While it takes real effort to break latest versions of Windows XP (Service Packs 2 and 3) networking implementation remains surprisingly fragile. Both legitimate software (antivirus, firewall) and malware can try to (ab)use network connectivity and end up breaking something.
Unfortunately resulting number of symptoms and errors is beyond what can be reliably diagnosed and fixed by average user. And when fine tools don’t work you need a hammer. For networking errors that would be WinSock Fix.
What it does
WinSock Fix basically nukes network-related registry settings returning them to defaults . Sounds harsh – and it is. Such approach can easily break some third party software but if network is not working anyway it can’t really get worse.
It is hard to define when exactly it is time to use this one:
- complete loss of network connection;
- TCP/IP, DHCP errors;
- malware encounters resulting in above;
definitely qualify. In other cases – somewhere near “it’s hopeless” stage.
Frozen in time
App feels really ancient with last version released back in 2003. Networking is rather slow area and it still may serve as silver bullet rather often.
Must-have for any PC-maintenance set, must-know for everyone who uses network connection (and is lucky enough to not be pushed on Vista). Not portable (main function is making registry changes) but works without installation making it readily usable just lying in the corner of flash drive . Developer’s site is long dead but app is available from plenty of software portals.