Can Not Access Site (Windows)

Writing articles isn’t quite so easy when you have a two year old daughter pawing for you attention and a four month old son that needs to be checked on from time to time. But still I feel a since of embarrassment at a set of instructions like this taking two or three hours to write.

I was writing them to be emailed to a client but since I spent so much time on them I figure it wouldn’t hurt to copy and paste them here with a little editing work done to them. Hope it helps others troubleshoot their connectivity problems as well.

Troubleshooting Steps (for Windows Users)

Step 0: Like with everything else, switch off the modem, restart the computer, and turn on the modem again. Also clear the Internet cookies and browser cache. … Also try a different browser (firefox / google chrome) and attempt to access the site. Problem gone? No, proceed to the next step.

Step 1: 

  • Start Internet Explorer
  • Choose Internet Options from the Tools menu
  • Click the Connections tab
  • Under Connections:
  • Click LAN settings if you are on cable or ADSL connection
  • Under Automatic configuration; make sure that Automatically detect settings is unchecked
Ok close your browser, reopen it, and try the feedmylostlambs site again.

Step 2: Temporarily disable your computer’s firewall and close any anti-virus software that may be running in the background. If you are now able to access the websites that were previously not loading, your security program is causing the problem. As as workaround, you can add that site to the “trusted” zone in Internet Explorer and see if it works.

Step 3: Try starting your computer in Safemode with Networking. Attempt to access a couple of different sites when you are logged into your computer this way (including the problem site of course).

Step 4: Open your hosts file and see if there are any entries for sites that are currently unreachable from your computer. The hosts file is located in the following folder:

c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Step 5: Try a remote screen capture site like capture.heartrails (sorry for the Japanese). Just click here and if you see an image of feedmylostlambs.org that means it works and the site is up. This will help you make sure that the site you are trying to access is not down at the source.

Step 6: Clear your DNS cache and run the ping and traceroute commands against the problematic site to make sure that it is not an ISP specific issue.

ipconfig /flushdns
tracert www.feedmylostlambs.org
ping www.feedmylostlambs.org

If the DNS server is an issue, you can easily switch to Google DNS or OpenDNS without having to call the ISP’s support. However, if the ping and traceroute connections are successful but the sites remain unreachable, we’ll have additional troubleshooting that we’ll need to do.

Step 7: Cf you are feeling adventurous you might see if the site is stuck in the registry somewhere. Here is where we get even deeper. I always advise caution regarding registry solutions. 

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