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Fixing Connectivity Issues on Internet Explorer

written by: •edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 5/26/2011

Internet Explorer was working fine until you closed it. When you restarted, it shows the message "Internet Explorer Can't Find Server" or "Page Cannot Be Displayed" and does not take you to any website. Read on to find out how you can fix the issue.

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    Make Sure You Are Connected To The Internet

    Fig 1- Internet Explorer 9 The first step when you encounter connectivity issues in Internet Explorer would be to check out if you are connected to the Internet. There can be two scenarios: 1) the computer you are working on connects directly to the Internet and 2) the computer connects to the Internet via a network.

    In either case, check if your computer is connected to the Internet. The best way to check it out would be to use the PING command. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. In the Run dialog, type CMD. In the black command window, type the following and press Enter:

    PING www.google.com

    When you type the command, your computer tries to establish connection with the Google website. If successful, it will show zero packet loss. If the computer is not able to establish connection with the Google website, it will show you a packet loss of four.

    If the packet loss is zero, skip the next section and continue troubleshooting Internet Explorer and Windows. If there is a packet loss, you need to troubleshoot your Internet connection.

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    Troubleshooting Internet Connection

    The basic steps that involve troubleshooting an Internet connection are as follows:

    1. Check to see if the IP configuration on the computer in question is changed;
    2. Check if you can communicate with the router;
    3. Check the router settings;
    4. In case of networked computers, check to see if you can access the main (gateway) computer through which you connect to the Internet

    If your computer can communicate with the router but still cannot connect, call your Internet service provider to fix the issue for you.

    The best method to see if your computer can communicate with the router is to use the PING command again. Or you can just type in the IP address of the router in the address bar of the Internet Explorer. If the Internet Explorer opens the router settings page, your computer is communicating with the router.

    When you are on the router settings page, make sure the settings are correct. You can also reset the router and then add fresh settings if you know how to configure it.

    The IP address of the router would be 192.168.1.1. If this does not open up the router settings page, either you are not able to communicate with the router or address is different. Call your ISP to get the correct IP address of the router.

    You may also need to see if the cables are connected properly. Also check if the drivers of the network adaptor you are using, are working fine. You can check the drivers under Device Manager (Windows Key + Break).

    Proceed to the following if the Internet connection is okay yet you are facing messages saying "Page Cannot be Found" or "Internet Explorer Can't Find Server".

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    Clean the Internet Explorer Cache

    Often, cleaning the Internet Cache and removing the temporary files will help you fix the problem. The prebuilt cleaner in Internet Explorer Cache is not always successful in cleaning the cache. You need to use a third party program. I would recommend CCleaner or Comodo System Cleaner as they offer the option to clean the Internet Explorer Cache. You can download either of them from cnet.com.

    Note: When you run the system cleaner, make sure you create a system restore point before continuing. Also make sure you have marked your Internet cache to be cleaned before running the scan.

    Important: From my personal experience with the Comodo System Cleaner, please do NOT select the Aggressive Mode if using it. It often results in Windows becoming unstable.

    Open the Internet Explorer after cleaning the IE Cache and see if the connectivity issue is resolved. If not, let us go ahead and fix the Windows Hosts file.

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    Fixing the Windows Hosts File

    The Windows Hosts file is mainly used to resolve addresses of different entries. The local computer is assigned a particular address. If any other domain contains the same address, it results in a loop and you get the error: Internet Explorer Cannot Find Server.

    To reset the Windows Hosts File, use the Fix It utility from Microsoft - if you have a working browser other than Internet Explorer. If you do not have it, you can copy the executable to a CD and use it on the problem computer.

    After using the Fixit solution, reboot the computer. This should fix your Internet Explorer connectivity problem. If the browser still keeps on giving you the error message 'Page Cannot be Found' or 'Internet Explorer Can't Find Server', you may have to repair the WinSock file.

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    Repairing WinSock

    Windows uses Winsock protocol to access Internet resources. A corrupt Winsock may lead to inability of Internet Explorer to locate these resources. To repair the Winsock, open the command prompt by typing CMD in Run dialog (Windows Key + R). In the command prompt, type the following commands:

    Netsh Winsock reset

    Netsh Winsock reset catalog

    netsh int ip reset reset.log hit

    Exit

    The last command will close the command window. This done, reboot your computer and check to see if the Internet Explorer is working fine.

    If your Internet Explorer is still facing problems, contact the Microsoft support team.

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    References

    Image from Internet Explorer 9 by author

    Microsoft Knowledgebase, Article ID: 972034

    Microsoft Knowledgebase, Article ID: 936211