This article is part 1 of a series of four articles that explain how to troubleshoot Internet browsing issues in Microsoft Windows. To view the remaining articles in the series, click the link to the topic you want to view:
Part 3: Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 3 of 4) Q314465
Part 4: Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 4 of 4) Q314473
- I get a message saying The page cannot be displayed.
- Web pages don't show pictures or play sound.
- My browser doesn't start at the page I want.
- Web sites don't remember me.
- Internet Explorer crashes.
- I get a message saying You are not authorized to view this page.
- I need to view a Web page when I can't go on line.
I get a message saying The page cannot be displayed
Source of the problemWhenever Internet Explorer can't display a Web page, it shows instead a page that reads The page cannot be displayed. Either Internet Explorer can't reach the Web page you've requested, or it found the Web site but the browser's configuration is keeping it from showing the page. To find the culprit and fix the problem, you need to first rule out a number of possible causes, such as the connection, the Web page address, and proxy settings.
How to fix it
- Connect to the Internet. If your computer dials an Internet connection when you start Internet Explorer or your e-mail program, go ahead and start Internet Explorer.
- Click Start, click Run, and in the Run dialog box, type winipcfg in the Open box and click OK.
- In the IP Configuration dialog box, click More Info, make a note of the address (the four numbers separated by periods--such as 192.168.0.1) shown in the DNS Servers box, and click OK.
- Click Start, point to Programs (in Windows Me, also point to Accessories), and click MS-DOS Prompt.
- At the prompt, type ping followed by a space and then the exact address you recorded in step 3, and then press ENTER.
The Ping command tells you how many packets of information it sent to the address you specified and how many were received back. If you received four packets, your Internet connection is fine. If all four packets were lost, your Internet connection is not working. If you received only two or three of the four packets, your Internet connection is working, but not reliably.
- Close the MS-DOS Prompt window.
- Click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
- Double-click Internet if you use Internet Explorer 4 or Internet Options if you use Internet Explorer 5. In Windows Me, double-click Internet Options.
- In the Internet Properties dialog box, click the Connection tab (Internet Explorer 4) or the Connections tab (Internet Explorer 5). If you use Internet Explorer 4, select the Access The Internet Using A Proxy Service check box, and in the Address and Port boxes, type the information given to you by your ISP or network administrator. Click OK.
If you use Internet Explorer 5 and a Dial-Up Networking connection to connect to an ISP, click the connection in the Dial-Up Settings list in the Internet Options dialog box, and click Settings. If you are connected to a network that provides Internet access, click LAN Settings.
In the Settings dialog box, select the Use A Proxy Server check box, and in the Address and Port boxes, enter the information given to you by your ISP or network administrator. Then click OK.
More sleuthingIf your connection isn't the problem, perhaps it's the Web page address, the temporary Internet files, or the version of the Winsock file you're using. Here's how to check these possibilities:
- Carefully check the address you typed in Internet Explorer's Address bar for typos. An extra space, an incorrect letter, or an extra or missing period might be the problem.
If you clicked a link rather than typed an address, the link could be wrong. Click another link to jump to another Web page. If that works, you might be able to reach your destination by going to the home page of the Web site (type only the address portion, ending in .com, .net, or .org, without anything following) and then navigating to the page from there.
- On the View menu (in Internet Explorer 4) or the Tools menu (in Internet Explorer 5), click Internet Options.
- On the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box, click Delete Files.
- In the Delete Files dialog box, click Delete All Subscription Content (in Internet Explorer 4) or select the Delete All Offline Content check box (in Internet Explorer 5), and click OK. Click OK again.
If this step fixes the problem, click Internet Options on the Tools or View menu again, and on the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box, click Settings. Under Amount Of Disk Space To Use, drag the slider slightly to the right so that Internet Explorer won't run short of temporary file space again, click OK, and click OK again.
- Click Start, point to Find or Search (in Windows Me), and click Files Or Folders or For Files Or Folders (in Windows Me).
- In the Find All Files dialog box, type Winsock.dll in the Named box, click the Look In down arrow, click Local Hard Drives in the list, and click Find Now. Or in the Search Results dialog box (in Windows Me), type Winsock.dll in the Search For Files Or Folders Named box, click the Look In down arrow, click Local Hard Drives in the list, and click Search Now.
- In the list of found files, right-click each Winsock.dll file that is not located in the Windows or Windows\System folder, click Rename, and rename the file Winsock.tmp to make sure it will not be used by Windows.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7, but search for copies of Winsock32.dll, Wsock.vxd, and Wsock32.vxd that are not located in the Windows or Windows\System folder. Rename each of these using .tmp as the new file extension.
If deleting duplicate Winsock files fixes the problem but one of your Internet programs no longer functions properly, check the manufacturer of the malfunctioning program's Web site for assistance.
Article ID: 316894 - Last Review: Jul 2, 2010 - Revision: 1