My PC Thinks It Has No Internet!

Can the IT Gurus of the SDope tell me if there is a virus (or, worm, trojan, etc) they know of that can make your PC believe it has no internet? I have done everything possible, and I am certain this is some false error. Yet, I cannot connect the PC in question to the internet nor can I send/receive emails. If it matters, I can say my PC has done this, off and on, for at least the past year; however, it always corrects itself. Self-correction can come by waiting maybe 20 minutes or re-booting. This time, nothing is helping.

If it not a virus, etc., what else could it be? What else should I be checking to correct this (hopefully for good!)? Is there a way I can “ping” the internet connection or otherwise test the handshake? (Of course, please consider that even a self-diagnosis may be fooled or blocked by whatever is causing this error.) Last, if you recommend something, should I boot up in safe mode? BTW, I am running Windows 10. I am using Firefox, and I have the same problem trying IE. If you need to know specific version nos., I’ll have to get back to you and post a reply here.

Open up a command prompt and type “ping” followed by the address of your router.

Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?

Not trying to be snarky, but when this occasionally happens to me, I can fix it by dropping the WiFi connection and reconnecting, logging off and logging back on, or rebooting. Or you may need to reboot your router.

Yes, but this time, no change. :frowning:

When you run the self-diagnostic, what does it tell you?

Stupid question, but how do I find out the address of my router?

The problem could be in your router, or even your internet service.

How is your PC connected to your router–WiFi, or Ethernet cable?

If it’s WiFi, when this problem happens are you still connected to your router? That is, do you still see a good signal from your router? If you have a provider outage, you will still see a signal from the router, but you won’t have Internet.

If you have WiFi but you do not have a connection to the router when this occurs, do you have another device (e.g., smartphone) that you can check to see if you can connect to the router? If you can connect to the router with one device but not your PC then the problem may be in the PC. If nothing can see your router, the problem is in the router.

If you have an Ethernet cable connection, then the problem could be the router or the provider. Are you using a router provided by your Internet provider? If so you should ask them to test or replace it, unless you bought it yourself.

Most routers use or as the default IP address.

To find the address, open up a command windows and type the following: ipconfig /all

It should give you the device’s IP address. The router is usually the first three sets of number, with a 1 as the final digit.

Ping that number. If you don’t get a reply, the problem is the router. Try restarting it.

You’re assuming your problem is in your PC—does that mean that you have other devices that are connected to the internet whose connection is just fine?

192.168.x.254 is also common.

If, when you run IPCONFIG /ALL, you see the IP address given as 169.254.x.x that is known as an APIPA address and means that the PC cannot contact the router. Unplug and reinsert the ethernet cable at both ends and check that the cable is plugged into the correct socket on the router. Also check the cable for damage - bite marks from rodents or pets or damage from doors.

Don’t forget (that’s my current one. Past routers I’ve used have all been

How is the device that you’re posting from connected to the internet? Does that device show that your Wi-Fi is up and running properly or not?

If I wouldn’t get banned for socking, I’d start an account named, “Steve with a Tamil Accent” and try to convince the OP I was from Microsoft tech support.

If the problem is intermittent, I would check the distance from the device to the router or the layout of the house. It may be on the fringe of the wi-fi’s reception.

This can also happen if your DNS server settings are set manually (instead of using DHCP automatic configuration) and the servers it’s set to are incorrect or aren’t working for whatever reason. And that could easily “follow the computer around” so it could still be an issue if you move it to another network.

Ug, I am so embarrassed, but I must share my Ethernet cable failed. :eek:

I’d never expect this. It is so rare a cable should fail. Remember when we all had land lines back in the Stone Age, and the local carrier gave you the option to buy insurance for the phone wiring inside your walls? Barring mice chewing through wires or some other catastrophic event at your house, there’s really no reason a cable should fail. Well…this one did. I guess this explains why the connection has been spotty as we have been dealing with this intermittent issue for quite some time now. So, it is a blessing in disguise that the problem came to a head, and the solution (hit upon on a whim) finally surfaced.

I want to thank everyone for their input. Collectively, your tips make for a great learning experience pointing out things to try should I run into such a crazy problem again. And, yes, I will check the connections first! :smack:

No, it isn’t. In my 30 years as an IT professional I have swapped very many ethernet cables.

Cables and wires of any type get shorts. In fact, whenever you have an intermittent problem, suspect a short, and look first at things like cables and wires that can have shorts. I learned this in my military mechanic training.

I just had an HDMI cable on my TV fail. I didn’t have another one, so I had to hook up with a coaxial until I could hie over to the cable company’s brick and mortar, and get another one for free.

Most people do not leave a lot of slack in cables, and that’s how they get shorts in the first place.

I see that the problem is solved :slight_smile: But, for future reference, note that when you use ipconfig /all, it gives you the router address: it’s the line that is

Default Gateway
Also, more technically, an IPV4 address like 169.254.x.x /normally/ means that your computer can’t contact your router. But if your Router is /also/ at 169.254.yy.yy, that just means that your network is configured without IPV4 DHCP. And there are other equally valid (although unusual) explanations.

Not embarrassing at all! Even though cables do fail, as some have pointed out, personally I would probably have suspected and checked other things first, and then eventually smacked my head when I found it was the cable! As noted, ipconfig is a very useful tool for a first indication of what your computer thinks is going on.

As a little anecdote, I once had an Ethernet connection problem with my old laptop which was communicating with the router over wireless just fine. Other devices worked with Ethernet just fine, even with the same cable. I swapped cables anyway, still not working. My clue here was that most Ethernet ports have LED status lights that tell you the status of the physical link connection. The computer’s lights said “I got nothing”. Eventually a bit of investigation with a flashlight revealed that the connectors inside the computer’s Ethernet port were bent all to hell. How they got that way I have no idea. A bit of work with tweezers and a toothpick, and the Ethernet worked again!