The Microsoft Windows XP SP2 update and a number of succeeding XP patch updates install a system file - tcpip.sys - with settings that limit your computer's outgoing Internet connections. This restriction may significantly reduce your TrustyFiles connections and downloads. It can also cause startup and operations problems.
We have tested and recommend both a patch program and a manual patch process to fix this Windows limitation.
When to Patch
Windows is sneaky. There are many ways the tcpip.sys system file can be changed:
- If you didn't restart or boot into safe mode as directed below in the manual process below
- If Windows has copies of the file in other system folders
- If there is a System Restore
- Through a Windows update
- Through other software that may change the file or its settings.
Run the patch:
- If you have never done so before.
- If you're suddenly unable to connect to networks or TrustyFiles starts to have startup or operations problems.
- After you have applied the patch and rebooted to ensure the patch remains.
- After a Windows update
- If you ever do a system restore, reinstall Windows, or re-apply a major Windows update.
- Regularly if Windows updating is set to automatic. This allows you to see if the Internet connection value has been changed during an automatic update.
- After an update to TCP/IP settings if Windows updating is done through update notification or manually.
The patch program (EvID4226.exe) is a small DOS program (about 40KB) and available from LvlLord, where you can obtain the latest version and additional information. The program can be downloaded at this mirror or from our server (Version 2.23d, which is current as of No 14 2006).
How to use the program:
- Download the program, unzip it if zipped, and run it.
- The program will display 'Current maximum concurrent half-open connections'. Continue below if the value is 10, which is the limited default Windows setting.
- Type 'C' to change the limit.
- Type '1000' and hit enter.
- The program will prompt you if you really want to change the setting. Type 'Y' for yes. The program will copy an updated tcpip.sys system file.
- A Windows File Protection dialog may display and ask you to insert your XP CD to restore the system file. Click 'Cancel'.
- Another Windows File Protection dialog may display to verify that you are sure you want to keep the changed file. Click 'Yes'.
- Restart Windows.
- Run the patch program again to verify the Internet connection limit is changed.
The following steps should work for most users. If they do not work see Troubleshooting below.
When you use Windows File Explorer, make sure hidden files are displayed. From the command menu select File > Tools > Folder Options > View tab. Under the folder Hidden files and folders make sure the option Show hidden files and folders is selected. Click OK when done.
- Print this page for easy reference.
- Download the new tcpip.sys driver file.
- Right click this new file link: tcpipnew.sys
- Click the 'Save As' command.
- Select the following directory to the save the file to: c:\windows\system32\drivers (or use winnt instead of windows).
- Edit the saved file name to be "tcpipnew.sys"
- Click Save.
- Reboot your PC.
- Push F8 on Windows start-up
- The Windows start-up menu will display. Choose Safe Mode.
- After Windows has fully started in Safe Mode, start Windows Explorer. Navigate to c:\windows\system32\drivers.
- Click on the file tcpip.sys to select it. From the command menu select File and then Rename. Edit the file name to tcpip-original.sys and hit Enter.
- Click on the file tcpipnew.sys to select it. Press Control-C to copy the file.
- Press Control-V to paste the file. It should display a new file name of 'Copy of tcpipnew.sys' (or something similar based on your preferences).
- Click on 'Copy of tcpipnew.sys' to select it. From the command menu select File and then Rename. Edit the file name to tcpip.sys and hit Enter.
- Reboot your PC in normal mode. You're done!
- Run the patch program above to verify the Internet connection limit is changed.
Windows may revert the tcpip.sys system file to the original file. This can happen if you didn't boot into safe mode, or Windows has another copy of the original tcpip.sys file and uses that instead of the new file in the drivers folder. If you believe the tcpip.sys file did not take, do the following.
1. Check the main file.
- Start Windows Explorer and navigate to c:\windows\system32\drivers.
- Compare the file date/time/size of tcpip.sys against tcpipnew.sys and tcpip-original.sys. If tcpip.sys matches tcpip-original.sys the file has reverted.
- Follow the instructions above again to copy tcpipnew.sys to tcpip.sys. Do not use System Restore.
2. Check for copies.
- Start Windows Explorer and navigate to c:\windows.
- Click Search on the Explorer Toolbar. Click 'All File and Folders' in answer to what you want to search for. Enter 'tcpip' in the Search entry box for all or part of the file name. Click More Advanced Options. Make sure Search system folders and Search hidden files and folders both have checkmarks. Click Search.
- Look for copies of tcpip.sys that match the date/time/size of tcpip-original.sys.
- If you find matching copies, write down the associated file directories. Follow the instructions above to reboot in safe mode and start Windows Explorer.
- For each matching copy, go to the associated file directory, Click on the file tcpip.sys to select it. From the command menu select File and then Rename. Edit the file name to tcpip-original.sys and hit Enter.
- When done with matching copies, reboot your PC in normal mode.
Questions and Answers
Does the Internet connection limit affect only TrustyFiles?
No. The limitation affect all P2P programs to different degrees. It affects TrustyFiles the most because TrustyFiles connects to the most separate networks and so creates the most Internet connections.
Why did Microsoft release an update that limits my Internet connections?
It is a part of Microsoft's ongoing security effort to plug holes in their leaky operating system. For technical information on this update see Windows XP Advice or Microsoft.
What happens if I don't use the MS XP SP2 patch for TrustyFiles?
That varies. In most cases you can still use TrustyFiles. But you will see a sizable decrease in the number of file sources and active downloads. In some cases TrustyFiles 3.0 is virtually unusable as the software takes a lot of time or won't start up and make connections.
If I install the MS XP SP2 patch, does that make my PC more vulnerable?
No. The Internet connection limitation DOES NOT prevent malware (spyware, viruses, worms) from reaching your PC. It only limits the damage your PC can do to other PCs on the Internet AFTER your PC is infected with certain worms.
Is there an easier way to fix the Internet connection limit?
No. The affected tcpip.sys file is a system file. You must cancel Windows File Protection alerts and restart your PC for the patch to be left alone and used by the operating system.