Solved: Windows XP Stopped Detecting Internet Connection

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Treknet

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Hi. I just had a serious problem that cost me the use of my internet for two days. I now am back on but keep on receiving error messages every time I try to access certain pages on IE 8 and Opera. I also can't connect to check my Hotmail from my Windows Live Mail Client.

I use a PCI Soft Voice SoftRing Modem with Smart SP. My system is Windows XP Service Pack 3 w/x86. My ISP browser is AOL 9.0; I cannot connect to the internet without it. I can clearly view content on most web pages. I even was able to synchronize my mail in Outlook. Yet when I check my internet options, there is no internet connection detected. There literally should be no connection at all. Yet I clearly am connected according to the little AOL icon in the tray, and I can view pages and send mail from my browser.

There should be a little bar that reads "Connections" -> "The Internet (1)", but it no longer displays. I can't find it at all. I have ran Network Diagnostics, but it detects no problems. I tried System Restore, but no luck. I don't want to redetect the modem through AOL because it's XP that's not detecting my connection, not AOL.

Here's the results of my IPCONFIG:

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
C:\Documents and Settings\******>ipconfig
Windows IP Configuration

PPP adapter {B8C48651-49F8-477E-ADAA-540DA0D760F8}:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 172.130.98.151
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.255
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 172.130.98.151
C:\Documents and Settings\******>

Any ideas? I just want to be able to check my mail again...
 

Treknet

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13
Why?

AOL is not needed for an Internet Connection per se.

What happens when you run Internet Explorer?

Is your modem a 56k dial up as per http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?i...GFRE_en&tbs=isch:1&ei=c87JS5nkF5LL-QaL3ti7BA?

I have tried to use the Network Setup Wizard in the past to sign in to my ISP's phone line. However, it dials in successfully but gives me error #691: the user name or password is incorrect. I input my correct AOL user name and password each time but it still won't sign me on. I have to have the AOL browser open to run IE8 or Opera; otherwise, I get a sign-in error.

I was also having issues with my IE8 Windows Live Toolbar, which had logged me out and would not sign me back in, even though the Live Sign-In Assistant was enabled under the list of accelerators. Luckily, resetting my individual settings was able to fix this problem and I can still view my Live information from IE8. I occasionally get a "no internet connection is available" message, though.

I cannot send error reports, nor can I download any Hotmail mail to Outlook 2007 or Windows Live Mail. I seem to be getting AOL mail just fine, though, which is worrisome because Hotmail is my main mail address and it's a hassle to sign in endlessly. I also have been having issues with Windows Live Messenger. It still allows me to sign in (although not automatically) and sends me mail alerts, but it no longer sends me news alerts or other custom windows.

Not all my other programs have problems. My AVG anti-virus still is able to fetch updates from the internet, as is my Windows Defender program. iTunes is still able to connect to the iTunes store from the media center; the only thing I had to do was re-locate my library.

Yes, I think that my modem is the 56K version. It plugs directly into the back of my computer and extends to a double-jack which plugs directly into the wall.

I think that my problem may be a Winsock-related error. I will try resetting Winsock and see if I can get into my mail that way. If not, I can always try redetecting my modem, but I really don't think that's the problem-my modem and drivers are all working just fine.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Not sure what repair(s) you did; correct ones are below.

My main suspicion is a non-Windows firewall or security suite, especially if you are using one provided by AOL.

(From a JohnWill post)

TCP/IP stack repair options for use with Windows XP with SP2 or SP3.

Start, Run, CMD, OK to open a command prompt.

Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults: netsh winsock reset catalog

Reset TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ip reset reset.log

Reboot the machine.
 

Treknet

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Joined
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TerryNet, thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, your solution did not totally fix my problem, but it did drastically improve it. I am still unable to sync my Windows Live Mail or my Microsoft Office Outlook (w/Outlook Connector) to my Hotmail account, nor am I getting a connection in the Network Connections tab. However, I am happy to report that Internet Explorer seems to be functioning correctly; resetting my TCP/IP settings did allow me to connect using my AOL connection. As of now, I have not gotten an IE error message since logging on. I was also able to log in to Opera and set up Opera unite.

