Basic High Speed Connectivity Troubleshooting

I've spent (too many) years running Technical Support departments for ISP's. I'm not just a manager. I also take customer calls and troubleshoot with customers every single day. The ISP I work for currently is a small organization, so we have to compete with the "Big Boys" in the market. As such, I and my team know this stuff like the back of our hands. We don't follow troubleshooting guides or read screens for each and every step, then panic and ramble in a bewildered trance if the customer we're talking to steps off the pages into some unknown territory. We don't refer you to your manufacturer if you use anything other than the equipment we sold you as an ISP. We will basically troubleshoot anything that we can for you, if it impacts your enjoyment of the Internet. Suffice it to say, that we know our stuff.

That brings me to this guide, which is designed to cover the very basics of Windows connectivity troubleshooting and hopefully help you avoid calling your own ISP, because while the customers who call us get to speak to someone in their own Province, who actually understands the technology and isn't reading it from a screen, I realize that not everybody gets that opportunity.

These steps are not meant to be all-inclusive, but it's a very good start. From experience I can say that these steps should be able to solve about 90% of all connection issues. As such, it makes some assumptions. First, it assumes you're using some version of Windows from XP onwards. Second, it assumes that the issue you're having is not due to an outage with your ISP or an actual hardware failure with the components at your residence. That being said, the next question is why would I create a connectivity troubleshooting guide and put it online, since you can't read it when you're offline and actually need it? Well, I'm hoping that if you read this article, you'll learn from it or at least print it off future reference, whatever works. I just hope that it helps you next time you're in a bind.

Qualify The Issue

First, check if you have any connection, whatsoever. Can you surf? Can you get e-mail? Is it just one program that's giving you trouble or all of them? If it's just one program that isn't working properly and it isn't your browser or e-mail, then this guide won't be able to help you with that, because it's designed to concentrate on overall connectivity, not problems with specific programs.

If you're having problems with one or more computers getting online wirelessly, then proceed to Wireless Connection troubleshooting.

If you're getting error numbers when you try to connect, then proceed to the Error Numbers section below.

If you're having problems specifically trying to navigate to websites or trying to get your e-mail, then navigate to the Browsers & E-mail section.

Error Numbers

Browsers & E-Mail

Reboot Your Equipment

Network Card Issues

There can be a number of things with the Network settings specific to the Network card that could be problematic. We're going to take a look at only the most common ones.

Enable Network Connections

Refreshing The Network Adapter


Cleaning Up Windows Problems

Created: 12 Sep 2010 15:05


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