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Sep 10, 2008

How To Repair Winsock 2 Settings

What is Winsock?

In computing, the Windows Sockets API, which was later shortened to Winsock, is a technical specification that defines how Windows network software should access network services, especially TCP/IP. It defines a standard interface between a Windows TCP/IP client application (such as an FTP client or a Gopher client) and the underlying TCP/IP protocol stack.

Basically, when you have a problem with Winsock, the most common symptom is that you don't have internet access. ^^

My Solution

I use LSPFix. What is it? I'll take its description from the program author's website:

LSP-Fix is a free Windows utility to repair a loss of Internet access associated with certain types of software. This type of software, known as a Layered Service Provider or LSP, typically handles low-level Internet-related tasks, and data is passed through a chain of these programs on its way to and from the Internet. However, due to bugs in the LSP software or deletion of the software, this chain can get broken, causing the Internet connection to become inaccessible.

Unfortunately, problematic LSP software, including malware/spyware, is sometimes quietly installed by unrelated products such as file-sharing programs, sneaking onto a system unannounced. In fact, in many cases, the user does not know of its existence until something goes wrong, and he/she can no longer access Web sites. Historically,* (NEWDOTNET) and WebHancer* (often bundled with file-sharing utilities, DVD player software, and other free downloads) have been the worst offenders, but the problem can be caused by any improperly-written Layered Service Provider software, or the deletion of any LSP program's files. LSP-Fix repairs the LSP chain by removing the entries left behind when LSP software is removed by hand (or when errors in the software itself break the LSP chain), and removing any gaps in the chain.

This program may be small but it is super useful. It saved me from re-installing the operating system altogether many times with my clients' computers. I recommend people who troubleshoot PCs for a living to put this handy tool in your arsenal. Here's a screenshot:

LSP-Fix Screenshot
This may sound like a sponsored advertisement, let me assure you it isn't. Lol.