Ping Gives Hardware Error - Reasons & Resolution

Last Updated:-January 21, 2024

When someone faces network connectivity issues, the first command that comes to mind while troubleshooting the problem is ping.

We can identify the issue by analyzing the error code generated by the ping. Today, we discuss a ping error, "hardware error".

Let us check what is a Ping Hard Error and how to fix it.

At first, we check when you might see a ping hardware error. Like any other ICMP error code, you might get a hardware error when you ping a remote IP address from your computer.

Check the screenshot below to understand the Ping Hardware error.

Getting Hardware error when I ping

It is the ping reply when your computer reports a hardware error.

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

C:\Documents and Settings\vi83>ping

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

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

C:\Documents and Settings\vi83>ping

Let us check the reasons for getting a ping reply hardware error.

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

  4. An outdated Network Adapter Driver

In most cases, disabled Network Adapters generate a ping hardware error. Some users report they see hardware errors when they ping from a computer just after waking the system from sleep mode.

An outdated NIC driver may generate a hardware error.

You may also receive hardware errors when you ping with an unplugged Ethernet cable on a computer. These are the common reasons for getting hardware errors while you ping a different IP address from a computer.

You have learned the possible reasons for getting a ping hardware error. Now, we move to the solution part. Let us check how to fix the ping hardware error.

How to Resolve Ping Hardware Error Message?

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot and resolve the ping hardware error.

  1. Unplug and reconnect the Ethernet cable.

  2. Check if the Adapter is enabled. To check and enable the 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.

Some reports say the hardware error shows more with USB modems. When you see a ping hardware error, the first thing to do is to unplug the USB modem. Then reconnect the modem after five minutes.

If it does not work or the modem is not a USB modem, restart your computer.

Always ensure the ethernet cable between the modem and computer is working fine. A damaged network cable causes a hardware error.

If nothing works, the final solution is to uninstall the current network adapter driver and re-install the latest version.


  1. Alan Lodge10:52 AM

    Confusingly, you can also get "hardware error" from a configuration error. Let's say you have an IP mask of (i.e. the default). You have two PCs, with IP addresses and If you ping one from the other you get "hardware error". Change the mask to and it works perfectly.

  2. Hi Alan,

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


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