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Repair/Reset Winsock settings (Links)

Most of the Internet connectivity problems arise out of corrupt Winsock settings. Windows sockets settings may get corrupted due to the installation of a networking software, or perhaps due to Malware infestation. You will be able connect to the Internet, but the packets won't transfer back and forth. And errors such as Page cannot be displayed may occur when using Internet Explorer. This article lists the methods (with links to third-party websites) to reset/repair the Winsock configuration to defaults.

Tools

Microsoft Knowledgebase articles

Windows XP Service Pack 2 - New Winsock NETSH commands

Two new Netsh commands are available in Windows XP Service Pack 2.

netsh winsock reset catalog

This command resets the Winsock catalog to the default configuration. This can be useful if a malformed LSP is installed that results in loss of network connectivity. While use of this command can restore network connectivity, it should be used with care because any previously-installed LSPs will need to be re-installed.

netsh winsock show catalog

This command displays the list of Winsock LSPs that are installed on the computer.

 To output the results to a file type this in Command Prompt (CMD.EXE)

netsh winsock show catalog >C:\lsp.txt

Click to view the sample file now - lsp.txt

See: Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2: Network Protection Technologies

Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE LSP Explorer Add-on can generate more information than NETSH, and provides options to Backup, Restore the LSPs, export the details to a HTML / Plain text file. Using the report you can easily determine the third-party LSPs, the Product, Company name and the corresponding LSP provider file name.

  • Download / Install Ad-aware SE from Lavasoft

  • Visit their Plugins page and install the LSP Explorer Plugin for Ad-aware (pllspexplorer)

  • Launch Ad-aware and click the Add-ons button

  • Double-click LSP Explorer add-on and run it

Download a sample LSP HTML report (6kb Zip).

Note that resetting the Winsock using netsh winsock reset catalog command in SP2 removes all the third-party LSPs and restores Winsock to factory default setting. Existing programs that uses their own LSPs, need to be reinstalled again. Example.. Google Desktop Search.