Posted on 2000-03-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
If you have tracert.exe in your startup group, what happens? I mean, does it automatically launch? If it does, does it provide a text file that shows you what route your ping took, or do you have to manually search for a text file?

Is there a specific folder where you can find out anything about this utility in Win98?

I saw this in my "Windows Secrets" book, but they don't give you any details on the utility, how to set it up, what happens if you load it into startup, etc. I've only found information telling you how to use it in a DOS window, nothing on how to view/analyze the data

Any information on this would be appreciated, and worth 100 points.
Question by:smorg

Expert Comment

ID: 2606584
Tracert.exe is a dos program, so when run from the startup group there is a brief dos box explaining the program needs to be run from a dos prompt.  It is used to check the connection (times, number of hops, etc) between your computer and a specified web site.  It is somewhat limited, and there are several software packages that do a nicer job, such as NeoTrace.  This free program actually draws a map showing the route from your pc to the selected site.  You can download it at:

Or you can download Netlab, which is another free program that also includes some other handy net utilities such as ping and finger.


Expert Comment

ID: 2606586
i don't know why you would need to run tracert unless you had routers and had a problem getting to a particular subnet.

there is no need to put tracert in your startup group.

drop down to a dos prompt and type tracert and follow it with an ip address. if you add no address, then you will get switches to add to it.  what it will tell you is the route the the packet took to get to the destination ip address.  if a router is down and it can't get to it, it will tell you where it failed.  if a router is slow you can view the time it takes to make a "hop".  that's all it's for, i don't know why you would need it for anything else.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2606620
Tracert is a tool, that can provide information on the quality of a route to a certain ipadress. It shows time in milliseconds to each computer, that is participating in connecting you to a specific ipadress. It also shows the ipadresses of the computers, that is processing the request.
It's often used by administrators in a LAN environment to correct errors in routing schemes, in routers connecting segments of Net.
I can't think of any reason, why you would put it in the startup folder. It's not designed for that kind of use.

In a dosprompt type
route print
and you can see how routing is set up on your own computer. Do a tracert on one of the ipadresses shown and maybe you can see the picture of what is going on.
This is just a short explenation, but tracert is infact a very simple tool. The difficult thing is to interpret its output and use it (in errorcorrecting or tuning).
Hope this helps you.
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Expert Comment

ID: 2606762
Placing tracert in the start up would not do anything but bring up a DOS window for a second or so.
Tracert isnt really a utility of Windows. It is a utility of TCP/IP. The only thing that tracert does is tell you how many 'hops' it is to a specific web site or other computer on a network.
To properly use tracert, connect to the internet or your network, open a DOS prompt then type:


Where is the web site you want to trace its route.
Tracert will show you the route it takes to get to that web site. The IP addresses it shows you are the IP addresses of the DNS servers that redirects your signal to that web site.

LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 2612783
You could put tracert in your startup folder, but I suggest you put it in a batch file :

tracert > tracert.log

so the results get written to a file.

Author Comment

ID: 2613350
swinslow's proposed answer is very good, but unfortunately, not exactly what I am looking for. I wish I could ve everyone points. I also wish tim holman's comment had been an answer. It is the closest to what I was looking for.

To clarify my question, I found tracert.exe in the startup group; it was the only file in the startup group. I wanted to know if a log was being made of sites being surfed, what I should look for, such as tracert.log. Where would a file being written default to? The root drive of C:\? The more I learn about computers and programs, the more I want to learn!

Thank you, everyone, for all of your help.

Accepted Solution

jbeaman earned 100 total points
ID: 2613842
Even though what Tim Holmen wrote was a comment, if it is indeed closest to what you are looking for, you can except it as an answer and give him the points.  Most people submit comments, thus letting the person who submitted the question to evaluate the comments and select the one that works best.

Tracert does not keep a log of sites you are viewing.  It is primarily used as a network diagnostic tool.  There is a log of visited internet sites, and the name of the file depends on what browser you are using.


Author Comment

ID: 2613897
Thank you, John! Most of the time, all I need is a "jumping-off" point to find the answer. Knowing that it's a diagnostic tool rather than a "program" per se helps a lot. I had double-clicked on it to see what it would do, and no DOS window opened; essentially nothing happened. I find it fascinating that what happens almost instantaneously (with DSL or cable hook-ups) when you click a link can actually be routed through so many computers.

It's even more interesting in view of what happened with all of the DOS attacks that took place recently. Apparently, it's been reported that several companies and/or universities were broken into and their computers used.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

By the way, the browser is IE 5.0, the OS is Win98, which I can't stand. I researched megasearch engines and one of them said "Hi ***** (insert name)," and then listed the OS serial number.

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