cursor blinking next to the ">" symbol.

  2. In the command prompt, type:
    tracert hostname
    where [hostname] is the name of the server connection you are testing. See the section "Determining [hostname]" below for help with the hostname.

  3. You may have to wait up to a minute or more for the test to complete. It will generate a list of the connections along the way and some information about the speed of the steps along the way.
  4. Send us the complete results (every line) for analysis.
    Right-click the window and Select All, then hit Enter on your keyboard. You can paste it now into a document.

If you have difficulty copying the traceroute information, or if it runs off the screen, you can type this command instead:
tracert [hostname] > C:\trace1.txt
This writes the command results to a text file named trace1.txt in the root of your C: drive. You can then open this file and paste the contents into your email message to Support.

To run traceroute on a Macintosh:

If you have OS X, you can use the built-in network tools.

  1. Double-click the Hard Drive icon and navigate to Applications > Utilities.
  2. In the Utilities folder, double-click one of the following programs:
    • Network Utility.

      • Click the Traceroute tab and enter the hostname.

    • Terminal.


      • In Terminal, type:
        traceroute hostname



        Hostname is the name of the server connection you are testing. See the section "Determining [hostname]"  below for help with the hostname.
  3. You may have to wait up to a minute or more for the test to complete. It will generate a list of the connections along the way and some information about the speed of the steps along the way.
  4. Send us the complete results (every line) for analysis.

If you have an older Macintosh, you may need to acquire third-party software. Go to http://www.tucows.com and do a search for "Trace" on "Macintosh". Programs like the DNS Expert Professional will allow you to run a traceroute. Then send us the results for analysis.

Determining [hostname] for both systems:

Please note that hostname should be replaced with whatever site is not working for you.

  • If your problem is that you cannot access your email server and you are a web hosting customer or have a custom domain with us, you would actually be running a traceroute to mail.yourdomain.name.
  • If you are a Shared Exchange email customer, you can use the hostname for the server specified in your email account settings for the email program you are using.
  • If you are having trouble accessing Intermedia's web site, the traceroute should be to the web site's URL address.
  • If you have been instructed by Support to conduct this test, we will tell you what hostname to test for.

Please also note that even if the problem seems to occur closer to Intermedia's end, it may actually be a problem at your ISP. This is why it is imperative that we see the entire traceroute ourselves. If you like, you can run a secondary traceroute, for your own information (please do NOT send this one to us) by going to http://visualroute.visualware.com/

 
Article ID: 682
Keywords: tracert traceroute connect site route
Direct Path: http://hosting.intermedia.net/support/kb/viewKBArticle.asp?id=682
 

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