Few days ago, a friend brought his laptop to me to troubleshoot a weird problem. His laptop (Windows XP SP2) was connected to Internet, but could not surf any website.
Every installed software also could not access to Internet, such as antivirus online update, windows live messenger, etc. However, the PING command works on Command Prompt!
At first, I suspected one or more related windows services were turned off, but they looked fine after checking.
No clue. I searched Internet for the solution (using my Mac). After reading some forum posts by others, I suspected the problem was caused by corrupted Winsock2, which is used by windows network software to access network services.
Finally, I found the tutorial to repair Winsock2 corruption at Microsoft Support. If you are using Windows XP Service Pack 2, it only takes a command to report Winsock2:
type netsh winsock reset at the command prompt
After that, restart your computer and Winsock2 shall be fixed. It works for my friend’s laptop and he looked at me amazingly.
For Windows XP without SP2, it takes more steps to repair Winsock2. You can get the step-by-step instruction on the Microsoft Support.