Tech Tip: Rebuild the TCP/IP stack

There are times when a network snafu completely or partially corrupts your IP installation, which causes your TCP/IP network connection to fail or behave erratically. When this happens, the best solution is to rebuild the TCP/IP protocol stack.

In previous versions of Windows, rebuilding the TCP/IP protocol stack was a simple operation—you just removed and reinstalled TCP/IP. In Windows XP, you can't remove TCP/IP because it's considered an integral part of the operating system.

However, XP does come with a command-line utility—called NetShell—that allows you to reset all TCP/IP-related registry settings to their default values. The end result is essentially the same as installing a brand-new TCP/IP configuration.

To reset all TCP/IP-related registry settings, open a command prompt and type the following command:

netsh int ip reset <filename>

You must specify a log file in the <filename> placeholder for this command to work. Details about which registry keys were modified will appear in the log file.

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