Patrick Marshall offers troubleshooting advice for a user whose browser seems to keep getting lost on the way to websites. He also has unfortunate news for a reader who just upgraded to Windows 10.
Q: I purchased a new computer a few months ago with Windows 7 on it. I immediately had problems with Internet Explorer as my browser, so I went with Google Chrome. Now, a message pops up when I go to the Web that says “resolving host.” The browser just cranks and nothing happens. I reboot, then all is OK for a while.
If I stop using the computer and let it sit for a couple of hours, the problem sometimes recurs. Also, along with this, I have been getting a message, “the server or network is slow to respond.”
I never had any of these problems with my old computer. It also had Windows 7, and I used Internet Explorer. My router is 7 years old.
I have signed up for Windows 10, but I’m worried these problem will not go away. What should I do?
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A: In general, what’s going on is that the browser can’t find the site you’re trying to reach. How does the browser usually find the site you’re trying to reach? It takes the site name you put in the URL field, and it takes that to whatever Domain Name System server is specified in your computer and your modems and routers. In most cases, that DNS server is designated by your Internet service provider.
Unfortunately, lots of things can gum up the works.
First, reset your cable modem and any other routers you may have on your network. Also, make sure your modems, routers and network adapters in all of your computers have up-to-date drivers.
Next, contact your Internet service provider to make sure you’ve got the right DNS servers specified and have them run diagnostics on their end to see if they can detect any DNS problems.
Finally, it may be that something has mucked up your DNS cache and you need to manually flush it. If the above actions haven’t resolved your problem, open Windows Notepad and enter the following text:
attrib -h -s -r hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 localhost>HOSTS
attrib +r +h +s hosts
netsh winsock reset all
netsh int ip reset all
shutdown -r -t 1
Save the file with a .bat file extension. When you’re ready to flush the cache, right-click on the file and select “Run as administrator.” The batch file will automatically reboot your computer after flushing the DNS cache.
Q: I just upgraded to Windows 10. My Dell Studio XPS 7100 computer won’t automatically sleep after the designated time and it will wake up between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
If I have a program that I can’t close out, I previously used Task Manager to see a short list of running apps and select the one to close. Windows 10 Task Manager apparently doesn’t have this view, so I don’t know how to close a particular problematic program.
When I click on the Time/Calendar in the lower-right task bar, it just makes a sound, when previously an interactive calendar appeared, allowing me to view different calendar months/years.
I hope you can add some insight to the above issues.
— Greg Kisinger, Renton
A: Unfortunately, Dell says that the Dell Studio XPS 7100 isn’t supported for Windows 10.
Sadly, at a certain point manufacturers stop creating new drivers and updating the BIOS for older equipment to make them compatible with the latest version of operating systems. Fortunately, while Dell doesn’t support moving the XPS 7100 to Windows 10, the Windows 7 operating system, which is what the XPS 7100 uses, will be supported by Microsoft until 2020. And 10 years is a pretty long life span for a computer.