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Resolving Cable, DSL, or Other Broadband Internet Connection Problems (Windows XP, Me, and 98)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq PCs with Windows XP, Me, and 98. This document does not address Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).
Use the steps in this document, in order, to diagnose and fix problems that occur when connecting to the Internet through a network connection and a cable or DSL modem. This document only troubleshoots the connection and the networking hardware (Network Interface card, on-board Ethernet, and networking PCMCIA cards for notebooks).
NOTE:Ensure that the cable or DSL modem has been setup correctly, the Internet service is not down, and all required settings are set before using this document. Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help with required settings.
NOTE: If a "dial-up connection" message opens, or a "Web page unavailable while offline" error appears, a default dial-up connection has been created. Either remove the dial-up connection or configure your browser to not use the dial up connection. In Internet Explorer, perform the following steps:
  1. In Internet Explorer, click Tools , and then click Internet Options .
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Connections tab.
  3. Select Never dial a connection .
  4. Click the Advanced tab and remove the selection next to Enable offline items to be synchronized on a schedule .
  5. Click OK and try to view the Web pages again.

Step 1: Checking cables and connections

Use the following steps to check connections and networking hardware.
  1. Check the activity light next to the network connector on the back of the computer. For notebooks, the light may be on the small network adapter cord that plugs into the PCMCIA card.
    • If the activity light flashes intermittently, the network adapter is probably functioning correctly and is ready to receive data. Go to Step 3: Examining the IP Address .
    • If the activity light does not flash, the connection or the network hardware might be bad. Continue these instructions.
  2. Ensure that you are using the proper networking cable. You should be using a Category 5 or Category 5e network cable (also referred to as a Cat-5 Ethernet or patch cable). A Cat-5 cable has RJ45 connectors on each end.
    The following cables and connectors do not work:
    • A telephone cable, with RJ11 connectors (These connectors are slightly smaller than the RJ45 connectors.)
    • A cross-over Ethernet cable, with RJ45 connectors (This cable looks the same as a Cat-5 cable, but is mainly used to network between two network cards.)
    Figure 1: Network connectors
    1 - RJ45 network connector
    2 - RJ11 telephone connector
  3. Replace the current cable with a different Cat-5 or Cat-5e network patch cable.
    Replace the current cable with a different Cat-5 network cable (not a cross-over cable). Try connecting to the Internet. If the PC can connect to the Internet after replacing the cable, the original cable is probably bad and should not be used. If the PC is still are unable to connect, continue using these instructions.
  4. If there are several devices between the external modem or DSL router and the computer, temporarily disconnect those devices and connect the computer directly to the modem or DSL router using one networking cable.
    Try connecting to the Internet.
    If the PC can connect to the Internet after connecting directly to the modem, a device removed might be bad or needs to be reset.
  5. If the PC still cannot connect to the Internet after you have checked the connections, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Resetting the cable/DSL modem

The majority of cable/DSL modem connection problems can be resolved by resetting the modem.
  1. Turn off the PC and turn off the external modem or DSL router.
  2. Remove the AC adapter plug from the back of the cable/DSL device and wait for all the lights to go out on the cable/DSL device.
  3. Reconnect the AC adapter to the cable or DSL modem and wait for it to reset completely. The modem is reset when all lights on the modem stop blinking.
  4. Turn on the PC, and wait for Windows to fully open.
    Wait for PC to completely start up.
  5. Try connecting to the Internet again.
    • If the PC cannot connect to the Internet, continue to the next step.
    • If the PC can connect, you are done. For consistent performance, once the cable/DSL device is working properly, do not turn it off. Even if you turn off the PC when it is not in use, do not turn off the cable/DSL device. This minimizes any problems that may require resetting the modem.

Step 3: Examining the IP Address

All PCs that connect to the Internet use an Internet Protocol Address (IP Address). An IP Address is a unique address that consists of four numbers separated by periods. For most cable and DSL devices, this number is assigned to the PC automatically by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). If the ISP cannot assign the PC an IP Address, Windows assigns a default address or generates an error message.
Use the following steps to find the IP Address and then troubleshoot accordingly:
  1. Click Start , click Run , and then type the following into the Open field:
    command
  2. Click OK and type the following at the command prompt:
    ipconfig /all
  3. Press the Enter key and look for the IP Address listed in Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection .

