When you're troubleshooting TCP/IP connectivity problems on a Windows network, you may need to investigate the current IP routing table and add or delete specific IP routes. Windows comes with a command-line tool called Route that you can use to reveal and edit this type of information. Unfortunately, the Route tool is stuck in the DOS-based world of the command line, so it's often avoided when it's time to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity problems that may be rooted in the routing table.
To make the Route tool easier to use, I've moved it out of the command line and created the Route Gadget. Let's take a closer look at this tool.
Using the Route GadgetThe Route Gadget runs from the Windows Sidebar in Vista and the Desktop in Windows 7 and presents each of the Route command-line tool's options on a flyout menu, as shown in Figure A. All you need to do is select the options you want to use and click the OK button. The Route Gadget will open a Command Prompt window and run the Route command, along with the selected options. If you need more information about an option, you can hover your mouse pointer over any one of the options to display a tooltip. You can also select the route /? check box.
The Route Gadget displays each of the Route command-line tool's options on a flyout menu.
Since the Route command requires elevated privileges for the majority of its operations, you'll encounter a UAC when you select those options and click OK. Once you work through the UAC, the command runs.
When the Route Gadget sends the selected command to the Command Prompt window, the command line doesn't appear in the window. If you want to see the command line, be sure that you select the Show Command Line check box before you click OK.
Once you download route_gadget_package.zip, you'll find that it contains two files:
- Route Gadget Readme.doc
Extract both files to a folder of your choice and rename the Route.zip file to Route.gadget. Make sure that you have Windows Explorer configured to display file extensions. (On the View tab of the Folder Options dialog box, deselect the Hide Extensions for Known File Types check box.) If you don't, the system might have the file type set as .Zip even though it appears that you have renamed the extension to .gadget.
To continue, follow the appropriate steps for your version of Windows:
- Right-click on the Route.gadget file and select Windows Sidebar from the Open With submenu.
- In the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box, click Install.
Click Install in the Windows Sidebar - Security Warning dialog box.
The Route Gadget will then be installed in the Windows Sidebar and will be ready to use.
- Right-click on the Route.gadget file and select the Open With command.
- In the Open With dialog box, select Windows Desktop Gadgets and click OK.
- In the Desktop Gadgets - Security Warning dialog box, click Install.
Click the Install command in the Desktop Gadgets - Security Warning dialog box.
The Route Gadget will then be installed in the Desktop and will be ready to use.
More free tools
- The PathPing Gadget
- The Route Utility
- IPConfig Gadget
- Windows Vista IP Configuration Tool
- Windows Vista Registration Changer Tool
Are there other tools on your Windows gadget wish list? Share your suggestions for future tools below.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.