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How to Repair a Network Connection That has Greyed Out on Windows XP

Updated July 20, 2017

A greyed-out network connection in the network connections window means that the connection for that adaptor is disabled. If you are unable to enable the connection, there is likely a problem with the Windows network stack, the adaptor itself, or both. Fortunately, you can reset these components to allow the enabling of the connection.

Press the "Windows" and "R" keys simultaneously on your keyboard. This loads a run box.

Type "Msconfig" in the run box, and then press "Enter."

Click the "Boot.ini" tab, and then click in the checkbox next to "Safe Boot." Select "Minimal," and then click "Apply."

Click "OK" and reboot your computer.

Press the "Windows" and "R" keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

Type "Devmgmt.msc" and press "Enter." This loads the Windows Device Manager.

Double-click "Network adapters." Right-click your adaptor, then select "Uninstall."

Press "OK" on the removal confirmation. The device is then uninstalled.

Click "Action," and then "Scan for hardware changes." Your network device is re-detected and installed. Close the Device Manager.

Click "Start," and then "Run."

Type "Cmd" and press "Enter." This loads the Windows Command Prompt.

Type "Netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt" and press "Enter."

Type "Netsh winsock reset" and press "Enter." Close the Command Prompt.

Press "Windows" key and "R" key simultaneously.

Type "Msconfig" and press "Enter."

Click the "Boot.ini" tab, and then remove the check from "Safe Boot."

Click "Apply," and then "OK."

Reboot your computer.

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About the Author

Mike Benson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has authored tech guides on eHow as well as product and game reviews on a number of websites. Benson has focused his career in information technology and is educated in COMPTIA A+, electronics, A, B, C networking, search engine evaluation and programming. Benson has a certification of computer fundamentals and literacy.