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yellow caution sign in the line that symbolizes the connection, as shown in Figure 19-1. (A symbol also appears in the network icon in the taskbar notification area to alert you to a problem even if Network And Sharing Center isn't open.)

Figure 19-1 An X indicates trouble.

Click the X or caution sign to launch Windows Network Diagnostics, which tries to determine the cause and fix the problem or suggest a solution . Sometimes, the problem is as simple as a loose connection .

Other situations might point to problems outside your network.

This feature of Network And Sharing Center—the X that indicates a broken connection—is suggestive of the basic troubleshooting process for many connectivity problems: namely, isolate the problem. If the diagnostic capabilities leave you at a dead end, you'll find that restarting the affected network hardware often resolves the problem, as the hardware is forced to rediscover the network. Here is a good general procedure:

1. Isolate the problem. Does it affect all computers on your network, a subset of your network, or only one computer?

2. If it affects all computers, try restarting the internet device (that is, the cable or DSL modem). If it doesn't have a power switch, unplug it for a few moments and plug it back in

3. If the problem affects a group of computers, try restarting the router to which those computers are connected.

4. If it affects only a single computer, try repairing the network connection for that computer. In Network And Sharing Center, click Change Adapter Settings. Then, in Network Connections, select the connection and click Diagnose This Connection . For more details, see "Repairing Your TCP/IP Configuration" on page 682.

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