Thank you so very much. Even if I can't get my mail working, I have my internet back.

EDIT-Spoke too soon. I'm still getting offline error messages in IE8.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Glad the advice helped somewhat. :) What about my suspicion (firewall)?
 

Treknet

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Apr 16, 2010
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I looked, but the only firewall I could find is Windows Firewall. I have several other programs, but they are either disabled or do not intrude with the connection. I have no clue what is wrong; I am still getting error messages, but my connectivity is greatly improved. I guess I can live with it, but it is rather annoying. Is there anything else that could be causing the problem? Most of my programs still have issues connecting to retrieve updates. Maybe when I rebuilt my internet connection, something didn't click right.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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What security programs of any type (anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.) do, or did, you have on the machine? While firewalls are the main suspects all these programs may interfere with networking if they get corrupted or if they go too long w/o data definition updates. Are you sure that AOL hasn't slipped in any of their garbage?
 

Treknet

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I have AVG Anti-Virus Free v 9.0.801 and Windows Defender. AVG is updated daily; Windows Defender is turned off but I still update it on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure that there's no AOL software that has slipped in; if there is, it's doing a pretty good job of hiding. AOL is real trash and has really messed up my computer. I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened during the reinstallation.

Before I reinstalled AOL, I rebuilt my ACS (AOL Connectivity Service, which loads the interface), cleared IE's cache, redetected my modem, rebuilt my AOL Adapter, and created a new dial-in location like I was supposed to. Could any of these explain my connection problems?
 

TerryNet

Terry
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I'm not any kind of AOL expert, but those things you did for the re-installation certainly sound good to me.

I've never heard of AVG free or Windows Defender causing problems like this.

As an unsolicited side note--AVG anti-virus is not getting the good reviews that it used to, and Windows Defender is mostly a joke (I've used them both). I suggest you do what I have done--uninstall AVG and install Microsoft Security Essentials. That will banish Windows Defender. Microsoft, kinda amazingly, has come up with a pretty good free product. Reviews I have read are positive, and I like the way it goes about its job efficiently and quietly.
 

Treknet

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Apr 16, 2010
Messages
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Thanks. I'll keep on working on the problem. Is there any way I can set up a connection on XP? I still am getting offline error messages, and my connection is not displaying. Should I redetect my modem or fiddle with my firewall? I never had problems like this before.
 
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Have you tried going to Internet Options in Control Panel and resetting?

You could also go to Connections tab in IE settings, ensure no proxy is selected and put a tick in Automatically Detect Settings
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Who is your actual ISP, the company whom you pay for internet access? If it is not AOL I would think that you have an account (User name) and password with them, and probably a little program to dial the number and provide your login credentials automatically. And you could do the same thing yourself just using Windows tools or wizards. There would be no need for any AOL software; you would just go with the browser of your choice to the AOL web site when you wanted to access their content. I was done with AOL before this became possible, so I have no experience and not 100% sure it works exactly this way.

If, however, your ISP is AOL (which I have been assuming) then you are stuck with whatever way they require you to get a connection.
 

Treknet

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
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CJS23, I actually did try that option a few days ago. It helped re-enable some of my accelerators, but it sadly didn't fix my problem.

TerryNet, I'm pretty sure my ISP is AOL. Trust me, they're terrible. I usually have to dial in about 3 times because my modem either misdials, is ignored by the network, or because the software crashes. I hate them with a passion, but unfortunately I'm barely 16 and can't change. My dad has total faith in them because they offer the cheapest rates for dial-up in our area. Plus, he has an ancient Dell Dimension 4300 running Windows ME. AOL works with his software. Irritatingly enough, I have a Dell Dimension E520 running Windows XP SP3 (a 5 year difference in make and model), and I have to use the same outdated AOL software (9.0) that he runs. I ordered a copy of their newest software, but I don't know if he'll let me install it.

I noticed that the reinstallation left dozens of fragments in my registry (I use COMODO Registry Cleaner). I may give it a clean and see if that makes a difference.

I'll be 18 in a few years and trust me, I'm dropping AOL.

Edit-was able to manually fix Windows Live Mail. Still working on Outlook Connector-I may just delete that program and use Outlook only for my AOL mail.
 
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