How to Restore Internet Service in Windows XP

By Jennifer Claerr

There are many reasons why you might lose your Internet connection in Windows XP. The most common cause is missing or corrupt system files. You may also lose your Internet connection because your settings have been accidentally deleted. Other times, it may be caused by a problem with your wireless LAN. Only in rare cases is it caused by hardware failure. In most instances, you can get back on the Internet without having to repair or reinstall Windows.

Restore Connection for Computer Connected Directly to the Internet

Double-click the shortcut to Internet Explorer 7. If the browser will not open or doesn't function properly, reinstall or repair the browser software. Click Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections > Internet Options. Click the "Advanced" tab. Under "Reset Internet Explorer settings," click "Reset..." If you have Internet Explorer 6 installed, browse to the "Windows" folder in your root directory and find the "Inf" folder. Navigate to the "ie.inf" file. Right-click the file and select "Install." When this is complete, navigate to the Windows Update site as soon as possible to install Internet Explorer 7.

See if your Internet connection still exists. Click Start > Connect to > Show all connections. An icon labeled "Internet Connection" or "Dial" should be in the Network Connections window.

Restore your Internet connection if you don't see it in the Network Connections window. Get the user name and password you use to connect to your Internet service provider or find your wireless router configuration settings. Click "Create a New Connection" in the left pane and complete the wizard.

Restore Connection on Wireless LAN Workgroup Computers

See if Internet Explorer is functioning properly on your workgroup computers. If it isn't, repeat the steps to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer on your workgroup computers.

Click Start > Connect to > Show all connections. You should see an icon labeled "Wireless Network Connection." To restore your Internet connection across your wireless network, click "Set up a home or small office network." Run the Network Setup Wizard.

Find the configuration settings and log-in information for your wireless router. Check the user manual for instructions on how to check and reset the password and encryption settings. Reset them, if necessary, then copy down the new configuration. You will probably need to complete this step on the computer that is directly connected to the wireless router and to the Internet.

Ensure that the access points on your wireless network are all configured with the same password and encryption method as your wireless router. In Network Connections, select the "Wireless Network Connection" icon. Click "Change settings of this connection." Click the "Wireless Networks" tab. Click the check box beside "Use Windows to configure my network settings." Click "OK." Click "View Available Wireless Networks" in the left pane. Select your wireless network and click "Connect." Enter your log-in information when the dialog box prompts you.