Windows 7 – Slow, Unreliable Network ?

Even though Windows 7 is a brand new operating system, it is inevitable that the Internet connection will from time to time require a reset. While trying the stand things like restarting your cable or DSL modem may help if the problem is with the actual connection. Sometimes the problem will be with the computer, and when that happens you may end up scratching your head and listening to cheesy hold music while waiting for the technical support agent to come back to the phone. Worse yet after waiting and waiting the tech may very well come back and tell you the problem cannot be resolved on their side and suggest you contact the manufacturer of the computer. Which means more time spent on hold, and the very probable start of a migraine.

In this article I will try and save you some time and headaches, I will be going over the main steps you will want to take when trying to fix a connection problem within Windows 7. The first is of course, restarting the computer, your router and your modem. If after this the connection is still not working correctly you may want to try some of these next steps.

Before we even get started, it’s worth looking at your network. Most of our office networks still run on IPv4 protocols, not the new IPv6. If that’s true in your case, opposite click on your network icon in the System Tray and select “Network and Sharing Center”. Then click on the appropriate network adapter and click “Change Adapter Settings”. Simply un-check the box next to IPV6.

First try resetting Internet Explorers options, do this by opening up your control panel. Select “Internet Options”. In this window click on the “Advanced” tab, near the bottom of this tab you should see a button that says reset. Click on it, Then click OK. Close Internet Explorer then restart the computer again. Try your Internet.

If the above does not work then there may be a problem within Windows 7’s network. So you will want to try resetting that as well. To accomplish this, you will first need to open the run window. To do this press and hold the windows logo key, and while holding it press the letter R. You should see the “Run/Open” window appear. Type the following into the line, then click OK.

netsh int ip reset log.txt

When you click OK you should see a black screen come up, stay open for a moment or two, then disappear. After this window goes away go ahead and restart the computer again. Let Windows 7 fully load, then open up Internet Explorer and try the Internet connection again.

If this does not do it you can try flushing your DNS cache. To do this you will need to open the Run/Open window the same way as described above. However this time type the following into the window then click ok.

ipconfig /flush_dns

Another black screen will appear for a moment or two, then it will disappear. Go ahead and restart the computer and let Windows 7 fully load back to the desktop before trying your Internet again.

If at this point your connection is still not working properly you will want to go over any security software you have installed. Typically new computers will come with Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security pre-installed. Open up the control panel for either program and look for things like firewalls, and filtering software. Try disabling it, do not worry after a reboot they should be turned back on automatically. You may even want to try adding Internet Explorer to the trusted programs list. Sometimes called Exceptions List.

If you are using a router, you can even try by-passing it temporarily. Do this by turning everything off, take the wire running from your computer to the router and switch it to the modem itself. Turn on the modem, wait 3-5 minutes for it to load then turn on the computer again. Let Windows 7 boot up, then try Internet Explorer again. If it works now, the problem lies within the router itself. Could be a bad router, or it may need to be re-configured.

For that matter take a look at the modem itself and make sure all the proper lights are on and solid. Activity lights may or may not blink with activity on the network, however the rest of the lights should be on and steady. A blinking light typically indicates a problem with that part of the connection.

If that last step fails you will most likely want to call your Internet provider and have them walk you through all the settings. Diagnosing a bad connection can be hard even for the most seasoned IT professional, so do not become disheartened if the above does not work for all issues. None of the above is detrimental to your machine, the netsh command simply tells windows to rebuild the TCP/IP portion of your network on the next start up. Just remember if you disable your security software while troubleshooting to re-enable it once everything is working again. Or remove it and install a different program to take its place.

If you are using a dialup connection as apposed to a broad band connection you may even want to try deleting and re-creating the connection itself. For dialup connections some bits of information are stored directly inside of the actual connection and not within Windows 7 itself. Deleting and re-creating these connections can some times fix Internet problems on any version of Windows.

Also bear in mind, any type of parental software or Internet monitoring software that is installed could be causing browsing issues as well. These types of programs need low level access to your connection and because of this they can cause issues when Windows 7 attempts to open an Internet resource.

One last item that bears mentioning, User Accounts. Make sure that you are logged into an Administration account when trying any of the suggestions here. To check your account type, open up your control panel and you should see a “Users” section. Simply open it and verify that you are in an administration account. If you are not, you may need to contact the location you purchased the PC from for instructions on accessing the Admin account.

Hope this helps!

If you can’t wait to find out more or for a free technology consultation, contact me!

Aaron Schlagel
Phone: 505-692-4953

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