General discussion

Cannot find server or dns error

Hi everyone,

Thanks in advance for your help.

I am running XP with IE6 with dial-up. I can connect to only about 50% of internet sites. The other sites give me a "cannot find server or dns error' message screen. I even get this message when trying to connect to sites that I know are working.

I downloaded and installed Mozilla and I cannot connect any better using this search engine either.

As you can imagine this is extremely annoying. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks Happy

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(NT) (NT) spyware? service pack ?
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sp1, adaware, spyware doctor

Thanks for your response.

I am only running service pack 1, not 2. I have scanned with adaware and spyware doctor and it seems all clear.

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Re: cannot find server or dns-error


Mozilla isn't a search engine, but just a browser and email-client. Be sure you use the right terms when asking for help.

And Mozilla and IE, as you found out, use the same Windows-based mechanism to translate urls (like to an IP-address (like And that isn't a local mechanism, but it uses a socalled dns-server provided by your dial-up provider.

The first thing to do:
- Start>Run>cmd (OK) to run the command prompt
- Then type ping (end a command with enter), and see if an ip-address like the above is returned.
- Then try other url's (that work in the browser, and that don't work in the browser, but should). See if you can find a pattern. Note the error messages (like "ping-request could not find host"). Surprising: ping can find (a french adult site, if you look at it in your browser), which was my first guess for a non-existent one to see the error message.
- Then contact your ISP!

Hope this helps.


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thanks for your help

Thanks for your response Kees,

I'll try to get the terms correct but obviously as I am asking for help I am not that flash with computers.

I followed your steps and pinged a number of sites. Most of the sites that I can't get to through Explorer came back with the following message. for example: "ping request could not find Please check the name and try again. One site - gave the message "request timed out"

I have spent hours on the phone to my ISP and they cannot fix the problem I have.

Also, I have noticed that some sites I couldn't get to previously all of a sudden work, while others that I could get to, now don't work.

Is this information of any help?


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Ax, Something Else To Try..

Although the errors may be caused by the sites themselves, please try installing the update from the links below:

First, try reinstalling the newest Java from the link below. Select the "Download Windows J2SE JRE" link that is immediately below the "J2SE v 1.4.2_07 JRE includes the JVM technology" listing:

When that's done, please install the latest Windows Script Engine from the link below.

Windows Script 5.6 for Windows 2000 and XP

The link immediately above indicates that a "validation" is required to make the download. IT IS NOT REQUIRED although if you wish to validate, feel free to do so. If you don't want to validate, at the second page, simply select the "No, I don't want to" option and you'll be directed to the download link. Download the file to your desktop, shut down all background program, then double click on the file to install the update. Restart the computer after installing.

Hope this helps.


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I installed the JAVA and the script that you suggested. For a moment I thought it had worked because I tried and I could get to the site! I haven't been able to before because of the DNS error. But then I noticed that I still couldn't get to some other sites that I know are working. Rather strange. Thanks for your help

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More research.


My description is based on Windows 95/98, because I'm sitting behind one at the moment. But it won't be very difficult to translate it to XP. If you don't succeed with that, please let it know and I'll move to an XP-computer tomorrow morning (that's tonight USA time).

Ping uses a DNS-server on the Internet to translate an url (like to an ip-address (like a browser does in the background). If anything goes wrong with that, you get a DNS-error.
The setting of the DNS-server to be used is in the TCP-IP-properties of the dial-up connection (My Computer>Dialup Connections, select it, right click, properties) go to second tab (servertypes) and click on TCP-IP settings. Carefully note the settings so you can go back to them.

It's possible that they point to a bad server somewhere on the net (could even belong to your ISP, although they should have let know it). Or it's possible some software on your PC is corrupted.

The first thing to do is to find out if it's your problem or their problem. Find the dialup settings recommended by your ISP (they should be on their site, or the helpdesk can tell you what they are). Then make a new dialup connection according to those instructions (like you did the first time, but with another name, if possible) and see if ping behaves now. If not, repeat the exact operation on a computer of a friend or relation. It should have a dial-up modem, and that's all it needs. If it works there with the same settings, obviously it's a problem located on your PC. If it doesn't work there either, it seems to be you ISP's problem. Making a new dialup connection and changing its properties is totally harmless, and you can delete it afterwards.

Those DNS-servers are either assigned by the server (ISP) as you connect or (more likely with dialup) fixed. My provider ( now recommends using: Primary DNS-server: and
Secundary DNS-server: (see last two lines at the bottom of - sorry it's Dutch, but you'll understand those 2 lines). You can use those settings for the DNS-servers and see what happens. If it works with those, it's clearly a problem located with your ISP. Or find any other local ISP help page and see what DNS-servers they use. It's all on the Internet, it all works, and it's all free.

And let me mention that you can use winipcfg (or the XP-equivalent, I think it's ipconfig) to see the dns-server used by your connection. That should match with the settings.

To summarize:
- remake your dialup connection
- check the DNS-server used with winipcfg/ipconfig
- try your ISP's settings at a friends computer
- try another DNS-server at both your own and your friends computer

Frankly, I don't believe in spyware randomly and transiently blocking certain ISP's, nor do I believe that reinstalling java and scripting will help. But a good spyware and virus check (spybot, panda online and housecall online) certainly won't harm.
The same goes for 2 nice repair utilities LSPFIX and WINSOCK2FIX, that you can search with google to download. They correct situations where Internet doens't work at all, and yours is rather different.