Step 4: Examining the hardware

When networking hardware is not working correctly, Windows reports an error message in Device Manager. Use the following steps to view Device Manager information and troubleshoot the error message:
  1. In Windows XP, click Start , right-click My Computer , and select Properties .
    In Windows 98 and Me, right-click My Computer , and select Properties .
  2. In Windows XP, click the Hardware tab, and then the Device Manager button.
    In Windows 98 and Me, click the Device Manager tab.
  3. If the Network adapters category is present with a (+) sign , then skip to Step 6.
    If Network Adapters has a (-) sign , continue to Step 5. Disregard adapters that do not reference an Ethernet Adapter .
  4. If a network adapter is not listed inside, do one of the following items based on the condition of the networking hardware:
    • Networking hardware is not installed. Install a new network card (desktop computer) or a new network PCMCIA card (notebook computer) per the card manufacturers' suggestions. This does not apply to on-board networking hardware.
    • The network card is not seated fully into its socket. For Desktops, remove the side-case, reseat the network card, and replace side case. For notebook computers, remove and reseat the network PCMCIA card. This does not apply to on-board networking hardware.
    • If the computer is older, it may need to have jumpers on the network card set to an IRQ and address range that is not already being used by another device. Remove the side-case, set the jumpers on the card, and replace the side case.
      Replacing the older network card with a newer Plug and Play network card is probably a better option.
    • For desktop PCs with on-board networking hardware, reset the BIOS:
      1. Restart the PC.
      2. Press F1 repeatedly when the first screens appear.
      3. Press F5 and Enter to reset the BIOS to default settings.
      4. Press F10 and Enter to save the settings and exit BIOS setup .
      5. Restart the PC.
      6. Check Device Manager again for the presence of the Networks adapters category. If the network adapter name is still missing, the on-board network adapter may be damaged. The motherboard should be replaced, or a PCI network adapter should be installed.
  5. If the network adapter is listed, but has a yellow exclamation mark over its icon , do one of the following:
    • Software drivers and supportive files may be missing or corrupted. Remove the device from Device Manager and reinstall the software by restarting the computer. See Step 5: Reinstalling network adapter software drivers .
    • If the computer is older, it may need to have jumpers on the network card set to an IRQ and address range that is not already being used by another device. Remove the side-case, set the jumpers on the card, and replace the side case.
      Replacing the older network card with a newer Plug and Play card is probably a better option.
  6. If the network adapter listed has a green adapter icon , the networking adapter is probably functioning correctly. If the PC still cannot connect to the Internet, make sure to complete the following steps before continuing:
    • The cable or DSL hardware may have stopped responding. Reset the cable or DSL hardware using the manufacturer suggestions.
    • There still may be a connection problem. Recheck the cable connections and replace any cables that have been pinched or that you suspect are bad.
    • The Internet Service may be down at your provider. Most Service Providers have a telephone support number. Call the ISP support number. If an outage is occurring, an automated response about system wide service outages will probably play. In this case wait until the service comes back.
    If the network adapter icon is listed without problems, and the connections, service, and modem are working properly, continue with the next step to refresh the networking drivers.

Step 5: Reinstalling network adapter software drivers

To make sure all software related to the networking adapter is properly installed and linked, reinstall the software drivers. Use the following steps to reinstall and relink software related to the network adapter:
NOTE:If your PC has an older network card that is not plug-and-play compliant, the network card software is probably on a separate disk. To download a network driver for your HP PC go to HP's Software, Drivers, and Downloads Web page .
  1. In Windows XP, click Start , right-click My Computer , and select Properties .
    In Windows 98 and Me, right-click My Computer , and select Properties .
  2. In Windows XP, click the Hardware tab, and then the Device Manager button.
    In Windows 98 and Me, click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Click the plus sign (+ ) next to Network Adapters, and select the name listed inside the Network Adapters category.
  4. In Windows XP, click Action , and then Uninstall .
    In Windows 98 and Me, click the Remove button
  5. Click OK , and restart the PC.
    NOTE:PCs with Windows 98 and Me may need to be restarted more than once.
  6. If the network adapter is plug-and-play compatible, the software should automatically be installed. Follow any instructions that appear during the process and provide any software that Windows cannot find.
  7. If you still cannot connect to the Internet after reinstalling the network drivers, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Troubleshooting protocol settings

This section is provided to help troubleshoot settings that affect Internet connectivity when support from the ISP is unavailable. The ISP should have provided all of the necessary settings and troubleshooting procedures for a proper cable or DSL connection. If you have the settings and troubleshooting procedures from the ISP, use them instead of the settings in this section. Otherwise, use the following steps to reset the network settings:

Reset steps for Windows XP

  1. Click Start , Run , and enter the following into the Open field:
    command
    A command prompt window opens.
  2. At the command prompt enter: ipconfig /release
  3. Once you press Enter the command prompt should clear. At the new command prompt enter the following text: ipconfig /renew
  4. At the new command prompt enter the following text: netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
    NOTE:If the error "An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket" appears, refer to the HP support document on Error: An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket
  5. Close the Command window by entering the following at the new command prompt:
    exit
    Try connecting to the Internet again. If you cannot connect, continue using these steps.
  6. Click Start , Control Panel , and click Network and Internet Connections .
  7. Double-click Network Connections , right-click Local Area Network , and select Properties .
  8. Select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) name that matches the Ethernet Adapter name from the list of items for your connection. Do not remove the check mark next to the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) reference while selecting it. If multiple TCP/IP references are listed, select the one that contains the adapter name being used, such as TCP/IP -> 3Com Fast Ethernet Adapter.
    NOTE:If there is no listing for Internet protocol (TCP/IP), this is the cause of the problem. Click Install , select Protocol , and then click Add . Select a TCP protocol from the list, such a Microsoft TCP IP, and then click OK to install the protocol. When done restart the PC and attempt to connect to the Internet.
  9. With Internet Protocol name selected click the Properties button.
  10. Select Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically (if they are not already selected).
  11. Click OK to close the TCP/IP Settings window, and then click OK to close the Local Area Connection Properties window.
  12. Restart the computer and try connecting to the Internet again. If you still cannot connect, continue to the next step .

