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Author Topic: Browsing problem  (Read 3367 times)

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918

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    Browsing problem
    « on: February 21, 2010, 09:36:24 AM »
    The following relates to a problem that I have had for 3 weeks now. I have posted on a couple of other sites and searched everything that I could think of without finding a solution. Before I go mad from watching adverts can anyone please help?

    One day I turned my PC off, no problem. The next day I turned it on, problem.
    I have recovered a backup from before the problem started and it seemed to clear, the following day it was back.
    OS: XP-SP3. 8mb Broadband through an ADSL modem, usually 7-7.2mb.
    The problem is that the only way I can browse the internet is using IE7 without add-ons. If I try to use it normally or use Firefox, I have v2 and v3 installed, the browser window opens but before it connects to a website everything locks and I have to turn the PC off manually and restart.
    If I open any browser offline they open without problems and I can access HTML files, and in the case of Firefox CHM files, from the hard drive. It is making the actual connection to any site that appears to be the problem.
    All other connections for program updates and email software work.
    When the problem started, for the first couple of days if I connected my Netbook to the PC and used ICS I had the same problem with the Netbook which has IE7, Firefox3.5, and Opera10.10, as soon as any browser opened the Netbook locked. Again all other access worked. At some point in my attempts to solve the problem something I did changed this as I can now use all the Netbook's browsers through ICS without problems. What it was that changed it I have no idea.
    The add-ons that are common to the different browsers on the PC are also in use on the Netbook which now works. None of the add-ons had updated for some time before the problem started.
    I have cleaned, checked, and defragged the hard drive and the registry. I have run full scans with a range of programs and found nothing. I have renewed adaptors, reset TCP/IP and Winsock, and purged the DNS cache, nothing. I have checked with my ISP about the settings that I have and they tell me that they are all as they should be. I can ping websites and get reasonable responses. I have tried moving ICS to other connections and even turning it off. Nothing I have tried has made the slightest difference.
    I have even tried connecting a router instead of the modem with exactly the same results.
    As I said, everything except the browsers is working normally. I have OE and Mailwasher Pro, both work. I have about a dozen programs which update daily, some automatically, some manually, all are updating without problems.
    I have several VPN's, I can connect to and through all of them without problems. And I have ICS and file sharing across the LAN, also without problems.

    the_mad_joker



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      Re: Browsing problem
      « Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 10:45:41 AM »
      Dude Pls Make That Note Short  ;)

      So That Every One Here Could Understand It More Clearly

      OR

      Write Down In Points  ;D

      918

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        Re: Browsing problem
        « Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 11:02:45 AM »
        Quote
        Dude Pls Make That Note Short

        Sorry about that, tried not to leave anything out.

        Basically the only way I can access websites is using IE7 without add-ons.
        Try any other way and the PC locks.
        All other internet access is working.
        All browsers work offline.

        That's the shortened version, most answers to questions about what I've tried to solve it are answered in my first post.

        kpac

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        Re: Browsing problem
        « Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 11:07:23 AM »
        918, please take no notice of the_mad_joker. It's better the more the information you give.

        So, you have tried different browsers?
        Have you tried resetting IE?

        918

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          Re: Browsing problem
          « Reply #4 on: February 22, 2010, 06:06:06 AM »
          Hi kpac, thank you for your reply.

          Quote
          918, please take no notice of the_mad_joker. It's better the more the information you give.

          My thoughts exactly.

          Quote
          So, you have tried different browsers?

          As I said in my first post, when this started it was affecting all the browsers that are installed on both computers.
          In the last couple of days I tried updating Firefox3 on the PC to 3.0.18 which has just come out but the problem remains.

          Quote
          Have you tried resetting IE?

          Until an hour ago when I saw your post the answer was no. Since then I have tried the reset manually and using the 'Fix It' both of which failed, thinking about it since this might be due to other software which is installed in IE7.
          I then uninstalled IE7 and reverted to IE6 which had the same problem.
          I have now returned everything to as it was.
          As far as IE itself is concerned I have the same version, the same add-ons, and the same settings on both computers, one works the other doesn't, even over the same connection (ICS)?

          I am not a computer expert otherwise I would probably not be looking for help but I do have a couple of thoughts on what is happening and would appreciate opinions from people with more understanding:

          The problem only affects the ability of browsers to connect to websites. It does not prevent them working offline.
          It is not specific to any single browser, it affects all of them.

          As all other software is able to connect it does not as such seem to be a general connection problem.

          As ICS works it would seem to be a problem with the PC rather than the actual connection.

          My first question is: What is it that takes place between the browsers and the internet that does not apply to other software and the internet?

          In my research I have come across 3 things which I only understand up to a point:

          TCP/IP: I know enough about this to be able to reset it which, as far as I can make out, should have resolved any problems in that area?
          DNS: With the exception of the network between the 2 computers this appears to be set to automatic on everything else?
          DCHP: This I do not understand?

