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Cannot connect to the internet

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
Thanks: 38
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Cannot connect to the internet

I am tearing my hair out.  My laptop got itself in a mess.  I restored it to a previous point and things were much better again.  But then suddenly they started to play up.  I tried to restore again but found that now there were no previous restore points any more.  The old ones had all disappeared.  Why ?
So I took off the Microsoft Anti-virus which I had installed a year ago to see if that could be the cause.  No difference.  So I put back on Avast! instead.  I then deleted Zone Alarm.  Still no better, so I re-installed it.  I have defragged and and done a virus scan to no avail.
In fairness, the capacity on the hard drive is down to about 3 Gb only.  It is not easy to delete files, because the disk is partitioned and the C: drive has only 20 Gb. which has gradually been eaten up by Windows XP.  There would be no difficulty removing files from the second partition and trying to consolidate into just one partition, but would I need to re-install Windows afterwards ?
The problem is that initially, it connects to the internet for a short while and seems to run o.k.  Then it loses the connection and I get stuck.  It is exactly the same whether I am using Ethernet connection or WiFi.
Can anyone suggest what might be the problem.  What I cannot understand is why I can download my email one minute and then the next time I try there is no longer any connection.  The same applies to accessing websites.  One minute I can, next minute I cannot.
It cannot be the ADSL because I have a desktop computer connected by Ethernet and that works fine all the time.
Does anyone have any suggestions  please ?
24 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Not addressing your main problem but http://www.tech-pro.net/windows-update-remover.html would free up some C: drive space if you haven't deleted the Windows uninstalls.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Quote from: shermans
the capacity on the hard drive is down to about 3 Gb only.  It is not easy to delete files, because the disk is partitioned and the C: drive has only 20 Gb. which has gradually been eaten up by Windows XP.  There would be no difficulty removing files from the second partition and trying to consolidate into just one partition, but would I need to re-install Windows afterwards ?

On Windows Vista or 7 this is a trivial operation.  You remove any files you want to keep from the second partition, delete it, then expand the C: partition into the available space.  But, as far as I can remember, you need some disk manipulation utility software to accomplish the same thing on XP.  Either way, no need to re-install Windows. 
Quote from: shermans
Does anyone have any suggestions  please ?

Have you tried pinging some Internet IP addresses to test if your connection really is fully down or just very slow?
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Thanks for the ideas.
As for pinging, when it works it pings; when it does not, it does not ping either.  As I mentioned, the desktop computer uses the same modem/router, and that works fine all the time, so I don't think it is a slow connection.
One other point, if I get stuck with the laptop, then I re-boot to cold, and then it connects after re-boot.  But it still does not hold the connection for long.  So it must be disconnecting somehow.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

I really cannot think of anything that would allow you to connect to the internet for a while, would affect both a wired and a wireless connection and is not down to the router.  Having made a note of your login credentials I suggest you try a factory-state reset on your router in case it is doing something strange.  Then retest both the wired and the wireless connection to make absolutely sure they both suffer the same symptoms. 
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Thanks.  I have now just tried that and it makes no difference unfortunately,  So I then tried to use a friend's broadband to see what would happen.  I got exactly the same result,  My laptop connected through their router for a while and then just hung again - no internet connection.  Meanwhile the friend's computer worked fine.  There are other programmes which have also stopped working, notably Word 2002 and Autoroute Express.  And when I start anything, the progarmmes all take an age to load.
So I am pretty certain that it is my laptop that has a problem and the only thing that I can try is to re-install Windows.  What I fear is that there is so much spaghetti code in the registry after all these years of .net farmework updates that never update properly and all the other software that keeps getting updated, removed or re-loaded  that there are lots of conflicts.
However, before I take the plunge - because it is a lot of work to re-install everything - can you recommend perhaps a Registry Cleaner ?  I use CCleaner regularly but wonder if there is something better ?
Also, why would all the old Restore Points suddenly no longer be asvailable ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,868
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Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Here's the answer to that last question:
Quote from: shermans
the capacity on the hard drive is down to about 3 Gb only.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,868
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Quote from: shermans
What I fear is that there is so much spaghetti code in the registry after all these years of .net farmework updates that never update properly and all the other software that keeps getting updated, removed or re-loaded  that there are lots of conflicts.

Re-installing will give you a fresh shiny new copy of the registry.  And if you don't like .NET updates, don't install the %^&*!  thing in the first place.
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Hi
I thought that I had to have the %^&*!  thing !  I have no idea what it is or what it does.  If I don't need the damn thing, can I just delete it through Add, Remove Programmes in Control Panel ?  I have to say that all this trouble started just after the last update !  I bet you that has something to do with it.
IanSn
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Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Just to mention - I had this, everything you've so far described.
I wasn't until I entirely removed ZoneLabs that the problem resolved.
This happened across two PC laptops - the first I took back to the shop because it 'didn't work'!
I found out the ZoneLabs problem when exactly the same thing happened on the new machine.
Thought it was worth a mention.
afterthought - are you running two firewalls at the same time?
shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Thanks: 38
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Not intentionally.  I assumed that Zone Alarm had turned off the Windows Firewall.  It may also be that the new version of Avast! may have a Frirewall built in; I need to look into tha.
There seems to be specualtaion that a Firewall is not necessary these days ?  Anyone know if that is true ?
Anyway, I am now going to remove Zone Alarm again completely; I have often suspected it.
IanSn
Grafter
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Re: Cannot connect to the internet

From memory, ZL was grabbing a 169. IP address and logging it, despite the proper IP on the router. It would do this after running with the correct IP for 5 or 10 mins.
Result - no internet.
Can't remember the exact details.
Def check those firewalls!
Not necessary  Shocked  Who said that?
Community Veteran
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Re: Cannot connect to the internet

You really really don't need ZoneAlarm so long as you make sure the Windows firewall is turned back on afterwards.
To get rid of .NET use the cleanup tool here http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/08/28/8904493.aspx
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

A firewall isn't as essential as it was when you were using dialup because there's quite a degree of protection being hidden behind a NAT router. The thing about ZoneAlarm is that it notifies you if an unexpected program tries to contact the internet - Windows firewall doesn't offer that protection.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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IanSn
Grafter
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Registered: 25-09-2011

Re: Cannot connect to the internet

Without ZL there are other (freeware!) progs that will check what your system is up to.
The 'SpyBot-SearchAndDestroy' website/forum is quite good for advice about this...