How to Fix the Error Message
As with any thing technical, the way you fix a problem depends on the reason the problem exists. Here are some popular fixes for the error messages in the previous section:
1. Install a patch. If the limited or no connectivity error message appears after you have installed something (like SP2 for XP or similar), then most likely the stuff you installed is the culprit. You can uninstall it, but this is not a guarantee that things will be fixed. You can also try the fix from Microsoft's website – this works well when SP2 is the reason.
2. Check your settings. If the error message starts to appear out of nowhere, then it is not very likely that your settings have changed just because they wanted to, but in order to be sure that they are the way they should be, (e.g. if other people use your computer, it is possible that somebody might have changed them), you need to double check them. Right click the network icon (located at the bottom right in the taskbar, there is a yellow exclamation mark on it), select Status and then Properties. You should see this dialog:
Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and check the settings there. Under Properties you will see the Obtain an IP Address Automatically radio button and make sure it is selected.
3. Restart your connection. A much more trivial reason for the limited or no connectivity error message is that you are temporarily unable to connect. For instance, if you are using a wireless connection and you switched from one connection to the next, the settings from the previous connection might be still active. Right click on the network icon and click Repair. Windows will perform a series of steps to clear the connection cache and reconnect.
4. Call your provider. If everything up to here looks just perfect, then you should call your provider and ask them. If their DHCP server is down (and you can't know this, unless you ask them), there is nothing you can do but wait for them to fix it.
5. Switch to static IPs. Finally, if you have frequent problems with limited or no connectivity error messages on your network, you might consider switching to static IPs, if possible. If your Internet provider operates with dynamic IPs, it is impossible to switch to static IPs. It's best to tell the network administrator about the problem and there may be a chance they'll consider switching to static IPs. Switching from dynamic to static IPs is very hard and most network administrators will not perform the switch, however.
There are more reasons and ways to troubleshoot the limited or no connectivity error message but it is not possible to include them all. Try these fixes first and if they don't work, then search for additional information and fixes. In many cases the fixes are among the 5 listed above, so let's hope that your fix is here, too.
Screenshots courtesy of author.