Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

ff, ie, intermittently refuse to access internet.


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Vern999

Vern999

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:44 PM

this problem has 3 progressive stages;

originally , closing and restarting both browser solved the problem.

but recently, restarting still had the problem, the only apparent way out was to reboot the computer.

and as of yesterday, even rebooting doesn't work, neither browser will access the internet, although pings both by name and ip still work. also all servers shown in ipconfig/all are still pingable.

this makes me wonder if it is time for COMBOFIX... I used that on friend's computer to get rid of all the spyware malware etc that had accumulted on her system, with no antivirus running.

further details are below - I would really appreciate some assistance with this!
I do have access to the internet as you can see, at my work computer.

Question: for some time I have had a browser problem, where after some time of operation, both firefox and ie do not respond.
this in spite of the fact that my OE email works fine, I can ping from a dos box by name and ip, DHCP, DNS, GATEWAY, are all pingable.
each browser behaves differently; with firefox, when I click on a link on an existing page, the cursor goes busy for an instant, and ff returns an empty window, with 'done' at the bottom.
ie returns 'cannot access this page, try the following', also with 'done' at the bottom.
in firefox I CAN access some secure sites; research shows this is because secure sites use port 443, instead of port 80.

now this problem used to be a minor annoyance, resolved by simply closing the browser and restarting it.
lately however, restart does not correct the problem, and I have to reboot the system.
which makes it a serious annoyance! I normally hibernate nightly, and rebooting is frustrating.
googling 'firefox click link nothing happens' or 'internet connectivity but browsers don't work'
sums up the problem.
it is the same if I type a url.

since I recently switched to open dns, I changed my dns servers back to what they were previously, this had no affect.
I tried a ipconfig/dnsflush, this had a short-term temporary correction to the problem, but it came back within a few minutes.

I have tried release/renew, and pulling the plug on my extreme speed modem, to no avail.

the problem usually occurs when I am away from the computer, although once or twice it occurred while I was at the computer using firefox. I rarely use ie these days.

while I am away, Zone alarm pro, avg free, copernic desktop, and ashampoo magic defrag may be doing their thing.

I have maintained a detailed log of everything I have done since Feb 9, if that would be of any help.

I am a retired mainframe systems programmer and tech support, so feel I understand computers fairly well, but this problem escapes me. 'somebody' is setting a switch 'somewhere' in the system, that blocks the browsers, but nothing else.

thanks in advance,

Vern

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 CreeDo

CreeDo

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 25 February 2009 - 04:02 PM

Combofix is certainly worth a try, and three others that are top notch are Avira Antivirus, Malwarebytes Antimalware, and SuperAntispyware.

Just having surfing blocked is very virus-y sounding though it doesn't always have to be that.
One clue is to go to your windows hosts file (just called "hosts", can be edited in notepad) and see if it has references to sleazy-sounding websites.
It should be fairly clean with just some commented stuff and a localhost entry.

When you google, try "browser can't surf", I think can't surf is the magic phrase that brings a lot of possibly helpful google results.
As a techy person you probably already thought of this but make sure you either aren't running any firewall/internet security software, or make
sure your existing antivirus/security software didn't get a firewall feature enabled by accident.

#3 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:53 PM

thanks for the reply, Credo.
I have looked at the hosts file, and there only a couple of entries for norton antivirus when I had it years back. nothing else.

what I am doing now, is using a bootable image backup from about a month ago.
I use bootit ng, a dual boot program that also does partition management and imaging. I have 2 hard drives, so am now using this backup system.
I uninstalled avg free, and will run a couple of days without it, to see if that eliminates the problem.
I was thinking of doing this before, but my suspicions were really aroused when I first started this backup system.
avg did an update that said it required computer restart, maning program changes, not just virus updates.
after the reboot, my browsers wouldn't work again, and rebooting again didn't help.

so if ff (my main browser these days) stays operational over a full 2 or 3 days, I will then go back to the production system and uniinstall avg to see if that solves the problem.

when the time comes I think I will replace avg with nod32. or possibly avast.

a question about COMBOFIX: when I ran it on my friend's system, it produced screensful of file names, showing various adware files I recognized. but it gave me no choices, didn't ask me if I wanted everything deleted, just did its thing.

is there any way to control it? if I run it on my system, which I believe to be in good shape, I don't want to see a bunch of files deleted without getting the chance to examine what they are.

I didn't get a chance to look at the log file it produced, perhaps it will tell me exactly what it has done ?

any suggestions gratefully received,

Vern

#4 tg1911

tg1911

    Lord Spam Magnet


  • Members
  • 19,274 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SW Louisiana
  • Local time:05:30 AM

Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:36 AM

ComboFix is an extremely powerful tool which should only be used when instructed to do so by someone who has been properly trained. ComboFix is intended by its creator to be "used under the guidance and supervision of an expert", NOT for private use. Please read Combofix's Disclaimer. Using this tool incorrectly could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again.

