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How to troubleshoot possible causes of Internet connection problems in Windows XP

Microsoft Article
I can't see my other computer(s) in Network Neighborhood, or they appear and disappear  or World of Windows  or WOWN Troubleshooting or Microsoft Support
or: WOWN info about Master Browsert
How do I customize or network a Windows XP machine? WOWN - Windows XP Home
Troubleshooting your connection to a cable modem Tips
 Help on many issues related to setting up or troubleshooting wireless networks, access points and bridges. Also, find many links on how to set up and troubleshoot wired networks, file sharing etc. etc. Wireless Network Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting a WIFI Network-April-2004.pdf  

1. NetStat Command to see who is connected to your computer

If you suspect that someone (or something) is accessing your PC over a network or the Internet, there's an easy way to tell. The command line utility Netstat shows the status and address of every connection to your PC. Open a command line window and type Netstat –a to see a complete list of all the open connections to and from your PC. Don't panic if you see lots of connections; most of them are supposed to be there. If you see a suspect item in the connections list, you can type Netstat -o to get the Windows process ID number for each connection. You can then match up the process ID number with the list of running tasks from Task Manager to see which programs are using which connection.

2. Network Diagnostics Tool in Windows XP

Hidden in Windows XP's System Information utility is a very good tool for getting a lot more information about what's going on. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information. Then choose Net Diagnostics from the Tools menu. The program will ping your DNS servers, gateways, SMTP and POP3 mail servers, and proxies; test your modem and network adapters; and supply very detailed reports about your settings, as well as which tests passed and which failed.

3. Fix a corrupted TCP/IP Installation in Windows XP using Netshe.exe (resets back to default)

In the days before Windows XP, a corrupted IP installation could often be fixed simply by removing and reinstalling TCP/IP. In most cases, the IP-related files remained intact, but some related Registry keys would be corrupted beyond repair. You can't uninstall TCP/IP in Windows XP, because there is no Uninstall button for this protocol. According to Microsoft, that is because TCP/IP is an integral part of the operating system, and removing it would cause major problems. You can, however, use the Windows XP command line utility NetShell to reset all IP-related Registry settings to their default values. The result is a brand-new TCP/IP configuration. The Netsh.exe program is located in the C:\Windows\ System32 directory. To use the program, enter the command "netsh int ip reset filename." You must specify a filename, such as Ipstuff.txt. After Netsh .exe runs, the file will contain a detailed log of the Registry keys that were modified

4. Access the Administrator account in XP's Welcome screen.

The Administrator account is not displayed on the Welcome screen. To access it, press Ctrl-Alt-Del, release just the Del key, and press Del again. This will display the Windows 2000–style log-on, from which you can now log on as Administrator.

5.  Disable Error-reporting to Microsoft Prompt, in XP

If you'd rather not take the time to send error reports to Microsoft when things go wrong, you can disable the feature. To turn it off, run Msconfig. Choose the Services tab and remove the check from the Error Reporting Service check box. Starting with the next time you reboot your system, the error-reporting service will no longer load.