Error message appears when you try to start Internet Explorer

This article was previously published under Q308780
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SYMPTOMS
When you start Internet Explorer (IE), you may receive the following error message:
Page cannot be displayed
If you try to gain access to a Web site by entering the IP address of the site in the address bar, you may receive the following error message:
Unable to locate server
CAUSE
This behavior can occur if the following registry key is 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 behavior, import a clean copy of the WinSock2 key into the registry:
  1. On a Windows 2000-based computer that is able to open IE with no error, save a clean copy of the WinSock2 key:
    1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
    2. Locate the following key in the registry:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock2
    3. Insert a floppy disk into the floppy disk drive.
    4. Select the key, and then on the Registry menu, click Save. Save the clean copy of the key onto the floppy disk.
    5. Quit Registry Editor.
  2. On the Windows 2000-based computer that is experiencing the error, import the clean copy of the key into the registry:
    1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
    2. Locate the following registry key:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock2
    3. To delete the existing WinSock2 key, click the key, and then on the Edit menu, click Delete.
    4. Insert the floppy disk into the floppy disk drive.
    5. On the Registry menu, click Restore. Specify that you want to restore the clean key that you saved on the floppy disk.
    6. Quit Registry Editor.
  3. Restart your computer.
MORE INFORMATION
This behavior can occur if a third-party Winsock program is installed on the system.
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Article ID: 308780 - Last Review: 02/27/2014 21:10:20 - Revision: 4.3

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