TechSpot

Connected but no internet (Windows XP, both ethernet and wireless)

By Bill_A_1973
Aug 7, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I'm not the most tech-savvy, and I'm having trouble with my old windows XP laptop (a Dell Latitude). It's worked fine with wireless and ethernet networking until recently.

    At home, and elsewhere, I get a message telling me that I am connected to the internet (either through my wireless or through the ethernet jack): when I right-click on the connection (either Local Area Connection or my wireless card, depending on what is plugged in), the "status" says that my connection is good. Packets are sent and received (although far more are sent than received). But if I try to open a browser, I get the message saying that the browser could not connect ("Server not found" in Firefox). Similarly, windows tries to download updates, then the download quits.

    At home I'm using a cable modem (Time-Warner RoadRunner is our high-speed provider) connected to an Apple Airport Express. My partner is able to connect perfectly wirelessly with her Mac with no problems, and in our previous apartment I could connect to the Airport Express with no difficulty (we had Comcast cable internet at the previous place). The password for the Airport Express hasn't changed, and I tried re-entering it with no luck. It is only since moving to a new house and new provider that I've had this problem, but the problem now occurs everywhere I go, so I'm afraid I messed something up in the search for a fix, or that the move is unconnected to the problem.

    I've tried disconnecting the modem and router and letting them power down and back up. I've done that with my partner's laptop turned off and with it left on. No luck so far. Plus, as I said, this problem happens everywhere, not just on our home network.

    Two things I've noticed:
    1. When I do ipconfig /all at home the IP address I get is 10.0.1.3; when I ping that address, I get good results; but when my partner goes to ipchicken.com on her ?Mac, she gets a different IP address (98.30.139.126); when I try to ping that address from my laptop, it times out and fails. When I go to the library and plug into the ethernet connection, I get an IP number from ipconfig /all that I can ping successfully. (Sorry to sound clueless -- but I guess I am.)

    2. If I go to the network properties, and then to the TCP/IP properties (for both wireless and for the local area connection) I cannot get the choice for "Obtain DNS server address automatically" to stay checked. When I check it and "OK" my way out of those windows and go back later, it has always come unchecked and reverted to the same Preferred and Alternate DNS servers -- it's always the same numbers, no matter where I am.

    Spybot S&D reveals no infestations of spyware or malware.

    Any ideas? Can anyone walk me through some fixes? Or do #1 or #2, above, point to anything important?

    Thanks!

    - Bill
  2. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 609   +6

  3. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Sounds as if your MAC is finding another DNS server.
    Problems like this are usually down to hardware or drivers - please make sure you have the latest sets in place and check that you have the manufacturers drivers and not the ones from Microsoft.
  4. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice, tw0rld and Albert. I tried Winsock XP Fix before with no luck (although I'll try again).

    Albert, I'm sorry to be clueless (again), but I don't know how to check to make sure I have the latest drivers in place or how to get new ones (I especially don't know how to get new ones without internet access!).

    Can you walk me through how I can check to see if I have the manufacturer's drivers rather than Microsoft's? Thanks so much.
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Before doing that, it might be worth just checking one other thing: go to control panel > network connectors and right click on the one marked local area connection (ignore 1394 devices). Go to properties and scroll down the list until you reach tcp/ip - double click to select properties and confirm under the general tab that the device is set to obtain IP addresses automatically -if they were preset, make a note of the numbers before you change anything, If you change anything, click OK and reboot to make sure the cache is cleared and settings applied. See if this fixed it.
    Let us know?
    Go to control panel > system > hardware > device manager and look for the network devices.
    If they have either a red or yellow mark over them then you have found the problem but I would be surprised as you have managed to get a response to ipconfig. Right click on the network device and look at the properties - click on the driver tab and then driver details. Look at the drivers list and the provider - which should not show Microsoft as their drivers often cause trouble. If they are MS, you will have to locate the latest set for the device or reinstall them from the motherboard CD if you still have it.
    Let us
  6. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Albert, thanks for these ideas. Under TCP/IP, it is set to obtain the IP address automatically. It's not been preset. The DNS appears to be preset, and I can't get the DNS to stay on the "Obtain DNS server automatically."

