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Sandi's Site



Error: "Page cannot be displayed" (Server or DNS error)
"Internet Explorer could not open the Search page"
Old versions of web pages being displayed

General advice
(click here for advice specific to shared internet connections)

Do not use the "Automatic" cache setting - anything but that.  The way the "Automatic" setting works is IE monitors how often a web page is updated.  But, there is a bug in the feature in that IE will eventually decide, seemingly at random, that a page is never updated and stop checking.  The only fix is to use the deltree commands below.

Check your IE cache size.  Traditionally Internet Explorer has set the size of its cache as a percentage of total hard disk size.   That was fine years ago, but now that hard drives are getting so large Internet Explorer can set its cache to ridiculously large sizes (2 Gig and more).  This is simply too large for Internet Explorer to be able to handle.  Reduce the size of your IE cache to around 50 Meg (maximum of 150Meg) and empty your existing cache (make sure you also delete offline content).

You may just have a cache or cookie problem. Export your cookies using file/import and export.

Shut down all programmes and boot into Dos if you are using Windows 95 or 98. If using Windows ME use an appropriate disc to access DOS.  Instructions for 2000 and XP users are here.  Run the following commands from the windows directory, typically c:\windows\>

deltree history
deltree tempor~1
deltree cookies

Reboot using ctrl, alt, del if using Windows 95 or 98. If using Windows ME remember to remove the boot floppy.

Windows 2000 users will have to log in as Administrator to be able to delete the folders in question directly from within Windows Explorer.

Windows XP users will be able to delete the folders from within Windows Explorer, though you may need to log in as Administrator first.


Different operating systems use different paths to the history, temporary internet files and cookies folders. Check your system to make sure that you are using the correct path for your machine. For example, you may find your folders are located at ...\documents and settings\{identity}\{dir} or similar.

Turn off all web accelerators, and search for a file called HOSTS (hosts.sam and lmhosts are simply sample files but are sometimes used in error). If you find it, rename it to HOSTS.OLD or, if you are more experienced, open HOSTS using Notepad and and remove any entries to the problem site(s) or place a # at the start of the line to force Windows to ignore everything on that line.

Try running the following command from a DOS window:

ipconfig /flushdns

This command may work for later versions of IE:
iexplore /rereg

If you are using ADSL or DSL make sure that 'dial whenever a network connection is not present' is not enabled. Use 'never dial a connection' instead.

Shut down all computers. Turn off the modem/router, leave it off for five minutes and then turn it back on. One of my first ADSL modems was quickly fixed by simply disconnecting the modem from the internet wall connection and then plugging it back in after a few minutes. With my current model, which has a 'screw in' connection which is a pain to disconnect, I find it easier to power everything down for a few minutes.

Web site content is not updated or you receive an unrecoverable error in Internet Explorer

"Launch browser windows in a separate process" option missing in IE5.01 or later (registry hack) - setting this option to 'yes' may stop Windows Explorer from trying to access the internet

As per;en-us;240928, this option can no longer be adjusted from within IE from version 5.01 onwards. Sometimes the registry settings which are meant to be 'automatic' are set incorrectly and can cause problems such as Internet Explorer trying to access the internet.

Make sure both of the following registry keys are set to 'yes'. If you have a 'low RAM' machine (less than 128 meg) the options should be set to 'no'.



Earthlink's Accelerator software, if turned off, may block access to the internet (probably because it uses a HOSTS file).

Adfilter, Netsetter, Webhancer and InternetBoost '99 can cause problems.

Norton Internet Security is also a known culprit, as is McAfee firewall and Gator (also known as Claria)

Check out my troubleshooting advice. A lot of malware causes this problem.

Do you have AOL software installed? Look here and here

Try disabling ALL other programmes, including your virus scanner, to make sure that one of your programmes is not causing the problem.

Running LSPFix may fix your problem.

Following are many KB articles, if you problem still isn't resolved, read through them.

'500 - Internet Server Error' error message when you use IE and a cable modem or a DSL connection to try to connect to an IIS site that is running on Windows 2000 Professional based server 

Cannot view a web site that uses an internationalized domain name

Some links in Outlook Express may not work on Windows 2000 or Windows XP
' cannot be found...might have been removed... had its name changed...temporarily unavailable...'
'HTTP error 404 - file or directory not found. Internet Information Services (IIS)

"Page cannot be displayed" error message when you try to start IE:;EN-US;Q326155

"Page cannot be displayed";EN-US;Q175722

Windows 2000 (corrupt registry entry):;EN-US;Q308780

Missing/damaged wsock32.dll file;EN-US;Q298436

Various Error Messages Caused By MTX or Matrix Virus;EN-US;q242191 

Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site <Web address>. A connection with the server could not be established:;EN-US;Q191064

"Page cannot be displayed";EN-US;Q241344;EN-US;Q812336;EN-US;Q293402

"Page cannot be displayed" after you upgrade to Windows ME;EN-US;Q274498

"Page cannot be displayed" after upgrading to XP from ME (ZoneAlarm installed):;EN-US;Q313067

"Page cannot be displayed" after upgrading to XP from Windows ME or Win98:;EN-US;Q303488

You receive a "Page Cannot Be Displayed" error message when you post to a site that requires authentication;EN-US;Q821814

Unable to initialize Windows Socket Interface Code;EN-US;Q246727

"Page cannot be displayed" when trying to access FTP Server:;EN-US;Q260156

Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5, 5.01 and 5.5 for Windows NT 4.0
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP5 and SP6

Finally, as a last resort you can try the following:

Use Registry Editor to export and then delete the following registry keys:



VxD Winsock (if existing)

VxD Winsock2

Uninstall Dial-Up Networking at Control Panel, Add/Remove Programmes, Windows Setup, Communications. Restart your computer then reinstall dial-up networking. If the problem continues, do a COMPLETE uninstall and reinstall as per the instructions at the URL below:;en-us;Q181599

Computer using shared internet connection

How to troubleshooting internet connection sharing (Win98) - 238135;EN-US;Q238135

How to troubleshoot internet connection sharing (WinXP) - 308006;EN-US;Q308006

Troubleshooting home networking (XP) - 308007;EN-US;Q308007 

How to troubleshoot network connectivity problems - 325487;EN-US;Q325487

Network problems with a Router in XP - 315978;EN-US;Q315978

Using ICS? Look here and here.

Using ICS with Win98 as host and a later OS as client?;EN-US;Q305667