Ping General Failure – How To Fix
It’s frustrating enough to get error messages while you’re working on something, but the frustration is greatly exacerbated if the message is nondescript. The ping utility is, in essence, a diagnostic tool. So, when it returns a “general failure” it failed to perform on many levels.
Now, it’s clear from the very name that this error can be caused by any number of factors. In this article, you will learn about the most likely culprits, and how to deal with them. There’s no particular order in which the fixes need to be applied, but some of them are good to do anyway, so you might as well work your way down the list.
Change Protocol Version
Version four of the internet protocol (IPv4) was, and to an extent continues to be, the standard for any device connecting to the internet. However, the addresses on IPv4 are close to being depleted, causing a slow but inevitable migration to IPv6. Windows prefers IPv6 by default, which may the cause of your ping failure. Note that IPv6 is mandatory in some versions of Windows, so it’s much more advisable to set your OS to prefer IPv4 than to disable version six.
Microsoft provides simple and self-contained utilities to configure protocol versions on their support website. To switch to using IPv4, go to this page and look for the program called “Prefer IPv4 over IPv6 in prefix policies.” Download and then run the program. All you have to do is click “Next” in the utility and it will take care of the rest. Once the wizard completes the fix, restart your computer and try to run your ping again.
Remove HTTP Blockers
This is a quick and easy solution. If you have any software that affects HTTP traffic, consider uninstalling it to see if it’s causing problems. This includes many programs such as Wireshark, Peer Guardian or Simplewall. After you disable or uninstall the suspected software, restart your computer and try to ping again.
If you’re using a VPN, it could also be the cause of the “General Failure” error message, so you should disable it when testing. Finally, it’s a long shot but you could turn off your Windows firewall. It’s not likely that the firewall is causing the ping failure, but it is one fewer variable.
Remove Protocol Transition Technologies
Remember how it was discussed above that the IP infrastructure is migrating to version six from version four? Well, to ease this transition and meet the criteria for implementation, there are a number of technologies that have been developed. The purpose of these is to adapt internet traffic for the eventual removal for IPv4, but they could cause certain problems under specific circumstances.
To disable the transition technologies, access your Windows PowerShell as an administrator. To do this, press the Windows key and X on your keyboard simultaneously. In the menu that appears, click on “Windows PowerShell (Admin).” In the shell, type the following commands in the order they are presented, pressing Enter after each one.
- netsh int ipv6 isatap set state disabled
- netsh int ipv6 6to4 set state disabled
- netsh interface teredo set state disable
After you’ve run the commands, the engine should return “Ok” each time. When you finish, restart your computer and check if your ping issue is fixed.
Clear DNS Cache
This solution has a good chance of fixing the ping failure, but it is also a healthy thing to do for your computer. Without getting too technical, flushing the DNS cache will delete old IP records and let your operating system retrieve new ones when you access any server. The procedure described here will clear your DNS cache and also reset your Winsock catalog. Starting the Winsock catalog from scratch is an added measure that may help.
Start the same way as with the previous fix. Launch the PowerShell as an administrator from the Win+X pop-up menu. Type in the following commands, again in the order they appear. Press Enter after each one. When you finish, restart your computer.
- ipconfig /flushdns
- netsh int ip reset c:\tcp.txt
- netsh winsock reset
Major Solutions for General Failure
The nature of this error makes it difficult to pinpoint what exactly went wrong. One of the fixes in this article will likely get you back on track. If you’re running traffic filters or blockers, you’ll probably know what they are so you could disable those first.
However, the most common cause seems to be version complications; asking Windows to prefer the older protocol version may help you there.
Did you figure out what caused your general failure? Have you had any issues with the ping utility in the past? Is so, how did you fix it? Tell us about it in the comments below.