Error Message: Unable to Initialize Windows Socket Interface Code

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Article ID: 246727
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Symptoms

When you attempt to browse Internet sites with Internet Explorer, you may receive the following error message:
The page cannot be displayed.
Also, when you use the ping command at a command prompt, you may receive the following error message:
Unable to initialize Windows socket interface, error code 6
These error messages may occur even if you are able to successfully connect to your Internet service provider (ISP) by using Dial-Up Networking.

Cause

This behavior can occur if the following registry key is missing or corrupted:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2

Resolution

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To resolve this issue:
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Locate and click the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2
  3. Export the Winsock2 key for backup purposes, and then delete the Winsock2 key by clicking it and then pressing DELETE. Confirm that you want to delete the key, and then quit Registry Editor.
  4. Uninstall Dial-Up Networking:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click the Windows Setup tab.
    3. Click Communications, click Details, and then click to clear the Dial-Up Networking check box.
    4. Click OK, and then click OK.
  5. After you uninstall Dial-Up Networking, restart the computer.
  6. Reinstall Dial-Up Networking:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click the Windows Setup tab.
    3. Click Communications, click Details, and then click to select the Dial-Up Networking check box.
    4. Click OK, and then click OK.
  7. After you reinstall Dial-Up Networking, restart the computer.
This rebuilds the Winsock2 key in the registry.

Properties

Article ID: 246727 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb KB246727
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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