Troubleshoot problems with an Internet connection in Windows Media Center

Here are solutions to some common problems with connecting your computer to the Internet.

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How can I confirm that I have an Internet connection?

To set up the Guide or to update Guide listings, your computer must be connected to the Internet. If you get a message that an Internet connection is not detected while setting up the Guide or when trying to download Guide listings, try the following:

  • If you already set up an Internet connection but Windows Media Center is having trouble detecting it, try manually connecting to the Internet. (On the Windows Media Center start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, click Windows Media Center Setup, and then click Set Up Internet Connection. You will be prompted to follow through the setup process.)

  • If you have not set up an Internet connection, use the Connect to the Internet wizard in Windows Vista. To create a new Internet connection, see Connect to the Internet.

How can I make sure my Internet connection works?

If you test your Internet connection and receive a "Test failed" notification when setting up Windows Media Center or downloading Guide listings, try the following:

  • Make sure that the phone cable, Ethernet cable, or coaxial cable that you use to connect to your Internet connection is firmly connected to both its source and your computer.

  • Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to make sure that no service outages have taken place or to see if your ISP has other troubleshooting steps that you could follow.

  • Make sure that your Internet connection includes a saved password that is available to anyone who uses your computer. Also, make sure that the user name and password that are saved with your Internet connection are valid.

  • Manually check connectivity to the Internet by opening a browser and going to a well-known website, such as http://www.microsoft.com. If you cannot go to a site that you know is accessible, you are having connection problems.

  • If you connect to the Internet through a proxy server or a firewall, make sure that all ports are configured to enable connections by Windows Media Center. Depending on what type of network you use, these settings might vary. If you are not sure how to check your proxy server or firewall settings, you can contact either your network administrator or your ISP. For more information, see Internet Explorer Connections settings and Windows Firewall.

  • Check the user name and password for your default Internet connection.

    If Windows Media Center cannot connect to the Internet because of an authentication error, make sure that the connection you are using has the correct user name and password saved and is available for use by all users.

  • Check the firewall or proxy settings for your default Internet connection.

    If you connect to the Internet through a proxy server or a firewall, make sure that all ports are configured to enable connections by Windows Media Center. Depending on what type of network you use, these settings might vary from person to person. If you are not sure what the correct proxy server or firewall settings are, you might need to contact either your network administrator or your Internet service provider (ISP). To check your firewall or proxy settings, see Windows Firewall or Change proxy settings in Internet Explorer.

What happens when my Internet connection is no longer valid?

If you are notified that Windows Media Center is unable to connect to the Internet because your dial-up Internet connection is no longer valid, you need to select a new Internet connection for use with Windows Media Center. Or, if you do not have another connection available, you can set up a new Internet connection. To set up a connection using the Connect to the Internet wizard, see Connect to the Internet.

To set up a different Internet connection for use with Windows Media Center, on the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, click Windows Media Center Setup, and then click Set up Internet Connection.

What if there is no dial tone?

If Windows Media Center cannot detect a dial tone, try the following:

  • Make sure that your phone cable is connected to the modem in your computer and the wall telephone jack.

  • Make sure that the phone line is not already in use.

  • Make sure that the phone service is working. Plug the telephone to the same phone jack that you use for your computer and listen for a dial tone.

How can I configure a dial-up connection for use in Windows Media Center?

You can use the Connect to the Internet wizard in Windows Vista to set up a dial-up Internet connection. After the dial-up Internet connection is set up, you can use this connection in Windows Media Center to download the latest Windows Media Center information, such as updated Guide listings.

To configure a dial-up Internet connection for use in Windows Media Center

  1. Open the Connect to the Internet wizard by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, clicking Network and Sharing Center, and then clicking Set up a connection or network.
  2. On the Choose a connection option page, click Set up a dial-up connection, and then click Next.

  3. On the Type the information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) page, enter the appropriate information, such as the dial-up phone number and your user name.

  4. In the Password box, type your password, and then select the Remember this password check box.

  5. In the Connection name box, type a name for the dial-up connection.

    This is the connection name that appears in Windows Media Center.

  6. Select the Allow other people to use this connection check box, and then click Create.

  7. Click Close.

To use the dial-up connection to connect to the Internet in Windows Media Center

  1. Start Windows Media Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Media Center.
  2. On the start screen in Windows Media Center, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, click Windows Media Center Setup, and then click Set Up Internet Connection).

  3. On the Set Up Your Internet Connection screen, click Next.

  4. For Do you have an "always on" Internet connection, click No, and then click Next.

  5. On the Select Your Connection screen, choose the Internet dial-up connection that you created, and then click Next.

  6. On the An Internet Connection is Set Up screen, click Test. After the test is complete, click Next.

  7. Click Finish.