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Ping Gives Hardware Error - Reasons & Resolution

When you ping from your computer to another device in the network, rarely you may receive one strange error Hardware error instead of proper replies from the destination device. In most cases ping hardware error is followed with disabled Network Adapters. Some users report they see hardware error when they ping from a computer just after  wake the system from sleep mode. You may also receive hardware error when you ping with unplugged Ethernet cable on a computer. So let us check the common reasons for getting hardware error while you ping a different IP address from a computer and also find the fix. To get the better view of the Ping Hardware error, look at the image below.
Getting Hardware error when I ping

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Documents and Settings\vi83>ping 4.2.2.2

Pinging 4.2.2.2 with 32 bytes of data:
Hardware error.
Hardware error.
Hardware error.
Hardware error.

Ping statistics for 4.2.2.2:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

C:\Documents and Settings\vi83>ping 4.2.2.2

Reasons for Getting Ping Hardware Error

The possible reasons for getting hardware error when you ping to an IP address are:
  1. Bad Ethernet cable
  2. Disconnected Ethernet cable
  3. Disabled Network Adapter

How to Resolve Ping Hardware Error Message

By following the steps below we can troubleshoot and resolve ping hardware error.
  1. Unplug and reconnect Ethernet cable.

  2. Check if the Adapter is enabled. To check and enable Ethernet adapter on your computer follow the steps mentioned in the link below.
    How To Enable Disabled Ethernet Adapter On Your Computer

  3. Restart your computer

  4. Replace the Ethernet cable.

  5. Replace the NIC and check for the issue.

Other ICMP Error Messages and Solutions

1. Ping error message Destination net unreachable

2. ping; transmit failed, error code 10045 solution of the error

3. ICMP error Destination Host Unreachable


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Comments

Alan Lodge said…
Confusingly, you can also get "hardware error" from a configuration error. Let's say you have an IP mask of 255.255.255.0 (i.e. the default). You have two PCs, with IP addresses 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1. If you ping one from the other you get "hardware error". Change the mask to 255.255.0.0 and it works perfectly.
Siju George said…
Hi Alan,

If your subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, it belongs to Class c address. In class C address, it cannot communicate between 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.0.1 as both are in different IP range(if you configure in same betwork). In class B address (ie: 255.255.0.0) the scenario is different.

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