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You can use the Network and Sharing Center to diagnose network problems in two ways. If you see an X over the connection between your computer and your network or an X over the connection between your network and the Internet in the Network and Sharing Center dialog, click the X to diagnose the problem.
To access other Windows 7 network troubleshooters, click the Troubleshoot Problems link in Network and Sharing Center. Then, select the category you want to troubleshoot: Internet Connections, Shared Folders, HomeGroup, Network Adapter, Incoming Connections, or Printer. In this example, I was unable to view HomeGroup resources after joining a homegroup, so I selected the HomeGroup troubleshooter.
Select a troubleshooter, and Windows performs a series of tests to find and fix the problem. Windows 7 troubleshooters do a better job of solving problems than those provided in earlier versions. After running the HomeGroup troubleshooter, I was able to connect to the HomeGroup.
However, if Windows 7 is unable to determine the problem, it offers additional options.
This feature focus has concentrated on new and improved features in Windows 7's networking. If you need to use familiar command-line utilities such as Tracert, Ping, Arp, IPconfig, and Net, rest assured they're still available for use. The network mapping feature introduced in Windows Vista's Network and Sharing Center is also available in Windows 7.
Windows Vista users will find Windows 7's network features a comfortable upgrade from those in Windows Vista, and Windows XP users will find a new world of network convenience. Both types of users can continue to use manual sharing, or can use as many of the automatic features as they prefer.