Can’t Connect To Internet After Virus

| January 20, 2011 | 13 Comments

You can’t connect to Internet after a virus infection. You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do. You have an up to date antivirus, you update Windows automatically, you do not participate in Peer to Peer network file sharing, and you never open email attachments. Yet you were still infected by a virus and it was hell to remove. Now that it’s gone, you suddenly realize you can’t connect to Internet after virus removal.

The following will help if you can’t connect to Internet after a virus removal has broken it.

Can’t Connect To Internet – Check Your Web Browser Settings

One of the ways a virus is able to re-direct your browser is to set up a Proxy Server connection. You need to make sure your web browser is configured properly. Otherwise, you’ll receive the familiar “Internet Explorer Cannot Display The Webpage” error. Do the following to look for a proxy server connection:

  • Open IE
  • Click Tools, Internet Options and then the Connections Tab
  • LAN Settings
  • Uncheck Proxy Server box if checked

can't connect to Internet

If a proxy server was setup, you should be able to connect to the Internet after you apply the change.

Repair Corrupt WinSock

Unfortunately, a corrupt Winsock usually follows the removal of some insidious viruses. You will need to take steps to repair it. In WIndows 7, you can click the “diagnose connection” option.

diagnose connectionIn Control Panel>Network and Sharing>Change Adapter Settings. Right-click your connections and select “Diagnose.” It might state there is a damaged Winsock and attempt repair it.

If it cannot repair it, you will need to manually edit the registry to fix the problem. The concept is to remove the Winsock entries and then re-install the TCP/IP protocol.

Fix Winsock By Editing The Registry

You will want to first backup the registry by creating a System Restore point. Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore and create a restore point.

Next, open the registry by going to Start and typing regedit in the run dialog box. Hit OK. If a box pops up asking for permission, say YES. You should now be in the registry.

Note: doing something wrong in the registry can break your computer. Proceed with caution.

  1. In Registry Editor, navigate to locate the following keys, right-click each key, and then click Delete:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock2
  2. When prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.

Note Restart the computer after you delete the Winsock keys. Doing so causes the Windows Operating System to create new entries for those two keys. If you do not restart the computer after you delete the Winsock keys, the next step does not work properly.

Step 2: Install TCP/IP

  1. Right-click the network connection, and then click Properties.
  2. Click Install.
  3. Click Protocol, and then click Add.
  4. Click Have Disk.
  5. Type C:Windowsinf, and then click OK.
  6. On the list of available protocols, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click OK.
  7. Restart the computer.

Category: Security

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (13)

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  1. Alex says:

    You missed 1 more important check. Some of the malware changes the DNS settings on the pc.
    I would recommend checking / changing the DNS settings to something like your ISP DNS (Call your ISP to find out what that should be) or to the OpenDNS or Google DNS settings.

  2. trying to connect to internet. usb device says not ready but it is plugged in and ready.

    • Need more info….It looks like you’re using a USB wifi card? Is this a laptop? Have you tried rebooting with the USB card installed? Has this ever worked or is this a new install?

  3. tiffany says:

    hi.. i had the problem that u posted.

    i follow the step that u state, but i couldnt find
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2

    must i complete this step before i proceed to the next step or i can skip this and proceed?

    thx.

  4. truman wickman says:

    I’m running the avast antivirus (free version) and I have a free version of malware. I just installed google chrome which runs much faster than internet explorer. Question is now that it’s running faster (and I use Face book quit abit) is there a better and affodable way to keep down the viruses?

  5. Guy says:

    THANK YOU DAVID!!! IN BEHALF OF ME AND MY PC – YOU HAVE SAVED MY NET!! THANK YOU,

    GUY. FROM ISRAEL(!)

  6. Mio says:

    I know this thread is kind of old, but… The steps above didn’t work. I am using an MSI Notebook laptop with some sort of Realtek wifi card. It runs on Windows XP. Just yesterday (When internet was working just fine) it caught a pretty nasty virus randomly– I mean, I didn’t do anything weird or click any type of ads.
    If I remember right, the virus was Windows XP Security 2012.
    Ugh, what an awful thing that was. It cut off access to internet and programs, and it took me all morning to fix.

    After cleaning up my PC and all, the wifi still refused to connect. It’ll say things like “Not Connected” “Acquiring network address” etc etc. Sometimes it WILL connect, but receives no packets. It does this no matter where I try to connect to a wireless network.

    I’m getting pretty frustrated. I’ve had a long week, and I’d like some dang free time on my little crappy pc.

    Thanks~

  7. Tomas says:

    I have tried all of this.. A bunch other sites and no luck messing around with registry, command prompt etc. if you or anyone could help!!!!! Got some malware which webroots will delete but then no internet and no access to firewall. Win7 x32

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