Resetting Network Devices and Network Stack





Resetting your network devices and network stack, as well as updating drivers for your network deices, are the first troubleshooting steps when you encounter a networking issue. Follow the steps below to reset your networking devices, to resolve most network problems, including, but not limited to Wi-Fi and Ethernet disconnects, slowdowns, and errors, even if these issues are affecting only one computer on your network. To reset your devices in the correct order:

  1. Shut down your computer by clicking Start > Power > Shut Down.
    Note Using the power button on your machine is probably set to sleep the computer, not to shut it down. For troubleshooting purposes, the computer must be shut down.
  2. Locate your modem and note the lights on your modem when it is normal and ready. There may be a Ready or Online light. Taking a picture with a phone is a good tactic so that you know when it’s ready to go.
  3. Trace the Ethernet cord (not the screw-in coaxial cable or the power cord, but the one with a clip) to the next device to determine if you have a router.
  4. Unplug the power cord (either from the back of the device or from the wall, whichever is more comfortable) from your modem, router, and any switches or hubs, between your computer and the modem, as well as any wireless boosters or access points, and leave them all unplugged for now.
  5. Plug in your modem.
  6. Wait until your modem’s lights show normal operation again.
  7. Plug in your router, if you have one, and give it about five minutes to boot. Routers typically have no external means of telling if they are ready, but they should be ready after a five-minute wait.
  8. Plug in anything else between your computer and the modem.
  9. Power on your computer.
  10. Once your computer is rebooted, if it is not connected to the Internet, or is still having issues, you will want to reset its network stack.

Resetting the network stack

Note that these commands affect all of your networking adapters, both physical and virtual, both used and unused, so you will see some errors when running these commands, where the resets targeted adapters that are not being used. These errors are perfectly normal, and not a cause for concern. Complete each step in order, even if you have done some of these previously, and even if you encounter errors.

  1. In the search box on the taskbar click Start, type command prompt, right-click the command prompt result and then select Run as administrator and confirm.
  2. At the command prompt (decline restarting your machine until you have entered the final command):
    1. Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
    2. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
    3. Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter. (This will stall for a moment.)
    4. Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter. (Don’t restart yet.)
    5. Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
  3. Now restart your machine using Start > Power > Restart once more and test to see if the issue is resolved.
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