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How to troubleshoot network connectivity problems in Internet Explorer
Article ID: 936211 - View products that this article applies to.
Step 1. Use Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services toolsYou may try Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services as a first step to diagnose and repair common network connectivity problems in Internet Explorer. You should run both troubleshooters to determine if your problem is resolved.
If these Automated Troubleshooters fix your problems, you are finished with this article. If the troubleshooters do not solve your connectivity problems proceed to Step 2.
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Step 2. Use the Network Diagnostic toolThe Network Diagnostics tool that is part of Windows Vista is designed to test the network connection for errors. The Network Diagnostics tool can also be used to determine whether network-related programs are working correctly. To use this tool to troubleshoot network connectivity problems, follow these steps:
Step 3. Manually troubleshoot the problem
Method 1: Test other known good sitesStart Internet Explorer, and then enter one of the following addresses in the Address bar at the top of the browser window:
http://www.hotmail.comIf you do not experience network connectivity problems when you type one of these addresses in the Address bar, we recommend that you contact the owner of the Web site where you see the problem. The site may be temporarily offline or experiencing other issues of its own.
However, if you continue to experience network connectivity problems when you type one of these addresses in the Address bar, there may be a conflict with other software that is installed on the system. In this case, go to the method 2.
Method 2: Verify the network connectionMake sure that the cables that connect the computer to the Internet or your home network are secured firmly. Additionally, make sure that the network devices that your computer uses are turned on and working correctly. Then, follow these steps to verify network connectivity, as appropriate for your situation.
Step 1: Verify external DSL modem, cable modem or dial-up modem connectivity
If you use an external modem, check the following:
Step 2: Verify the internal modem device connectionsIf the modem that is used to connect to the Internet is inside the computer, there should be only one cable coming out of the modem device. Verify that the cable that connects the modem to the wall outlet is connected securely at each end. The cable will most likely connect to either a telephone jack or a cable outlet.
Step 3: Verify the home network connectivityIf the computer connects to the Internet through a home network, we recommend that you check the items in the following list, as appropriate for your situation.
Method 4: Other connectivity issues or network-related issuesOne potential cause of network connectivity problems is that the network or the Internet connection that you are using to go online is experiencing a problem. You can test for this by using the following troubleshooting steps:
Step 1. Restart the modem or the routerIt is sometimes possible that the IP settings or network configuration that you receive from the Internet service provider are incorrect or must be updated. Sometimes, the connection between the modem and the ISP may be experiencing problems. To update the settings on the modem or the router, you must restart the device. Restarting the device will also create a fresh connection to the Internet service provider. Use one of the following methods to restart the modem, depending on the type of modem that you have.
To restart an external modem, follow these steps:
To restart an internal modem, you must restart the computer. If you still experience network connectivity problems after you restart the computer, go to step 2.
Step 2. Verify the firewall or the router settingsIf you connect to the Internet by using a router, there may be a problem with the configuration settings, and they must be updated. To determine whether a network connectivity problem is being caused by a mis-configuration or by a problem with the router, you can bypass the router and connect your computer directly to the modem.
Caution Connecting your computer directly to the Internet may leave it vulnerable to attacks. To protect the computer against attacks, make sure that a firewall is installed and that the firewall is enabled on your computer. To find out about the Windows Firewall that is included in Windows Vista, see the "Windows Firewall" section.
Windows Vista includes a firewall called the Windows Firewall. By default, the Windows Firewall is enabled. However, you must still verify that the Windows Firewall is enabled before you connect the computer to the Internet. To verify that the Windows Firewall is enabled, follow these steps:
Step 3. Verify device compatibilityFor a modem or a network adapter to work correctly in Windows Vista, it must be compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, it must have device drivers that can be used by Windows Vista to communicate with the device. To find out whether the modem or the network adapter that you are using is compatible with Windows Vista, you must first determine what adapter model you have in the computer. To do this, follow these steps:
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-usIf the device that you are looking for is either an internal DSL modem or an internal cable modem, we recommend that you contact the Internet service provider that gave you the modem. Some potential problems that you might see include the following:
Step 4. Create a System Restore point before you reset the Winsock protocolImportant Before you follow the steps that are described in the "Reset the Winsock protocol" section, we recommend that you use the System Restore tool in Windows Vista to create a restore point on the computer. This will let you roll back the computer to the point in time before any changes were made in case these changes create new problems.
Create a System Restore point
To create a System Restore point by using System Restore, follow these steps:
Another possible cause of network connectivity problems is the mis-configuration or the corruption of the Winsock protocol on the computer. This protocol is used by Windows to communicate with other computers and to access resources on the Internet, such as e-mail and Web sites. If there is a problem with Winsock, Windows Vista will no longer be able to access the Internet.
Caution Programs that access or that monitor the Internet, such as antivirus programs, firewall programs, and proxy clients, may be adversely affected when you reset the configuration of the Winsock protocol. If you have a program that no longer functions correctly after you follow these steps, you may have to uninstall and then reinstall the program to restore its functionality, or you may have to repair the program by using the application’s Setup program.
After the restore point has been successfully created, reset the configuration of the Winsock protocol back to its default settings. To have us reset the configuration of the Winsock protocol for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To do this yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.
Method 5: Automatic troubleshooting on Windows 7
Using the Windows 7 TroubleshootersBy default, Windows 7 includes the following Internet Explorer troubleshooters on a new installation:
Running Internet Explorer Troubleshooters
To reset the configuration of the Winsock protocol automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
Fix this problem
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Next, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.
To do this, follow these steps:
Test Internet Explorer again to see whether network connectivity problems still occur. If you still experience network connectivity problems, verify the contents of the Hosts file.
Verify the contents of the Hosts fileA Hosts file is used by TCP/IP to provide a method to associate a particular Internet address together with an IP address. Whereas this file has many legitimate uses, some malicious software, such as malware and spyware, can use this file for dubious purposes. The intent of the entries that are included in the Hosts file by malicious software is to prevent you from accessing certain Web sites. For example, you may be prevented from accessing a Web site where you can update your antivirus signatures or where you can access updates. This may leave the computer in a compromised state. Additionally, you cannot access any of the tools that you could use to fix it.
Note In some cases, legitimate entries may be added by system administrators, or you may have added those entries yourself. If you rename a Hosts file, the associations in that file will no longer work. For more information, contact the system administrator or the network administrator.
To determine whether the network connectivity problems that you experience are caused by entries in the Hosts file, you must find and then rename this file so that the entries it contains will no longer be used.
To have us reset the Hosts file back to the default for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To reset the Hosts file back to the default yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.
Fix it for meTo reset the Hosts file back to the default automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
Fix this problem
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Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
Next, go to the end of the "Did this fix the problem?" section below.
Let me fix it myselfTo reset the Hosts file back to the default yourself, follow these steps:
Article ID: 936211 - Last Review: February 12, 2013 - Revision: 10.0