A nuke and pave is a last resort fix for dial up technical support reps to fix a no browse issue. This is used as a last resort because it's a very extensive and intrusive process that is not very easy to do quickly on an over-the-phone technical support call. You're looking at roughly one to two hours to walk a customer through this process, which is basically a complete removal and reinstall of most (if not all) of the networking software relevant to transmitting data over the internet. Listed below are the basic instructions on how to perform a nuke and pave.

(This information applies only to Windows 9x and ME systems.)

Find and rename the following files to *.eln:
  • vip.386
  • vnbt.386
  • vtdi.386
  • vtcp.386
  • vdhcp.386
  • pppmac.vxd

Uninstall the entire communications suite (don't reboot yet).

Delete the following keys from the registry (remember to back it up first):

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\RemoteAccess
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\AFVXD
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\DHCP
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\MSTCP
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\Winsock
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\Winsock2

In communications, reinstall Dial-Up Networking only (don't reboot yet).

Remove everything in the Network control panel. Don't take out Dial-Up Adapter in Windows ME; you'll have to reinstall communications to get it back. Do not remove any Network Cards or Banyan Vines entries.

Reinstall TCP/IP, Dial-Up Adapter, and Client for Microsoft Networks. We only want these three plus any Network Card entries.


Double check and make sure all the files you renamed are back where they belong.

Create a new connectoid.

Check all modem settings. Remove any unnecessary modem init strings.

Change POP number and make sure all login info is being typed in correctly.

If this does not solve the problem, you have ruled out software. The problem either lies in the network, their modem, or their phone lines.

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