Sunday, March 18, 2012

Troubleshooting Internet Problems – Computer Internet Issues (Part 3)

This is part 3 of the troubleshooting internet connection troubles. In this post I am going to focus the computer itself as the cause of the problem. This area definitely has the most problems that can go wrong and probably is the hardest to troubleshoot.

You can find Trouble Shooting Internet Problems (Part 1) here: http://www.computer-skills.info/2012/03/troubleshooting-internet-problems-part.html and Troubleshooting Internet Problems with Routers (Part2): http://www.computer-skills.info/2012/03/troubleshooting-internet-problems.html.

  • To start off troubleshooting, the very first thing to do is to try restarting the computer. You might be surprised at the number of problems this fixes!
  • Just to note at this point as well you should make sure your computer is virus free! Viruses can cause all kinds of problems with the internet. You can find more help on this here: http://www.computer-skills.info/2011/05/how-do-you-know-if-your-computer-is.html.
  • Also along with the virus problem, make sure you do not have a corrupted anti-virus installation. I have had this twice now where a messed up Norton Anti-virus uninstallation caused Internet Explorer and Firefox not work. It took me 3 days the first time this happened to troubleshoot the problem – main problem was the fact that the computer had a virus on it and the person had taken the computer to a friend to get it fixed, while the friend had managed to remove the virus, in the process the internet stopped working. Which resulted in the computer being brought to me, and it just happened by chance that I came across a Norton Anti-virus file, indicating an incomplete uninstall of Norton Anti-virus.
  • Try another browser. If that browser does not work, then something is wrong with Windows, if on the other hand that browser works then something is wrong with your browser. Some additional browsers you can try are Opera: http://www.opera.com/browser/ (I recommend this because it works when other browsers don’t); Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/; and Google Chrome: https://www.google.com/chrome.
  • Also a good test is to see if your computer can reach the router. Go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Command Prompt. In Command Prompt, type in ping [your routers IP address], if you have an Linksys router the IP address should be 192.168.1.1, so you would type in ping 192.168.1.1. If that works, try pinging a few websites, such as google.com. Just to note here some websites disable pinging, Microsoft for example disables pinging, so if you try to ping a Microsoft website you will not receive a reply.

The next few suggestions will assume the problem lies with your browser, these instructions apply to all browsers; however, all browsers are slightly different and have slightly different options.

  • Next, try resetting your browser, for Internet Explorer, I recommend using the Reset rather than the clear temporary files and cookies. For Internet Explorer this is under Settings (the little cog/gear icon), then Internet Options, the Advanced Tab, and click the Reset button. You will have to close and reopen Internet Explorer when the reset is done.
  • Try Internet Explorer in Safe Mode. Internet Explorer safe mode is under Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). It is possible that an add-on is interfering with your browser.
  • Check the proxy settings. In Internet Explorer this is under Settings (the little cog/gear icon), then Internet Options, the Connections tab, then LAN Settings, and unless you actually have proxy settings it should be set to automatically detect settings.
  • Specific websites not working: http://www.computer-skills.info/2012/02/how-to-remove-findgala-or-gala.html or searches taking you to weird places: http://www.computer-skills.info/2012/02/internet-explorer-redirecting-to-weird.html.

Next, I am going to cover some of things that can go wrong with Windows.

  • The first thing to check is what information your computer is getting from the router. You can watch the videos below on how to view the information that your router is providing. What you do not want to see is an IP address that starts with 169.254 (this is a self-assigned address, which means your computer is not getting its information from the router). Generally rebooting all the components should fix this problem.
    Network Adapter Connection Status in Windows 7

    And for Windows XP:
    Network Adapter Connection Status in Windows XP
  • Reset the Windows Network Components, go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. Type in the following two commands one at a time, press Enter after each command. Just to note that the first command will create a log which may be helpful for further troubleshooting. It is recommend to restart the computer after running these commands.
    netsh int ip reset C:\netshipresetlog.txt
    netsh winsock reset
    These settings can sometimes get messed up programs that tamper with Windows Networking Stack or from sudden improper shutdowns. You can view the video below for opening the Command Prompt. Just to note, for Windows XP you do not have to run administratively, just open Command Prompt.
    How to Command Prompt Administratively
  • Make sure your network adapter has a driver and is functioning properly. View the video below on how to check this. Under the Device status you want to see: This device is working properly.
    How to View the Status of a Device Connected to Your Computer

    And for Windows XP:
    How view the status of a device connected to your computer in Windows XP
  • Update the driver for your network adapter (or wireless adapter). Windows Update usually provides updates for network drivers.
  • As a final Windows fix you can try running the Windows System File Checker tool. Go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. Type in the following: sfc /scannow. This may take some time to run.

And for some final things to troubleshoot, we are going to look at the hardware itself. Now most troubleshooting manuals will probably tell you start here, but in my experience this usually causes the least amount of troubles.

  • For starters, if your computer is connected via a network cable, try another cable. If you have a wireless laptop, try connecting to a different wireless location (go to a public library or something if do not have another wireless device to connect to).
  • Also if you have a laptop, try using a wired connection rather than the wireless connection or if you are using a wired connection try a wireless connection.
  • Replace the network card with another network card, or if the connection is integrated onto the motherboard, then purchase PCI Network Card or a USB Ethernet Adaptor.

Please note that this guide was designed to be a quick guide with a lot of information to cover and if at any point in the instruction you are uncertain, just do a web search for more information on that particular topic.

1 comment:

  1. Internet connectivity troubleshooting is a breeze in Windows 7, maybe due to the availability of a lot of generic drivers at start. Windows XP and everything that precedes it could sometimes be a nightmare though.
    network cabling

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