What are some of the causes of not being able to ping a server?

I have a windows 2003 box that I can remote into but I cannot ping it.

What I have checked is:

  • The server can ping my desktop
  • Windows firewall is configured to allow ICMP responses
  • I've turned the firewall off/on
  • I've started/stoped/restarted the "Windows Firewall/Internet connection sharing" service
  • I've tried combos of both (service off, firewall on; both on; both off; etc)

Any other thoughts? I am part of the server group and the networking guys have assured me that the network firewall is not blocking the ICMP requests or replys.

  • Are you on the same LAN segment as the server, or is it a remote server?
    – Baldrick
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:48
  • It is a remote server. I am able to ping other servers in the same VLAN.
    – Jeff
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:50
  • As per adaptr's response, try traceoute or tracert and see how far you can get, where do the packets get dropped in anywhere, also post the output or a screenshot. Something is blocking the ICMP packset. Can you run wireshark on the local and remote machine and run a ping and ensure they are leaving the local host, and check if they are even being received by the remote hosts?
    – Baldrick
    Jan 29, 2013 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


Apparently, something on the network is blocking ICMP echo requests or responses.

You can try a tracert to a remote IP instead, and see where that stops working.


The most common causes of ping timeout are:

  1. Unreachable server.
  2. Filtering ICMP traffic by a firewall or the target machine.

Since you are able to rdesktop to the server, you can assume point 2 to be the most likely cause. If you want to verify that a firewall is allowing ICMP traffic to pass through, you can use a network sniffer.

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