TechRepublic Tutorial: Add error information to the network status dialog box

Learn how to add error information to the network status dialog box with a quick registry change.

Error information can be an important first step in troubleshooting a connection. You can view a network connection's status, connection duration, speed, and packets sent and received for the connection by double-clicking the status icon on the system tray. You can also display the Status dialog box by double-clicking the connection’s icon in the Network And Dial-Up Networking folder. But the Status dialog box by default doesn't display errors for the connection. With a quick registry change, however, you can add that information to the dialog box.

The following suggests ways to edit your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems requiring the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. TechRepublic does not and will not support problems that arise from your editing your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.

A simple registry hack
To add the error information to the Status dialog box, open the Registry Editor and open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network\Connections\StatMon. If the key doesn’t exist, create it. Then, create the value ShowLanErrors in the StatMon key as a DWORD. Set the value to 1 to display the errors. (If you decide you want to hide the errors again, set the value to 0.) If you choose to display the errors, they'll appear between the Activity group and the Properties and Disable buttons, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A
You can see the new error information just below the Activity group. It's covered slightly by the Properties and Disable buttons, but still clearly readable.

Hone your Windows 2000 admin skills
For more information on administering Windows 2000 workstations, check out these additional Windows 2000 Insider columns.

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