One day, you are surfing the Internet very well. The next day, some or all of the sites you usually visit are no longer accessible. “Page cannot be displayed” or “Server cannot be found” error messages can be frustrating. There are a number of possible causes and it may take a bit of digging to get to the root of the problem. Here’s how to fix some of the most common Internet connectivity issues.
remove the obvious
Before you start looking for stripes on a horse to call it a zebra, check to make sure it’s not just a horse. Take a deep breath, back up and check the obvious. Do not skip this step; In most cases, the cause is much more benign than we think.
- Check that the cables are connected correctly.
- If you are using wireless technology, check that the MAC address controls are disabled or configured correctly to allow access.
- Make sure your internet connection is working, use a second computer, or ask a friend to come over with their laptop to confirm. To help you troubleshoot hardware problems, download the Microsoft Network Diagnostics tool for Windows XP
Check for configuration issues
In many cases, “Page cannot be displayed” or “Cannot find server” error messages can be the result of a modified HOSTS file, a problem with Internet Explorer settings, or a large index.dat file.
The HOSTS file is the virtual equivalent of directory assistance from the telephone company. When the information service matches a person’s name and phone number, the HOSTS file maps domain names to IP addresses. Take necessary steps to check and protect the HOSTS file from unwanted changes.
Burgeoning Internet history folders, temporary file caches, and other stored browsing data can cause connectivity issues, from slow browsing to “Page cannot be displayed” or “Page cannot be displayed” error messages. Cannot find server» (Cannot find the server). Internet Explorer users will find a set of options available to modify settings necessary to improve Internet connectivity.
A Corrupted Winsock
Have you recently installed new software, removed software, or updated software? Did your antivirus or antispyware scanner remove a virus or other malware just before the problem occurred? If any of the above is true, the “Page cannot be displayed” or “Server cannot be found” error messages may be the result of a corrupt Winsock or a lack of a licensed Service Provider ( LSP).
After using LSP-Fix, reboot the system and try to access the Internet. If the issue persists, follow the instructions in Microsoft KB811259 to determine and recover from Winsock corruption.
Note : The steps outlined in KB811259 are best suited for tech-savvy users. The less tech-inclined may wish to download WinSock XP Fix instead (for Windows XP only). Windows 98/ME users can use Winsock2 Fix. While highly appreciated by users, neither of these programs offer technical support and both should be used at your own risk.