March 31, 2015 How do I do a traceroute?

A trace route is a command that you run that sends a small file from your computer to an internet server that you specify. It shows you the path that file takes, the names of each computer it touches, and the time it takes from each computer to the next one. It’s an extremely useful tool to find problems between your computer and a place on the internet.

For Windows (any version), this is what you need to do. In a nutshell, you’ll be opening a DOS prompt, typing in some commands, the result will be written to a file, and you’ll send the file to us.

You may wish to print this page, so you do not have to keep swapping windows around.

1. Open a DOS prompt, START menu, Run…, type “cmd” without the quotes (or “command” if you’re using anything older than Windows 7). A black window will open up with a flashing cursor. Very 1991, eh? 🙂

If you see an error message such as “access denied”, it’s because Administrator access is required. After writing “cmd”, instead of hitting ENTER (or clicking “run”), instead press CTRL-SHIFT+ENTER. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, click Continue. You should see the black window now?

2. Type the following; it has to be exact, letter for letter, space for space:

tracert > c:\abbytracecdn.txt

3. After typing, press the ENTER key on your keyboard. Not much will happen. After a minute or so, you’ll go back to the DOS prompt with a flashing cursor. If you get a message, check for mistakes, you’ll need to type it again.

4. You’re done here. Type “exit”, press ENTER, the black screen will go away.

5. Double click on your “My Computer” icon (usually, top left corner of your screen)

6. Double click on your C Drive icon

7. Look for this file, created in a previous step;


8. Double click on it, it will open in Notepad, with a bunch of web addresses and numbers and stuff in it. Something like this, but yours will have different details, and be longer:

Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops:
 1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
 2 * * * Request timed out.
 3 * * * Request timed out.
 4 33 ms 29 ms 22 ms []
 5 28 ms 41 ms 34 ms []
 6 45 ms 46 ms 43 ms []

9. Hold down the CTRL (“control”) button on your keyboard, and tap the “A” key. This is a shortcut to “Select all”. The text will go white, and the background black. Let go of the CTRL key.

10. Hold down CTRL again, and tap the “C” key, then let go of the CTRL key. This will copy that stuff into your computers memory. If it all disappears and is replaces with the letter c, you need to hold down CTRL again, and tap the Z key – this will undo the last action. Go back to step 9 above, and try again.

11. Reply to the email where we asked you for a traceroute, say hello, then;

12. Hold down the CTRL key, and tap the V key. Your traceroute info should appear there as if by magic. Let go of the CTRL key.

13. Send the email to us, and we will investigate from there.