Internet Explorer "Connecting to site" and Page Not Found Error

May 19, 2008

A really weird error happened on one of my older computers, running Windows XP SP2. I successfully established a Wireless connection with an external USB adapter. I opened Internet Explorer and typed a valid address, just to see this strange message in status bar of the browser:

Connecting to site

followed by the infamous Page Not Found screen.

I double-checked Internet Settings Connection tab in IE, I flushed the DNS caché using ipconfig /flushdns command, I disabled IPv6 protocol for the network connections, I reset the adapters....and nothing helped.

Then, searching on Google, I found a deus-ex-machina workaround the solution:

  • Download WinSock XP Fix 1.2 (alias WinSockFix) from here
  • Unzip and run the tool
  • Reboot the PC

It worked for me, at least. This tool resets the WinSock (low-level network layer of Windows) configuration to default Windows settings. I suspect that a "rogue" application ruined those settings and was uninstalled without reverting to the original ones, provoking that IE couldn't make a valid DNS lookup.

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Written by Edin Kapić Insatiably curious code-writing tinkerer. Geek father. Aviation enthusiast. Cuisine journeyman. Follow me on Twitter