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Microsoft Windows – I can’t PING my computer?

Today I was configuring some new virtual machines on a host server and I couldn’t PING the new computer, yet I could establish a remote desktop to it. First thing that came to mind, PING is disabled i.e. incoming ICMP Echo messages are disabled. Once I enabled ICMP Echo messages I was able to PING again. Therefore I thought I would write up this blog post to help out anyone else. If you install Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1, you will notice PING is disabled by default. Keep that in mind.

A common step in troubleshooting network connectivity issues is to PING the IP address of the computer to which you are trying to connect. When you PING, you actually send an ICMP Echo message (also known as an ICMP Echo Request message) and get an ICMP Echo Reply message in response.

By default, Windows Firewall does not allow you to PING i.e. doesn’t allow incoming ICMP Echo messages, and therefore the computer cannot send an ICMP Echo Reply in response – no PING reply.

No PING reply will look similar to the screenshot shown below.

NoPING

Note: Enabling incoming ICMP Echo messages will allow others to ping your computer. However, it also leaves your computer vulnerable to the types of attacks that use ICMP Echo messages. Therefore, it is normally recommended that you only enable the ‘Allow incoming echo request setting’ temporarily, and then disable it when you no longer need it.

To enable ICMP Echo messages, create a new inbound custom rule to allow ICMPv4 and ICMPv6 Echo Request packets. I will give you instructions on how to do that below.

Resolution (enable PING for IPv4 IP Addresses)

  1. Go to Start > Administrative Tools > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  2. Within the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap-in, click Inbound Rules in the left hand tree menu, and click New Rule in the Actions Pane on the right hand side.
  3. Click Custom and click Next.
  4. Click All programs and click Next.
  5. For Protocol type, select ICMPv4.
  6. Click Customize for Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) settings.
  7. Click Echo Request, click OK, and then click Next.
  8. Under Which local IP address does this rule match? and for Which remote IP address does this rule match click either Any IP address or These IP Addresses. If you click These IP addresses, specify the IP addresses and click Add, then click Next.
  9. Click Allow the connection, and then click Next.
  10. Under When does this rule apply?, click the active profile, any or all profiles (Domain, Private, Public) to which you want this rule to apply, and then click Next.
  11. For Name type a name for this rule (Example: Greg’s Custom Enable ICMPv4 PING Rule) and for Description an optional description. Click Finish.

Repeat steps above for ICMPv6, selecting ICMPv6 for Protocol Type instead of ICMPv4 if you are using IPv6 addresses. At the time of this post, I am only using IPv4 IP addresses.

Once the rule is enabled, you should notice a successful PING reply as shown below.

PING Success

Hope that helps?

Greg Olsen
Yellow Duck Guy

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  1. June 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    There are a couple of out of the box rules you can enable instead of creating custom ones. One for ipv4 & ipv6. Think they are named file sharing icmp or similar. 🙂

  2. June 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    these are the out of the box rules you can enable for the same result:
    File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)
    File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv6-In)

  3. June 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Yep. That’s the quick option.

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