How to troubleshoot network connectivity problems in Internet Explorer
Written by Adi
How to troubleshoot network connectivity problems in Internet Explorer
Step 1. Use Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services tools
You may try Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services as a first step to diagnose and repair common network connectivity problems in Internet Explorer. You should run both troubleshooters to determine if your problem is resolved.
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Diagnose and fix Windows Firewall service problems automatically Improve performance, safety and security in Internet Explorer
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Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services: Diagnose and fix Windows Firewall service problems automatically Fix this problem
Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services: Improve performance, safety and security in Internet Explorer
If these Automated Troubleshooters fix your problems, you are finished with this article. If the troubleshooters do not solve your connectivity problems proceed to
Step 2. Use the Network Diagnostic tool
The Network Diagnostics tool that is part of Windows Vista is designed to test the network connection for errors. The Network Diagnostics tool can also be used to determine whether network-related programs are working correctly. To use this tool to troubleshoot network connectivity problems, follow these steps:
1. Open Internet Explorer, and try to access the Web page that causes network connectivity problems.
2. On the page that displays an Internet Explorer error message, click the Diagnose Connection Problems link.
The Network Diagnostics tool will run. When the tool has finished running, it will report one of the following results:
� It was unable to find a problem.
� It has detected a problem. Additionally, the tool will provide guidance on the next steps to take to troubleshoot the problem.
If you cannot resolve the problem by using the Network Diagnostics tool, you must manually troubleshoot the problem. To do this, go to the “Manually troubleshoot the problem” section.
Step 3. Manually troubleshoot the problem
Method 1: Test other known good sites
Start Internet Explorer, and then enter one of the following addresses in the Address bar at the top of the browser window:
If you do not experience network connectivity problems when you type one of these addresses in the Address bar, we recommend that you contact the owner of the Web site where you see the problem. The site may be temporarily offline or experiencing other issues of its own.
However, if you continue to experience network connectivity problems when you type one of these addresses in the Address bar, there may be a conflict with other software that is installed on the system. In this case, go to the method 2.
Method 2: Verify the network connection
Make sure that the cables that connect the computer to the Internet or your home network are secured firmly. Additionally, make sure that the network devices that your computer uses are turned on and working correctly. Then, follow these steps to verify network connectivity, as appropriate for your situation.
Step 1: Verify external DSL modem, cable modem or dial-up modem connectivity
If you use an external modem, check the following:
1. Verify that the cable that connects the modem to the wall is connected securely. The cable will most likely connect to either a telephone jack or to a cable outlet.
2. Verify that the cable that connects the computer to the modem is attached securely at both ends and that the connector on each end of the cable has clicked into position if it is a network cable. A network cable will resemble a telephone cable, although it may be thicker, and the connector on each end will be larger.
3. If the cable that connects the external modem to the computer is a USB cable, you must perform some additional checks. A USB cable will have different connectors on each end of the cable. One end will be flat and rectangular, and the other end will have a square connector with angles on two of the corners. To verify a USB connection, try the following:
a. If the modem is attached to the computer by using a USB hub, try to bypass the USB hub. You can bypass the USB hub by plugging the cable from the device directly into one of the USB ports on the computer.
b. If the modem is plugged into one of the ports on the front of your desktop computer, try plugging the USB cable into one of the ports on the back of the computer instead. Some computers do not provide sufficient power to the front USB ports. This may create problems with the connection to the modem.
Step 2: Verify the internal modem device connections
If the modem that is used to connect to the Internet is inside the computer, there should be only one cable coming out of the modem device. Verify that the cable that connects the modem to the wall outlet is connected securely at each end. The cable will most likely connect to either a telephone jack or a cable outlet.
Step 3: Verify the home network connectivity
If the computer connects to the Internet through a home network, we recommend that you check the items in the following list, as appropriate for your situation.
� Wireless connection
If the computer uses a wireless connection to the home network, we recommend that you read the following articles on the “Windows Vista Help and How-to Web” site:
o To troubleshoot problems that are related to detecting wireless networks, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
o To troubleshoot problems that are related to low wireless signal quality, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
� Wired connection
If the computer uses a wired connection (This connection is also known as an Ethernet connection.), we recommend that you read the “I can�t connect to my home network� section in the following article that is titled �Troubleshoot network and Internet connection problems�:
If you want additional guidance about specific network configurations, hardware configurations, or network configurations, we recommend that you contact the vendor of the network hardware that you are using.
Note You may have to contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to verify connectivity.
