WinsockXPFix utility repairs Windows XP network settings

Like the NETSH command, the utility WinsockXPFix can be used to repair the Windows XP network stack. But WinsockXPFix is easier to use, and you'll be able to avoid the "scrape and install" solution.

More on repairing Windows network settings

Learn how the Netsh Winsock Reset command fixes Windows Firewall error.

Use the Netsh command to switch network configurations.
Damaged network settings in Windows XP can manifest as several problems, such as network timeout issues or the inability to access some sites. Also, since many malware programs deliberately tamper with network settings to, for instance, spy on network traffic, the first component damaged in an infected computer is often the network stack.

In the past I've recommended repairing the network stack using the NETSH command, but users often want something less intimidating and more user-friendly. Enter the WinsockXPFix utility. From what I've learned from many shareware repositories, this utility can save users from "scrape and reinstall" Windows.

How WinsockXPFix operates

WinsockXPFix requires no installer; it runs as-is. When run, it provides with the following two options:

1. Back up your Registry, to undo any changes if needed.

2. Fix any problems. When you click "Fix," it will run for approximately one minute (the exact amount of time depends on how many network connections or protocols you have installed), and describe each change (such as replacing a mangled HOSTS file, a common network issue in Windows). When it's done, it prompts a required reboot. Without rebooting changes made to the network stack will not take effect.

But, WinsockXPFix's author appears to have gone offline, and the program is no longer actively supported (which, presumably, means there won't be a Windows Vista version). Also, because the source code was never released, the best option may be for someone to write a similar program and make the source freely available.

About the author:
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Insight, (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.

This was first published in April 2007

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