How to fix windows socket stack corruption on Windows 7

This morning I opened the flap of my laptop and windows started resuming from hibernation. I noticed that all resources on the machine were getting consumed and eve after good 10 minutes the machine did not recover completely and CPU usage was still 100%. Instead of waiting any more I did a hard reboot of the laptop. After restart, I started getting all kind of weird error messages thrown at me. Errors that I have never seen before. The network service failed, event notification service failed, networking was not working and all kind of errors related to network. I thought my network slots on mother board has failed. So I decided to plug-in wireless broadband network modem to get connected. Well there was surprise I get error "Windows Sockets could not be initialized". Well that was kind of indication that something is seriously busted now. I did the usual routine of trying to run machine in safe mode. Well, i could not access event logs as well for any errors at that point because it complained about event log service not being started on the machine.

Since I was getting WinSock initialization error from my broadband card connectivity so I decided to reset WinSock stack on my machine. I ran the following command from command line.

netsh winsock reset

When the command started running first message I got in the console was saying nitialization function INITHELPERDLL in IPMONTR.DLL failed to start with error code 10107. That is very typical message you will see when winsock stack is corrupted. The command ran for few seconds and then I restarted the machine as it asked me to. That fixed the whole issue for me.

Once the machine started normally, I was able to look into System event log. Well, there was huge number of network related errors from last night. Some of the errors were:

  • A timeout was reached (30000 milliseconds) while waiting for the Net.Tcp port Sharing Service service to connect.
  • The network location awareness service terminated
  • The IP helper service terminated
  • The network link is down

How this information helps you if you are running into similar issues on your machine.

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