There are many things that can prevent you from establishing a network connection. Often times it is an incorrect setting, sometimes it’s a bad driver. Less often, a hardware problem prevents you from connecting. What happens when you’ve checked all those things, but still can’t connect to a network? Resetting the Windows TCP/IP stack will solve the issue. TCP/IP is the protocol (a “language” and set of procedures) Windows and most other devices use to communicate over a network. The TCP/IP stack built into Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Server 2003/2008 tells Windows how to communicate with TCP/IP. If it gets messed up, your computer won’t be able to establish a reliable network connection.
Before assuming your TCP/IP stack has problems, you should rule out the more common causes of network problems. Eliminate the other networking components (such as cabling and routers) by testing with another PC. Also, if possible try connecting the affected PC to the network using a different adapter (perhaps another Ethernet card or a wireless adapter). If other computers work, but yours won’t no matter which adapter you use, then try resetting the TCP/IP stack.
You’ll need to run the following commands as an administrator:
- Open the “Run…” dialog from the Start Menu or by holding down the Windows key on your keyboard and taping “r”.
- Type “cmd” then press enter.
- In the new window that opens, type “netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt”
- Restart your computer.
That will reset your TCP/IP settings to the defaults. With any luck, it will also allow you to connect to a network again.