Reset steps for Windows 98 and ME

  1. Click Start , Run , and enter the following into the Open field:
    command
    A command prompt window opens.
  2. At the command prompt enter the following text: ipconfig /release_all
  3. Once you press Enter the command prompt should clear. At the new command prompt enter the following text: ipconfig /renew_all
  4. Close the Command window by entering the following at the new command prompt:
    exit
    Try connecting to the Internet again. If you cannot connect, continue using these steps.
  5. Click Start , Settings , and then Control Panel .
  6. Double-click the Network icon.
  7. Click the TCP/IP name that best matches your Ethernet Adapter name from the list of network components installed. Do not remove the check mark next to the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) reference while selecting it. If multiple TCP/IP references are listed, select the one that contains the adapter name being used, such as TCP/IP -> 3Com Fast Ethernet Adapter.
    NOTE:If no name is listed for TCP/IP, this is the cause of the problem. Click the Add button, double-click Protocol , select Microsoft as the manufacturer and select TCP/IP as the Network Protocol . Click OK , then OK and click Yes to restart the PC.
  8. Click the Properties button.
  9. Select Obtain an IP address automatically from the IP Address tab, and select Disable DNS from the DNS Configuration tab (if they are not already selected).
  10. Click OK to close the TCP/IP Settings window, and then click OK to close the Local Area Connection Properties window.
  11. Restart the computer and try connecting to the Internet again. If you still cannot connect, continue to the next step.

Step 7: Resetting the TCP/IP protocol in Windows 98 and ME

Reset the TCP/IP Protocol to set the default protocol values and remove any unwanted settings from previous connections. For Windows XP, skip ahead to the next section Step 8: Working with other Internet software . for Windows 98 or Me, use the following steps to reset the TCP/IP protocol:
  1. Click Start , Settings , and Control Panel .
  2. Double-click the Network icon.
  3. Select a TCP/IP protocol in the list, and click the Remove button.
    Repeat until all items containing TCP/IP have been removed.
  4. Click OK and click Yes to restart the PC.
  5. After the computer restarts, click Start , Settings , and Control Panel .
  6. Double-click the Network icon.
  7. Click the Add button, select Protocol , and then click the Add button.
  8. Select Microsoft from the left, and TCP/IP from the right.
  9. Click OK , and OK to close the window.
    NOTE:If prompted to insert the Windows CD in a drive because cabinet (or .cab) files cannot be located, review Microsoft Article, How To: Extract Original Compressed Windows Files (in English). This article contains information about how to extract a new copy of cabinet files to replace missing or damaged cabinet files in Windows.
  10. Click Yes to restart the PC and try connecting to the internet again.

Step 8: Working with other Internet software

The Internet browser and other software that uses the Internet, such as fire walls or Proxy software, can prevent a connection from taking place. Use the following steps to modify how the software on your computer works with the Internet:
  1. In Windows XP, click Start , and then Control Panel .
    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start , Settings , and then Control Panel .
  2. In Windows XP, click Network and Internet Connections , Internet Options and select the Connections tab. In Windows 98 and ME, double-click Internet Options and select the Connections tab.
  3. Click the LAN Settings button, select Automatically detect settings .
  4. Remove the check marks from Use a proxy server for your LAN and Use automatic configuration script .
  5. Click OK , and then OK to close the windows. Close any other open windows.
    Try connecting to the Internet again. If the PC cannot connect, continue using these steps.
    NOTE: If you are using a browser other than Internet Explorer, such as Opera or Netscape, refer to its documentation to disable proxy usage and enable a direct or automatic connection to the Internet.
  6. If proxy software is being used, disable it and try connecting to the Internet again. Some Proxy software applications are:
    • WinProxy
    • WinGate
    • Microsoft Proxy Server
    • Netscape Proxy Server
    If the PC still cannot connect, continue using these steps.
  7. If using firewall software, temporarily disable it and try connecting to the Internet again. Some firewall software applications are:
    • McAfee Personal Firewall
    • Norton Personal Firewall
    • ZoneAlarm
    • Freedom Firewall
    • The firewall native to Windows XP
    If the PC can connect after disabling your firewall software, refer to your ISP for the port numbers required to connect. Adjust your firewall software to allow these ports to stay open.
    If the PC still cannot connect, continue using these steps.
  8. Disable or remove software that automatically connects to the Internet. Software that can interfere with your connection are computer viruses, Adware, Spyware, or Browser Hijackers. There are thousands of these types of software programs. Use virus scanning software to scan and remove viruses and use Adware removal software for Adware, Spyware, and Browser Hijackers.
  9. If you have performed all of the steps in this document and still cannot connect to the Internet using cable or DSL, call the ISP support phone number for assistance. Be sure to tell the ISP all that you have already done.

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