Download the IPConfig Gadget to simplify troubleshooting in Vista

After building his Vista IP Configuration Tool, Greg Shultz responded to member requests and created this Sidebar gadget to make things even easier.

The IPConfig command can be invaluable when troubleshooting TCP/IP connectivity problems. Unfortunately, this handy command is a command-line tool, which means that using it can be a painstaking operation that requires you to type the IPConfig command over and over again with a different switch for each operation.

To alleviate some of that tedious labor, I created the Windows XP IP Configuration Tool several years ago. Recently, I created the Windows Vista IP Configuration Tool for Vista, whose IPConfig command offers five more options than XP and requires working through a UAC prompt.

In the discussion thread for the Vista version, TechRepublic member jvdgijp suggested that I convert the tool, which is an HTML application, into a Vista gadget. Several other members echoed that request, so I got to work and created the IPConfig Gadget. Let's take a closer look.

Using the IPConfig Gadget

The IPConfig Gadget runs from the Windows Sidebar and presents each of the IPConfig command-line tool's options on a flyout menu, as shown in Figure A. All you need to do is select the option you want to use and click the OK button. The IPConfig Gadget then opens a Command Prompt window and runs the ipconfig command, along with the selected option. The default option will run the IPConfig Help command (ipconfig /?) so that you can see what each option does.

Figure A

The IPConfig Gadget displays each of the IPConfig command-line tool's options on a flyout menu.

Because the Windows Vista IP Configuration Tool is an HTA, it requires that you install the Elevate HTML Application PowerToy and then access and use the Run As Administrator command to run the tool. However, the IPConfig Gadget works a bit differently. In fact, it runs more like a native Vista application, in that it displays a UAC only when elevated privileges are required.

In reality, not all of the IPConfig command's options require elevated privileges. For example, the /displaydns option doesn't require elevated privileges, but the /flushdns option does. So when you select the /displaydns option, the IPConfig Gadget runs the command immediately. When you select the /flushdns option, the IPConfig Gadget displays a UAC first. Once you work through the UAC, the command runs.


After you download the IPConfig Gadget Package, you'll have a Zip file that contains two files:

  • IPConfig Gadget Readme.doc
Simply extract both files to a folder of your choice. Then, rename the file to IPConfig.gadget. Next, right-click on the IPConfig.gadget file and select Windows Sidebar from the Open With submenu. When you do, you'll see the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box, shown in Figure B. Just click the Install command. The IPConfig Gadget will be installed in the Windows Sidebar and will be ready to use.

Figure B

Select Windows Sidebar from the Open With submenu and choose the Install command in the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box.

Disclaimer: The IPConfig Gadget was created for and tested in Windows Vista. Theoretically, the gadget could run in Windows 7, but I can't guarantee that it will.