Windows 7 internet problems – Troubleshooting tips

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Windows 7 Internet Problems?

Why are we writing a post about fixing internet problems in Windows 7 when Windows 10 is about to be released in the near future. Well, simply because, even today, 50% of all PCs that use Windows are using Windows 7! 7 is by far the most popular and stable version of Windows ever. That being said, here are a few well known fixes for internet problems in Windows 7, should you one of the rare users who faces them.

1. Corrupted DNS Cache

Quite often, your system’s DNS cache could get corrupted and this could be a common cause for internet connection problem on Windows 7, 8 or Windows Vista. Don’t worry. You can flush the DNS cache and get back to normalcy. This is how you do it in a two-step process.

Step-1: Navigate to

Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Command Prompt

Right click on the icon and ‘run as administrator’. Then type the following command:

ipconfig/flushdns

A confirmation dialogue window pops up showing:

“Windows IP Configuration. Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.“

Step-2: Type

ipconfig/registerdns and hit enter

This command will register DNS records that your Windows 7 programs may have recorded in its Hosts file.

2. Using the Internet Diagnostic Tool Repair

In Windows 7, the network and internet diagnostic & repair tool helps you identify possible issues preventing internet connectivity. If your computer is on the network and it loses internet connectivity, the diagnostic and repair tool will graphically display which connection is causing an issue. It then uses Network Diagnostics to determine the cause of issue and eventually find possible solutions.

To access it, open

Control Panel >> Network & Sharing Center

Click on ‘troubleshoot problems’ at the bottom of the screen. Once the Windows screen opens, you can choose from the options to fix the problem you want to resolve. Internet connections resolution is one of the listings.

3. Check the all important Hosts File

Hosts file maps the hostname to the IP address of the website. Any domain name associated with the localhost IP 127.0.0.1 will not be able to access the Internet.  This essentially redirects or cuts off internet access.

Viruses can edit the host file and make your PC not access the internet. Check if your host file is not corrupted when you face internet issues. You can access the hosts file through the following navigation

C drive >> Windows folder >> System32 folder >> drivers folder >> etc folder >> open the file named ‘hosts’ as a notepad file.

If you aren’t able to locate the file, you might have to change your view from ‘Text documents’ to ‘All Files’. The file looks like this: windows 7 hosts file to check internet problems

The file should have only the header lines (marked with #at the beginning of every line) and perhaps the line that mentions ‘localhost’. Every other text should be deleted. Ensure you open the file in notepad and you ‘run as administrator’ of the system to gain edit access to the hosts file.

4. Renew Your IP Address

Windows 7’s ipconfig displays current TCP/IP networks configuration values. It also refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings. You might have a bad IP address. Most often, refreshing your IP address will resolve your internet connectivity problem. Perform the following operation

Start menu >> type cmd

ipconfig is an important command and you might be interested to understand more about this command. Just type ipconfig and hit enter. You will get to know the status of your computer’s Internet Protocol (IP address).

From the cmd prompt >> type ipconfig/release to let go of the current IP address. Following that, type ipconfig/renew to obtain a new IP address.

If you face an error while executing the command ipconfig/renew, see the Microsoft site to find a solution. Click here to access.

However, if the problem recurs, you will need to create and run a .bat file using the steps mentioned below:

Step-1: create a notepad file

Step-2: write down the following commands:

ipconfig/release

ipconfig/renew

Step-3: save it as iprenew.bat file.

Step-4: place it in the ‘startup’ folder.

Your IP address will get renewed every time you restart your system.

5. Reset TCP/IP Manually

For Windows 7, you might have to reset your TCP/IP manually to ensure your internet connections resume full service. To do this, you need to

Type ‘cmd’ on start menu’s search bar

Right click the ‘cmd’ icon and select ‘run as administrator’. Then type the following command

netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Once done, hit ‘enter’.

6. Resetting Altered TCP/IP Settings

Sometimes, your TCP/IP settings might be altered in a way or two. To bring it back to shape, execute the following steps for Windows 7.

Go to ‘Control Panel’ and then the ‘Network and Sharing Center’.  Then click on ‘change adapter settings’. Right click on the device that is giving you trouble, either the Wireless card or Ethernet card. Then select ‘properties’ to bring up a screen as shown below:

changing tcpip settings in windows 7

Check on ‘Internet Protocol Version 6’ and click ‘Properties’. You should see a screen like the following:

changing tcpip settings 2  in windows 7

Ensure the options ‘Obtain an IPv6 address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ are checked. Once done, click ‘OK’ and go back to the ‘Local Area Connection Properties’ screen. Check the option ‘Internet Protocol Version 4’ and repeat the same steps as that of Version 6 and click OK once done.

This option will obtain an IP address automatically and reset your TCP/IP settings.

7. Windows Socket API Reset

Windows Socket API, otherwise called ‘Winsock’, handles Windows’ network services. A reset of this may fix a network problem. Earlier in this article, we saw the process to reset TCP/IP. Winsock reset is similar to that.

Type ‘cmd’ on start menu’s search bar

Right click the ‘cmd’ icon and select ‘run as administrator’. Then type the following command

netsh winsock reset. Press ‘enter’ and restart your computer.

There will be times when none of these solutions will come handy for you. If you happen to hit such a situation, the only choice that you’ve got is to get in touch with a network engineer and have the problem examined. We however hope you don’t run into a situation like that and hope that the above Windows 7 internet fixes can get your Internet up and running!

Here are some other good PC maintenance tips that we have written about. Using them will allow you to keep your PC humming along, at consistent speeds, without user induced slowdowns.

About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
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