    As for the ethernet and the wireless card, they do not have any red or yellow marks when I look under the Device Manager. The ethernet driver is Microsoft-supplied, but since it's not changed I don't know why it would suddenly give me problems. Also, the wireless card driver is from the company, and I'm getting the same problem whether I plug directly into the ethernet or whether I use wireless...

    Is there a way to download drivers onto another machine, put them on a USB, and transfer them? I of course should be able to update the drivers from Control Panel->System->Device Manager-> Hardware, but since I can't get online I don't think I can update them that way. The relevant information is below:

    Wireless card: IEEE 802.11g Wirelss Cardbus/PCI Adapter
    Driver Provider: Marvell
    Driver Date: 9/17/2004
    Driver Version: 3.1.0.19
    Not digitally signed

    Ethernet: 3Com 3c290 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible)
    Driver Provider: Microsoft
    Driver Date: 7/1/2001
    Driver Version: 4.5.0.0
    Digital Signer: Microsoft Windows Publisher
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Dont worry about the DNS servers - it will work as it is.
    The drivers might have been changed by an update and you should change the 3Com drivers if you can, You can download the drivers and save them to a flash drive without problem - go to the 3Com site and download the drivers from there and save instead of run the file.
  8. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again for the idea. I re-installed the wireless card software (including driver) this morning and had a few blissful minutes of internet access -- long enough to update some virus software, and then it disappeared again. Or, more accurately, after I re-started my computer the connection went wonky and then gave me a "Limited or no connectivity" message. So I had a moment in the sun and now I'm backed to stumped.

    I am currently trying to download the driver for the ethernet controller. (Which I typed incorrectly, by the by: it's "3Com 3c920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible)" rather than "3c290" as I typed originally. I have had no luck finding the driver on the 3com website -- even in their archive, I turn up nothing -- but the driverguide website has turned up some possible hits. I'm just not sure which of the three I found there is the right one. As far as Driver versions go, should I pick the newest-sounding one (the highest number)? Or the number closest to what I currently have?
  9. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

  10. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that idea, CCT. That seems to be the same file name (although very different file size) of one I have just recently tried, and that didn't appear to help. I've tried two new drivers so far (and I will try this one you've suggested, CCT), and neither has changed anything: when I plug into an ethernet cord I still get the message saying I am connected and the connection is good, but I cannot actually get online or surf the web, etc.

    For CCT or Albert or anyone else, does it mean anything that when I go to the CMD prompt and ping IPs, I seem to be able to ping working IP numbers, but not the names of websites (such as ping google [dot] com)? That is, if I ping a good IP number, I tend to get fine replies -- 4 packets sent, 4 received, none lost, etc. But if I try to ping yahoo or google, it doesn't recognize the name?

    Thanks.
  11. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    Cut and paste this to Notepad and save as Flush.bat then double click it:

    echo off

    ipconfig /release

    ipconfig /flushdns

    ipconfig /registerdns

    ipconfig /renew

    netsh winsock reset catalog

    netsh int ip reset reset.log

    netsh winsock reset

    pause
     
  12. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    BTW - it sems each time you renew drivers for your adapter you need to make a NEW shortcut.

    :)
  13. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

  14. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Got a fix!

    CCT and Albert,

    Thanks for all your help and advice. I ended up getting a fix from the ISP technician, who came out to examine the modem and then nicely checked my computer. It turns out that it did have something to do with the DNS staying locked on the same two addresses. He went deep into some folders (I know not where) and removed some WinSock2 info, and did some other magic, and lo and behold, the DNS now is set to automatically find addresses (rather than fixed on two addresses, as it was previously).

