Wireless does not equal headacheless.
August 8, 2006 4:30 PM   Subscribe

Troubleshooting: Help my sister's new laptop connect to the network. (Or rather, it's connected. Help her get to the WWW.)

We have a router set up with WEP encryption. We connected with the right key, and everything says there's no problem.

What's more, there is definitely a connection. When I ping yahoo.com, I get a response. Norton liveupdate was able to connect and download all its updates. Windows managed to get its genuine advantage installed and running just fine.

But open up a browser, and all you get is an error message saying the page couldn't be loaded. This is true on both IE and [some other firefox based, but not firefox browser. Maybe Netscape or AOL].

What gives?
posted by kingjoeshmoe to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
- is the Windows firewall on? If so, turn it off.
- is the default internet connection in IE/netscape some sort of dial up connection?
- can she connect to other networks?
posted by k8t at 4:39 PM on August 8, 2006

To you have a proxy server set?
posted by cillit bang at 4:46 PM on August 8, 2006

What k8t said. Check to see what type of internet connection her browser is set for.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 4:49 PM on August 8, 2006

If she's running Windows, try releasing and renewing her connection.

1. Go to Start --> Run
2. Type in CMD, hit Enter
3. At thr prompt, type in "ipconfig release", hit Enter
4. At the new prompt, type in "ipconfig renew"

(You probably knew how to do that, but just in case.)
posted by JPowers at 5:01 PM on August 8, 2006

Sounds like a dns issue to me.
posted by -t at 5:43 PM on August 8, 2006

Response by poster: In order:

1. Is the windows firewall on?
--I turned it on while fiddling with settings, but this is while trying to fix a problem that had already established itself.

2. There are no dial up connections listed in IE. In trying to troubleshoot this myself, I went through all the tabs, and compared them to the computer that was working just fine.

3. Don't know if she can connect to other networks.

4. We don't have a proxy server, and don't have one set.

5. I should've mentioned it, but I've already tried repairing the connection, which includes releasing and renewing IP.

If it's a DNS issue, how do I fix it?
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 6:08 PM on August 8, 2006

Like -t said it sounds like a DNS issue. Although you can ping yahoo.com so that is so what odd.
Try this
once the prompt opens type nslookup
it should say something things at you (i.e. what DNS servers it is using) try looking up a few URLs. To do this you just type in the address i.e. google.com and see what kind of response you get, also try a few address you know she has not visited before like foo.com or blarg.com
[Just for help here is the address I get for foo.com and here is what I get for blarg.com]
If you get good responses then you know you are able to talk to the DNS servers just fine. If not you need to check your DNS server settings. First I would check in the router, it should be in the main setup page of the router (well you're in there consider using OpenDNS it's a great FREE service) make sure that you don't have weird settings in there. Second thing to check is your local settings, to do this you need to get to the TCP/IP settings for the network card in use. I'll assume she has windows XP if not the steps are mostly the same. Do this;
Right click on 'My Network Places' (on the start menu or desktop where ever she has it) go to properties
Now a window should pop up, right click on the network card she is using to connect to the network (shouldn't be hard to pick) go to properties.
Another window should pop up click on "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" then click Properties right below it.
Again another window will pop up. Check the options in there. If you have the Router set up as a DHCP server (almost all default to this option) then you can safely check the options for "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS server address automatically". To be safe you could make a note of the setting before you change them so you can at least come back and put those settings back in.
Once done with this click Ok, and Ok again it may take a few seconds for the settings to be applied. At that point you can try out the connection again, and at this point I hope it should work. If not use the release/renew method that JPowers posted above and if that fails, something else must be wrong.
Let us know, I'll watch this topic and help in what ways I can.
posted by blackout at 6:12 PM on August 8, 2006

If you can ping yahoo, and download updates to NAV/NIS and Windows Genuine Advantage, it sounds like a Winsock issue to me. Winsock is the layer that allows all programs to access the network connection on your XP system.

Try to reset the winsock catalog:

in the command prompt, type "netsh winsock reset catalog"
When that is finished, try rebooting. If it reboots and still does not access the internet, try downloading Winsock fix on a working computer and run that on the laptop.

Have you tried accessing the internet in safe mode with networking? As the computer is loading, press "f8" several times until you get to the boot menu. Choose "Safe Mode with Networking" and the unit will boot into a basic diagnostic mode. I would then log into the Administrator account and try accessing the internet from there.

Other things to try: reinstall TCP/IP
Open "My Computer", Tools, Folder Options.
Click the "View" tab.
Select "Show hidden files and folders"
Uncheck "Hide extension for known file types" and
Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files"
Close explorer and open Control Panel
Select Network and Internet Connections
Select Network Connections
Right-click on your wireless connection, select "Properties"
Select "Install"
Select "Protocol"
Click "Add"
Click "Have Disk"
Type in "C:\Windows\inf" and click OK
Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click OK
It will reload TCP/IP
Reboot windows

It could be a malware infestation. You can download evaluation versions of Ad-Aware, Ewido and TrojanHunter to scan for any unwanted spyware/viruses that might be interfering as well, if you have access to a working computer.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 1:21 AM on August 9, 2006

Response by poster: If anyone ever comes back to this page looking for help, you should know that it was Norton Antivirus going haywire. Why it tried to block the internet, I don't know.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 4:00 PM on August 24, 2006

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