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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 waking the system from sleep mode. You may also receive hardware error when you ping with an 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 a 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

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

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 solutions of the error

3. ICMP error Destination Host Unreachable



Alan Lodge said…
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.
Siju George said…
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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Alex George has Engineering graduation in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. He had been working as a senior Network Engineer for ten years. His specialization is in Cisco products. Traveling is one of his hobbies and visited various places as part of his onsite work. He visited different places as part of his onsite work like New York, Dubai, London, etc. Right now Alex is a director of one of the leading career development firms in India, which trains students for UPSC, SSC, and PSC examinations. He guides a lot of students to get selection for various prestigious institutions like CBI, Income Tax Department, etc. Alex George is a stock market investor and a very active intraday trader. Engineering Background: He has a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering and passed different network and security courses like CCNA, CCNP (Security), CEH, and various Microsoft certifications. Finance Background: Alex has an MBA in Finance. He is an active intraday trader and a Share Market Investor. Webmaster Skills: Alex is a blogger since 2004. He has a working knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScrip.