There are many different causes that can prevent a Windows XP computer from connecting to the Internet. Some are easily identifiable however some are not. In this article I will be covering how to fix corrupt Winsock registry keys in Windows XP, Vista and 7. If you are getting an IP of the type 169.254.x.x, there is a good chance that you have a corrupt Winsock. If some of you are wondering why I am including Windows XP in this article in the year 2011, I will tell you that even though Windows XP is an old and outdated operating system, many business are still clinging to it due to the bad publicity generated by Windows Vista.
How to tell if your Winsock is corrupt?
Click on Start -> Run -> Type “cmd” and press enter -> at the C:\ prompt type “ipconfig“.
If you get an IP starting with 169.254 you are not obtaining an IP from the router or dsl modem, IPs of the type 169.254.x.x are ips automatically assigned by windows when something is wrong with the network connection. Take a look at the following picture:
As you can see, my IP is 169.254.211.67 and my gateway is not present. This symptom is typical when winsock corruption exists. I must say however that winsock corruption is not the only cause that results in a 169.254.x.x IP, but if you have already gone through every possible cause and solution, and nothing seems to work, there is a good probability that indeed this is the cause of the problem.
Fix For Windows XP
Windows XP frequently has issues with Winsock making it impossible for the ethernet card to obtain an IP from the network. Fortunately there is a small program that has been going around the web for some time. It can be found in a wide variety of pages even though its creator’s page does not exist anymore. The name of the program is WinsockXPfix.
Download the program and run it. I would recommend you click on the “ReG-Backup” to do a backup of the registry in case something goes wrong. However, I must say that in all the years I have been using this program I’ve never had anything bad happen, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. After doing the backup click on the button named “Fix”, Windows XP fix will take a few seconds to reset all the winsock registry keys and will ask you to restart. When you do, your problems will most probably be gone!
Fix For Windows 7 and Vista
WinsockXPfix unfortunately only works in Windows XP. However, there is a native solution for Winsock corruption in Windows 7 and Vista.
To reset Winsock registry keys implement the following Steps:
- Click on “Start“.
- Type Cmd in the search field at the bottom of the menu.
- Click Ctrl-Shift-Enter to open the Command Prompt with administrator rights and acknowledge the elevation request.
- Type “netsh winsock reset” at the Command Prompt and press enter.
- Resetting Winsock will take a few seconds, when it is finished, restart your computer.
If the method in this article did not work for you, read my article: My Computer Won’t Connect to the Internet – All Possible Causes