Method 4: Other connectivity issues or network-related issues
One potential cause of network connectivity problems is that the network or the Internet connection that you are using to go online is experiencing a problem. You can test for this by using the following troubleshooting steps:
Step 1. Restart the modem or the router
It is sometimes possible that the IP settings or network configuration that you receive from the Internet service provider are incorrect or must be updated. Sometimes, the connection between the modem and the ISP may be experiencing problems. To update the settings on the modem or the router, you must restart the device. Restarting the device will also create a fresh connection to the Internet service provider. Use one of the following methods to restart the modem, depending on the type of modem that you have.
To restart an external modem, follow these steps:
1. Disconnect the cable that connects your computer or router to the modem. This may be either a USB cable or a network cable.
2. Turn off the modem. If the modem does not have a power switch, disconnect the power cord from the back of the modem, or unplug it from the wall.
3. After waiting for several minutes, turn on the modem, reconnect the cable from the computer or the router to the modem, and then restart the computer.
4. Test your connection again to see whether you can access the Internet.
If you still experience network connectivity problems, go to step 2.
To restart an internal modem, you must restart the computer. If you still experience network connectivity problems after you restart the computer, go to step 2.
Step 2. Verify the firewall or the router settings
If you connect to the Internet by using a router, there may be a problem with the configuration settings, and they must be updated. To determine whether a network connectivity problem is being caused by a mis-configuration or by a problem with the router, you can bypass the router and connect your computer directly to the modem.
Caution Connecting your computer directly to the Internet may leave it vulnerable to attacks. To protect the computer against attacks, make sure that a firewall is installed and that the firewall is enabled on your computer. To find out about the Windows Firewall that is included in Windows Vista, see the “Windows Firewall” section.
Windows Vista includes a firewall called the Windows Firewall. By default, the Windows Firewall is enabled. However, you must still verify that the Windows Firewall is enabled before you connect the computer to the Internet. To verify that the Windows Firewall is enabled, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. In the search box at the upper-right corner of Control Panel, type security.
3. In the search results that appear, click the icon or the link for Security Center. In the window that is displayed, you will see four bars that are titled Firewall, Automatic updating, Malware protection, and Other security settings.
4. Click the right arrow button on the Firewall bar to expand the bar. The expanded bar will display one of the following three options:
a. If the Firewall bar is green, it means that the firewall is enabled.
b. If the Firewall bar is red, you may see a message that the Windows Firewall is turned off. To turn on the Windows Firewall and to cause the Firewall bar in security center to turn green, click Turn on now.
c. If the Firewall bar is red, and the message describes a problem with a third-party firewall program, we recommend that you disconnect the computer from the network, and then contact the vendor of that firewall program for more information about how to turn on the third-party firewall program.
For more information about the Windows Firewall in Windows Vista, visit the following “Windows Help and How-to” Web sites:
After you connect the computer directly to the modem, test Internet Explorer. If you are now able to access the Web sites that you were unable to access before, contact the router’s manufacturer for help in configuring the device. If you are still unable to access any Web sites, go to step 3.
Step 3. Verify device compatibility
For a modem or a network adapter to work correctly in Windows Vista, it must be compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, it must have device drivers that can be used by Windows Vista to communicate with the device. To find out whether the modem or the network adapter that you are using is compatible with Windows Vista, you must first determine what adapter model you have in the computer. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, type device manager in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
2. Click the entry for Device Manager that appears in the search results.
3. Expand the entry for the type of device that you are looking for. For example, expand Network adapters.
Note The specific type of device that you must look for will be determined by the way that you connect this computer to the Internet. For example, if you connect to the Internet by using a wireless network connection, you must look for information about a wireless network adapter and you must expand Network adapters.
4. Note the entries that appear under Network adapters.
5. On another computer, start Internet Explorer.
6. Type the following address, and then press ENTER:
7. Search for the network adapter that you noted in step 4. Information that is contained on this Web site will tell you if the network adapter is compatible with Windows Vista.
If you cannot determine the type of modem or of network adapter that you have in your computer, or if that device shows that it is experiencing a problem, we recommend that you contact the OEM or the hardware vendor from whom you obtained this adapter.
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
If the device that you are looking for is either an internal DSL modem or an internal cable modem, we recommend that you contact the Internet service provider that gave you the modem. Some potential problems that you might see include the following:
� The modem or the network adapter is missing from Device Manager.
� The modem or the network adapter is listed as an Unknown Device or with a generic name such as Ethernet Adapter or PCI Simple Communications Controller.
� The modem or the network adapter is marked with either a red X or a yellow exclamation point.
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About the Author:
I am a computer engineer at microsoft.
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