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Windows Vista: Can’t Access Internet after Update

My daughter complained this evening that she couldn’t access the internet again on her Vista laptop – “again” because this is the second time this has happened.  A month or so ago she came with the same problem and the fix turned out to be to remove one of the Windows Updates.

More precisely, the fix involved me Googling for some idea of why a fairly standard Vista set-up should suddenly stop being able to access the internet when the little ‘World’ icon in the system tray suggested it was connected and my other PCs could connect happily.  Several suggestions blamed various Windows Updates and recommended removing the offending one.  Unfortunately, that meant me spending the best part of an evening individually removing the windows updates one by one, rebooting and trying the internet connection again.

For information, in the control panel on Vista there is a link or tool to view all the installed updates.  Clicking this I sort them by date installed and when you select one or right click it you are offered the option to uninstall it.  This needs administrator privilege so if you are not logged in as an administrator you will be prompted to provide an administrator password.  You probably need to reboot after each one and this can take a while.

It was the 12th one! The culprit turned out to be KB958215 – see MS08-073: Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer.  I’ve just looked at the blurb there and, low and behold, they have “replaced it with a newer update”.

Anyway, that solved the problem – but here it was again.  I checked the same thing – no that update wasn’t installed.  So I would have to go through the same process again.  Luckily, this time there are only 3 updates – and when I checked the details for the latest one on the Microsoft website, they suggest various fiddly fixes for resolving the problem.  Oh, yes, it was KB961260 – see MS09-002: Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer.  Fiddly bits need time and I wasn’t convinced by their description – so uninstalling  is the order of the day once again.

Yes, uninstalling it did the trick!  Hopefully, they will replace this update quickly as well and the problem will go away.

It annoys me that Microsoft are happy to send out these updates in the knowledge that some people will have serious problems with their computers afterwards.  My daughter is lucky to have me on hand to solve the problems – but a large number of users will struggle to work out how to diagnose and fix the problem.  Are they to spend a fortune taking the computer back to a dealer or calling help lines at £ 1.00 per minute or more?

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One comment on “Windows Vista: Can’t Access Internet after Update”

  1. simon says:

    Hmmm! It happened again – this time it appeared to be KB969897. Then updated and again it happened.

    Tried a different track – replaced Norton Internet Security 2009 with Kaspersky (after using the removal tool from symantec).

    Problem solved – at least for now. So it’s not all Microsoft’s fault, after all…

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