What to do if ping returns general failure? One of the most common command line tools on all platforms is the command ping. Ping tests the network connectivity between systems. In this arcticle, I describe the most common configuration errors, which cause the general failure.
Missing Default Gateway
If the default gateway entry is missing, the message “General failure” could appear. This happens, when the computer tries to reach a host outside it´s own subnet.
There is no route to the destination. To keep it simple: The computer does not know what to do with the ICMP packet. The default gateway entry is missing.
In the screenshot below, the computer knows what to do, because there is a routing entry for the default route and the IP Address of the default gateway is present.
Open Network Connections (ncpa.cpl). Configure a default gateway.
Misconfigured Default Gateway
The router must be in the same subnet as the “pinging” host. If this is not the case, Windows reports “General failure”.
In the sample screenshot, the IP address of the router or default gateway should be located in the network 192.168.0.0/24, because the client is on this network. That means that every IP address of the gateway in the range 192.168.0.1 – 192.168.0.254 is ok. But that is not the case, the router is in the network 192.168.1.0/24 and thus in another subnet.
Open Network Connectinos (ncpa.cpl). Configure a default gateway, which is in the same subnet as your host.
The IPv4 Protocol is deactivated
Which dude has deactivated the IPv4 Procotol and why? Nobody knows… Without activated IPv4 Protocol ping returns “General failure”.
Activate the IPv4 Protocol in the settings of your network card (ncpa.cpl).
Windows Firewall Rules (Outgoing ICMP)
Who has broken the firewall? Without allowing outgoing ICMP Request ping leads to “General failure”.
Allow ICMPv4-Out in Outbound Rules.
In this article, I’ve tried to show the four most common situations causing an unknown error in ICMP echo requests on Windows systems. For all interested, I recommend my article about the modern version of ping: The modern version of ping: Test-Connection
See also my article: Ping: Request timed out vs. Destination Host unreachable