Q&A: Why won’t Windows XP connect to the Internet?

windows-xp-logoQuestion from Larry V.:  Rick, I have a Dell Dimension 3100 (Windows XP) that’s served me quite well over the years, but when I turned it on yesterday morning it wouldn’t connect to the Internet.

When I plug in the cable from the router it recognizes it and says it’s connected at 100 Mbs, but I can’t access any websites, check for system updates, or do anything else that requires an Internet connection. Do you think it might be a hardware problem?

Rick’s answer:  Hi Larry. Since XP is recognizing the LAN connection, I seriously doubt if it’s a hardware problem. It sounds to me like your system’s critical network settings have become corrupted somehow. Let’s try resetting them back to the factory defaults. Here’s how:

1 – Click Start>Run and then type CMD into the “Run” box.

2 – Press the Enter key.

3 – Reset the TCP/IP stack back to the default values by typing the following at the command line and then pressing the Enter key:

netsh int ip reset reset.log

4 – Next, reset the WINSOCK entries back to the defaults by typing the following and then pressing the Enter key:

netsh winsock reset catalog

5 – Restart the PC and check to see if the Internet connection is working again.

Let me know if this doesn’t get you back online and we’ll troubleshoot the issue further.

Update from Larry: You’re the man Rick! It’s working perfectly now. Thanks!!


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