Fixing a PC Computer Issue

The computers themselves are far more complex than anything else on the network, and so fixing a computer that is not able to go online or is running slowly is more technical than the rest of this document.  If you are having difficulty with these instructions or are not comfortable attempting them yourself, please call Broadband Surfer Canada at 780-686-7873 and we will suggest a technician or company who can repair it for you.

These tips are intended to fix a computer which is having problems with the internet specifically. If you are having problems on a Mac, we suggest you contact Apple directly or have a technician examine the system as the information provided is specific to PC's. Some steps may also help a computer which is running slowly overall, but the steps here focus on getting the internet working and may not help if your computer is having more general problems.There are three steps which fix most internet problems on PCs.
Step 1 – Repair the internet connection: Windows has a utility to automatically repair internet connections.  It doesn’t fix every problem, but it’s a good place to start.  How you repair the connection depends on which version of Windows you’re using.

Windows XP: Click on the Start Button, and then go to Control Panel.
Control Panel
In the Control Panel, click on “Network and Internet Connections.”  
Click on “Network Connections” on the bottom of the screen to open the network connection window.
LAN or highspeed internet
Right click on the first item in the window, and choose repair.  Once it finishes repairing the connection, hit the close button.  Repeat for each other item in the window.  Test the internet, and proceed to the next step if you are still having problems.

Vista/Windows 7: Look for the network icon at the bottom right hand side of the screen, usually right next to the clock.  The icons look varies depending on how your computer is trying to connect to the internet, but should resemble two computers next to one another, a computer with an internet cable beside it, or a series of bars similar to a bar graph.  Right click on the network icon and press “Troubleshoot problems.”  If you are having problems finding the network icon, right click on each icon beside the clock until you find the right one.
Troubleshoot problems
The Windows Network Diagnostics window will open, and will ask you what type of internet problem you are having.  Follow the on screen instructions to see if it is able to resolve your problem.  Test the internet, and proceed to the next step if you are still having problems.

Step 2 – Resetting the internet settings: This step uses the command line, which fixes the vast majority of problems.  First open a command prompt window.  The process is a little different for Windows XP than for Vista and Windows 7. In Windows XP, go to the Start menu, and click on Run.  Type in “cmd” in the window that opens and press the OK button.
In Windows 7 or Vista, open the start menu and type “cmd” into the search bar at the bottom of the menu.  Right click on the black icon with “cmd” after it in the search results, and click on “Run as Administrator.”  Choose yes when prompted.
You should now have a black window with white text in it.
black window
Type in the command “netsh winsock reset catalog” as shown below.  This command will reset your network settings, and fixes a lot of common problems.  Press enter when finished.  Next type in “netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt” and press enter again.
Command Prompt
Restart the computer.  If the internet is still not working, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Reinstall the network card driver:The file that tells the computer how to talk to the internet can become corrupted and can cause problems.  This step reinstalls that file with a fresh, uncorrupted copy. To begin press the start button and right click on My Computer (in XP) or Computer (in Vista/Windows 7).  In the menu that pops up, choose Manage.
This should open the Computer Management window.  In the left hand pane, select Device Manager.
In the right hand pane, look for Network Adapters, and double click on it to see the items inside it.  Right click on the first item in the list, and choose Uninstall from the menu that pops up.  It will ask you if you’re sure you want to uninstall this device from your system.  In Vista or Windows 7, it will also have a checkbox asking if you wish to delete the driver software for this device, we want to make sure this checkbox is NOT checked.  Hit OK.  Continue to do this for each device under Network Adapters.  Once finished, restart the computer. After the computer restarts, it will tell you that it’s detected a new device.  Give it a few minutes and it will tell you your new device is ready to use.  At this point, Windows has reinstalled the driver and you can try the internet again.

Step 4 – If, at this point, the computer is still not able to access the internet, it is time to have it examined by a technician.  Please call Broadband Surfer Canada at 780-686-7873 so that we can suggest a company or local technician who can assist you.