This tip, from mikeshardware.com, helped me resolve an issue with a flaky Windows XP install:
Every experienced network guru knows that quite often the problem with a faulty network connection is due to the TCP/IP stack being corrupted or not properly bound. Starting with WinXP, Microsoft has disabled the ability to uninstall TCP/IP. So what are you to do if you suspect that all that is needed is a clean install of the TCP/IP stack? Luckily, it is fairly easy to rebuild the stack to the pristine conditions that it was in on a clean install using the NetShell utility.
Go to your command prompt and type the following:
netsh int ip reset [ log_file_name ]
A log file name must be specified in order to successfully execute the Netsh command. This file will log all the actions taken by netsh.
netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
netsh int ip reset c:resetlog.txt
The only difference between these two is that the first will create the log in the current directory while the second specifies where the log is to be created. After creating the log you can use Notepad or any other text editor to see exactly what changes were made.
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This was first published in June 2006