And I wonder what your ISP has told you to do and try during those sessions on the phone. Checking and changing the DNS-settings should be routine for them under these circumstances.

Sorry if it's technical. It is technical, that's the problem.


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Thanks for all the time you have put into this. I will go through all your suggestions and let you know how it goes.


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forgot to mention!

Sorry guys, as I have been living with this problem for months I forgot to mention this....

A few months ago I couldn't connent to any sites at all because of the DNS error. I ran a registry repair tool (not sure which one) and I was then able to connect to about 50% of sites. This is still the same situation I am in now.

hope it helps!

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Ax, Something Else To Try...

Please click on the link below and use the LSPfix utility mentioned.

Repairs Winsock 2 settings :

In addition, I would also download and install the most recent driver updates for your modem or ethernet card, whichever you are using for the net connection. The newest drivers might "jolt" things back into action.

Hope this helps.


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winsock2fix and LSPfix

I downloaded winsock2fix and ran it. Didn't help.

I also downloaded LSPfix you both suggested and ran it. It comes up with a screen where I can remove:


I need to check a box saying "I know what I am doing" so that I can delete these files.

Obviously I don't know what I am doing Happy Should I delete these files? What will happen?

I also check that I have the latest modem drivers - which I do.


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I never ran the program. I think it's useful to make a backup of these 4 files and then go ahead, even if you don't know what you're doing. Things can't become much worse than they are now, I should say.

If you did some unknown damage yourself to the registry (albeit with the best intentions), you're more or less responsible yourself for the mess you're in and it's less likely out-of-the-box repairs will help. I'm afraid it might be necessary to do a fresh install of Windows 98 to solve it. If you've never done that and ready to do it, post again for help.

Good luck,


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DNS error

Your not alone. I've been having the same problem. I'm using XP (SP2 & all updates are current) & IE6. My ISP told me it was my browser & I needed to use Mozilla Firefox. I downloaded that last night & installed it. Thought it fixed the problem, but today I'm having trouble again. Only now I get " (or other)could not be found. Please check the name & try again." This even happened while I was looking for help here & I clicked on a link. Thanks to anyone that can find a solution.

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More DNS errors

You are all not alone! I am having the same problem, sometimes getting DNS error messages when moving from one message to another in my email inbox. It is making me crazy, and I suspect my ISP, although I did recently activate IE Firewall. There is no consistency to the pattern of 'Cannot find server DNS error' messages, but they do affect my email (Yahoo) address most often. I have tried to contact my ISP about it; they do not respond. I wonder if we are all using the same ISP service (British, linked to a well known airline and music service...)?? I also use Windows XP1 (have not installed service pack 2) with Internet Explorer and dial-up. My computer is about 6 months old; I'm pretty sure the problem is not in it. I occasionally use another also quite new computer that has the same ISP -- and the same problems. But if the ISP is at fault, what can we do (apart from changing to another provider, am tied in to this one for awhile still). I should mention that I have read all the responses to the original message; I am a real novice here, but the contributions from Kees Bakker sounded hopeful - if only I could find out how to locate ipconfig on my computer!

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Re: how to locate ipconfig in XP

Let Windows do the work for locating the program.

Start>Run>Command OK
Start>Programs>Desktop Accessories>Command Prompt

Then type
ipconfig /all (enter)

Windows will loate the program and run it. The results will be shown in the command window.


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Thanks and what next

Dear Kees, thank you. I located the ipconfig info. DNS servers are numbered and and attributed to my ISP. You suggest: 'try another DNS server.' How do I do that?
Thanks in advance.

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How to change your DNS-servers.

If you're on cable or ADSL, ask your provider. There's a variety of software and hardware around, and they will be able to tell you (I hope).

If you're on dial-up, see for example. Note your current settings, so you can go back.

I don't think it will help, but you never know how it works out.


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Thanks for DNS info, Kees

Dear Kees, I really appreciate your clear and helpful comments, and I've made a copy of all your suggestions. You have probably guessed what a novice I am. I plan to make one more attack on my ISP and if that fails, to change ISP in the next 6 weeks. If the problems still persist after that, I will be very daring and try changing my DNS server myself, according to your instructions. I hope you will still be out there somewhere if it all goes wrong! Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. Also good luck to Ax and everybody else with DNS error problems, it is comforting to know I'm not alone and that I can stop kicking (mentally) my computer. Isn't it great to know that this cnet forum exists, I have learned a lot from it, due to knowledgeable people with a little time to spare and lots of good will. Thanks to you all.

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DNS server error

Just to let you all know. I gave my ISP another call, they offered suggestions & told me to call right back.(He would keep the line open) I tried the suggestion with no luck. When I called back, I got an answering machine! left message & finally called them back 3 hrs later. 1st person had left for the day (surprise) OK discontinued my account. Just got back online last night with a new ISP. Guess what I haven't seen the dreaded "This page cannot be displayed" message yet.

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It happens when has been added to the Hosts file?

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I didn't understand your post. I did notice this morning the first 2 times I signed on I got the "website could not be found" message & that was clicking on my bookmarks. (I disconnect & redial) I cleared my cookies & redialed the 3rd time & I went right thru? when I did the ping command last night I got the error message "ping request could not find host www.---" for any site I put in. I have tried a few of the suggestions here, but so far no luck. I just got this computer in Oct, but not brave enough to go online til end of Jan. & been having this problem every since. Thanks to all that are trying to come up with a solution.

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