          Given my limited knowledge, to me everything points to one or more incorrect settings but I have no idea where!

          patio

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          Re: Browsing problem
          « Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 08:31:10 AM »
          Have you contacted your ISP and have them run a Line check on that ADSL modem ? ?
          Is there a router in this equation ? ?
          Can you recall anything that has changed i.e. new soft/hardware ? ?
          " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

          918

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            Re: Browsing problem
            « Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 09:53:45 AM »
            Hi patio thank you for your reply.

            Quote
            Have you contacted your ISP and have them run a Line check on that ADSL modem ? ?

            I have contacted my ISP twice, they have run a Line check and they have also been through the settings I have, as far as they are concerned the problem is with the PC.
            Two weeks before this problem started they got me to reset the adapter, it was working at the time but they have moved to a new system and wanted it to be reset. After the problem started I contacted them the first time to see if it was the change that was causing the problem, they said no. The second time was about a week later when I got them to go through their various settings with me all of which were correct, although they were certain it was not a Line problem they checked it and said they could detect no faults. They added that if it had been a Line fault I would probably be having connection problems with other things beside browsers, which I am not.

            Quote
            Is there a router in this equation ? ?

            As such no.
            I have a router which I normally only use if I am running my Netbook on its own. (There are a number of practical reasons for this.) I have never had a problem with the modem but just to be sure I did try using the router instead of the modem and the problem stayed the same, in fact everything stayed the same including the connection speed.

            Quote
            Can you recall anything that has changed i.e. new soft/hardware ? ?

            I have not changed any hardware for over a year.
            With regard to software, I keep all the installation files I download on a second internal hard drive until I stop using them or they are updated. Putting them in order of Date Created, there were no new programs installed for the 10 days before the problem started, and no programs were updated in the 3 days before the problem started. The last updates that are directly connected to the browsers were Silverlight and Shockwave both on the same day 2 weeks before the problem started. The only other thing that might have updated are Firefox extensions but I could not think of any at the time that had and I would not have expected that to have affected IE, or as it did at the beginning, Opera on the Netbook.

            I have been known to make registry tweaks when I come across them from time to time but again not within the last few months.

            As I said in my first post this problem turned up quite literally overnight. When I turned the PC off everything was working, when I turned it on the next day I had this problem and not the faintest idea why.

            (It occurred to me after I had written this that my security programs are updated daily but they are all common programs and in use on both my computers. In any event I am not aware of anyone having problems with them.)

            918

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              Re: Browsing problem
              « Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 12:09:30 PM »
              This is a very brief post to say that I have my browsers back.
              I'll post again tomorrow.

              patio

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              Re: Browsing problem
              « Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 12:50:56 PM »
              Good to hear...sorry we couldn't assist on this end...
              " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

              rthompson80819



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              Re: Browsing problem
              « Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 02:19:56 PM »
              In the last couple of days I tried updating Firefox3 on the PC to 3.0.18 which has just come out but the problem remains.

              Actually, Firefox 3.6 is the latest version.

              918

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                Re: Browsing problem
                « Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 06:19:17 AM »
                Quote
                Actually, Firefox 3.6 is the latest version.

                In general terms yes, but it is not the latest version of v3.
                I installed v3.5 on my Netbook and lost a few extensions, if I go to v3.6 the last time I looked I would have lost another 25.


                I found the cause of the problem purely by chance.

                I have been thinking of changing some of my security programs for a while now and just recently I got hold of some free/discounted licenses for different programs.
                Because it was always the last program to load, long after everything else, I decided that one thing that had to go was Ad-Aware. The last couple of program updates did not install first time round, something that had not happened before, and it never found anything anyway.
                Even though I used Revo Uninstaller in Advance mode when I ran a search with RegSeeker I found over 200 entries and what caught my eye was that a large number of them contained the word 'internet'! I deleted all of them.
                As soon as I rebooted I noticed that everything loaded faster and I also noticed that my internet connection was 300kbps higher than it has ever been. I tried Firefox2 and for the first time in over 3 weeks it opened my Home Page. Tried the other browsers and they worked as well.

                I have since found that removing Ad-Aware has also sorted a few other things out:
                My graphics card software had refused to update for the last 3 months, it now has.
                A painting program which I downloaded to try about a month ago would never open, now it does.
                Several unrelated error messages I kept getting in the Event Viewer have stopped.

                I find it hard to believe that one program could affect so many different things without there being some indication that it was doing it but I cannot see any alternative.

                Thank you to those who took an interest in this especially those who replied.
                It will be interesting to see if there are any other people having problems with Ad-Aware.

                I forgot to add that Ad-Aware is also Installed on my Netbook, but not for much longer!