How to Fix a Socket Error in My Computer

By Candace Benson

Microsoft's Windows operating systems use the Winsock protocol to link with and communicate with other computers on the Internet. Programs may cause the Winsock protocol to become corrupted, which then causes Windows to display socket error messages. Corrupted Winsock protocol files may also prevent you from connecting with Internet resources such as websites, email or multi-player games without presenting you a socket error message. Some Internet-based programs must be reinstalled or repaired after resetting the Winsock protocol.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator-level account
  • External media (Windows XP users)

Windows XP

Step 1

Click on \"Start,\" then \"Run.\" Type \"regedit\" (without quotes), then press the \"Enter\" key.

Step 2

Navigate to the \"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\Winsock\" registry entry in the left column by clicking on the \"+\" symbols next to categories to expand them. Highlight the \"Winsock\" entry by clicking on it once.

Step 3

Click on \"File,\" then \"Export.\"

Step 4

Save the file to external media such as a USB thumb drive, external hard drive, SD card or CD/DVD.

Step 5

Right-click \"Winsock,\" and left click on \"Delete.\" Click on \"Yes\" to confirm the deletion.

Step 6

Locate the \"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\Winsock2\" registry entry in the left column. Highlight the \"Winsock\" entry by clicking on it once.

Step 7

Click on \"File,\" then \"Export.\"

Step 8

Save the file to the same external media you used earlier.

Step 9

Right-click \"Winsock2\" in the Registry Editor, then left-click on \"Delete.\" Click on \"Yes\" to confirm the deletion.

Step 10

Close the Registry Editor.

Step 11

Click on \"Start,\" then \"Control Panel.\" Double-click \"Network Connections.\"

Step 12

Right-click \"Local Area Connections,\" then left-click \"Properties.\"

Step 13

Click on \"Install\" in the Local Area Connection Properties box. Select \"Protocol,\" then click on \"Add.\"

Step 14

Click on \"Have Disk.\"

Step 15

Type \"C:\\windows\\inf\" (without quotes) in the \"Copy manufacturer's files from\" field. Click on \"OK.\"

Step 16

Select \"Internet Protocol (TCP/IP),\" then click on \"OK.\" Restart the computer

Windows Vista and Windows 7

Step 1

Click on \"Start,\" then type \"cmd\" (without quotes) in the \"Start Search\" text field.

Step 2

Right-click on \"cmd.exe,\" and left-click on \"Run as administrator.\" Press \"Continue.\"

Step 3

Type \"netsh winsock reset\" (without quotes), and press \"Enter.\"

Step 4

Type \"exit\" (without quotes), then press the \"Enter\" key.

Step 5

Click on \"Start,\" then \"Control Panel.\" Click on \"Classic View\" in the left column if applicable.

Step 6

Double-click \"Network and Sharing Center\" in Windows Vista and \"Find and Fix Problems\" in the \"System and Security\" header in Windows 7.

Step 7

Click on the \"Diagnose and repair\" link in the left column in the Network and Sharing Center. Click on \"View all\" in the Task pane if using Windows 7, then click on \"Internet Explorer Performance.\" Click \"Next,\" then allow Windows 7 to automatically fix the problem. Click \"Close\" to finish.