    Does this make any sense? Can either of you help me understand what he did and what it all means?

    Thanks again for all the help along the way. You two have been great. I appreciate it.
  15. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    This is what he fixed;

    "Under TCP/IP, it is set to obtain the IP address automatically. It's not been preset. The DNS appears to be preset, and I can't get the DNS to stay on the "Obtain DNS server automatical"."

    and

    "If I go to the network properties, and then to the TCP/IP properties (for both wireless and for the local area connection) I cannot get the choice for "Obtain DNS server address automatically" to stay checked. When I check it and "OK" my way out of those windows and go back later, it has always come unchecked and reverted to the same Preferred and Alternate DNS servers -- it's always the same numbers, no matter where I am."


    Where he went isn't clear though!

    I suspect something like this:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811259
  16. Bill_A_1973

    Bill_A_1973 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    False alarm... not actually fixed!

    So everything worked fine yesterday -- internets and all. Then I shut the computer down when I went to bed last night, woke up this AM and restarted it, and it was back to the same old song and dance: It says I am connected but I cannot access the internet.

    When the cable guy fixed it, he did something with the following: When I open network connections, then right-click and select "properties" from the network connection (either Local Area Network or wireless connection), then click TCP/IP and choose properties, I see "Use the following DNS server addresses" clicked, with the following DNS addresses:
    Preferred DNS server: 72.3.247.239
    Alternate DNS server: 209.200.151.4

    If I click "Obtain DNS server addresses automatically" it deletes those two addresses. BUT if I then click out (by choosing "OK" twice to get back to Network Connections) and then go *back* into Properties and back into TCP/IP Properties, the "Use the following DNS server addresses" is re-clicked and the same two addresses are back in place. Under "Advanced TCP/IP Settings," I have the following:
    IP settings: DHCP enabled is listed, and "Automatic metric" is checked
    DNS: I now only have "Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes" clicked. If I click "Register this connection's addresses in DNS" and then click out and click back in, I get the two DNS addresses listed above in the "DNS server addresses, in order of use" box.
    WINS: "Enable LMHOSTS lookup" is clicked
    Under NetBIOS settings, the "Default: Use NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server..." is clicked.
    Option: TCP/IP flitering is listed as an Optional setting

    Anyone out there have any idea how to fix this problem with the DNS addresses? I need it to STAY on "Obtain DNS server addresses automatically," and the previous fix (from a very handy cable guy) involved deleting (I think) the information in the Winsock2 folder and then doing some other magical fixes.

    Thanks for any helps anyone can give.

    - Bill
  17. Texas Reb

    Texas Reb TS Rookie

    I have the same exact problem

    Hi Bill,

    Did you ever get your issue corrected?

    I am having the same issue and I even took it to a pc repair place (paid $65.00) for new drivers and am still having the same issue.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
  18. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    I have the same thing back again so have given up with IE and now use Firefox.
  19. Texas Reb

    Texas Reb TS Rookie

    I tried firefox and it doesn't work either
  20. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    What I have done in the past where this sort of conflict exists is to fit a second network card to the system and to set them up differently. Won't always work but if you have a card spare it is worth a try!
  21. dfortin556

    dfortin556 TS Rookie

    Try disabling one of the connections, sound silly but it worked for me... My wireless was connecting to the network but the internet was not working. So I checked all the network settings, used ipconfig /release & /renew, Made sure passwords were correct, etc... I had a hard time believing it was failed drivers or updates as I have not done any auto updates since my last connections. My laptop is used for work so I'm constantly assigning new addresses and connecting to different networks. However I get home and it won't let me connect to my home wireless. I checked my Mac book and of course no problems whatsoever.. but my dell was NFG. Finally I disabled the ethernet connection. This disabled the internet connection for a few seconds and then restarted the service. I was then able to connect to the internet over the wireless.

    Hope this helps.
  22. radnam

    radnam TS Rookie Posts: 53

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