Please create a new topic, in the Am I infected? What do I do? forum, explaining the nature of your problem. Describe pop-ups and system tray or desktop icons that have appeared. Explain what is "going wrong" with your computer. Note any tools you have used and their respective results.

If needed, we will direct you to our HJT Preparation Guide.

This topic is now closed.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#5 Grinler

Grinler

    Lawrence Abrams


  • Admin
  • 43,640 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:07:30 AM

Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:19 PM

I have opened the question at the request of the member. Unfortunately, though, we do not allow the discussion of how to use combofix unless you are working with a trained helper.

#6 Zllio

Zllio

  • Members
  • 1,107 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:30 AM

Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:53 PM

Hi Vern999,

Have you tried disabling and/or uninstalling ZoneAlarm Pro to see if that does anything?

Also, some questions: what versions of software are you using, including your browsers, antivirus and firewall. Do you have everything, including XP updated? Did you install any new software just before this happened, and have you tried going back with system restore to before the problem started? Have you changed anything with a network? Your ISP? Anything new? Any new hardware? Do you have Spybot S&D and if so, is TeaTimer enabled? Did any scans you've done point at the possibility of malware?

Zllio

#7 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:40 PM

Hello Lawrence, thank-you very much for re-opening this. It is much appreciated, as this problem is really annoying, and it will be nice to get some help.

Vern

#8 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:10 PM

Hi Vern999,

Have you tried disabling and/or uninstalling ZoneAlarm Pro to see if that does anything?

Also, some questions: what versions of software are you using, including your browsers, antivirus and firewall. Do you have everything, including XP updated? Did you install any new software just before this happened, and have you tried going back with system restore to before the problem started? Have you changed anything with a network? Your ISP? Anything new? Any new hardware? Do you have Spybot S&D and if so, is TeaTimer enabled? Did any scans you've done point at the possibility of malware?

Zllio


Hi Zllio, thanks for your advice, and questions.

I have not tried running with Zone Alarm shut down; during the time since this problem went into stage 2, then 3, Zone alarm had not changed.
running on my 'recovered' system of Jan 7, my ZAP renewal came up, so it is now a newer version than on the bad 'production' system.

on the production I will try running without ZAP, and see if that changes the browser problem at all; but I'm pretty sure it won't be the problem.

software: XPhome SP3, it WAS right up to the minute in updates, until I uninstalled KB967115 and 961118 based on a hint found in google that they could be the cause of the prolem.
Zone alrm pro, 8.0.059.000 antispyware 5.0.202.0.
AVG free version 8. - now uninstalled, but it was right uptodate.
Firefox 3.0.6, IE 7.0.5730.11c0 (rarely used, except to verify it's not working either when ff has the problem)

I have secunia on the system, which helps me keep all software uptoade and avoid security holes. it shows 100%, except for flash update for ie.

i ran gmer, sent the log to Mr. Gmer, and he reports 'no sign of rootkits'.

I did a Windows search by date, to find all installed programs, and other possibly relevant issues.

uninstalled any recently installed programs.

no new hardware

I do not have spybot; I had been using Adaware free, but its new update to the harmony version was one of the recent changes, so I uninstalled it on the prodn system .

no ISP changes.

network change was to switch to 'opendns'; this was before the problem got serious though.
nevertheless, it was one of t he first things I checked, including contacting the opendns guys.
I changed the dns servers back to what they were before, and it didn't affect the problem.

system restore: I don't use it, since it is reputed to not be as good as a full backup.

I use bootit ng, with which I do a bootable image weekly. this has enabled me to run my jan 7 image, which is working fine, as you can see.
since feb 25, ff has only stalled once, and this was the stage 1 version, just closed ff and restrted it.

one thing I have thought might be making the difference ir frequency of occurence, is that I am rebooting the system at least daily now,
rather than the way the production ran; handybackup ran nightly, backing up all data, then issued a WIZMO hibernate;
so the system typically was booted only every 14 days or so.

my thought now is to take this jan 7 system which is on my 40g hard drive, and move it over to my 'real' C drive on my 120g HD, and just make it the production system.
then carefully log every change made to the system, and watch to see if the stage 2 or 3 level of the browser problem occurs again.

this would then leave me with only the stage 1 problem of FF 'quitting' from time to time.

enough for now...

thanks for your help,

Vern

Edited by Vern999, 04 March 2009 - 04:18 PM.


#9 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:21 AM

Zllio, thinking over your first question: what could there be in Zone Alarm that would allow Firefox to work fine for 2 or 3 days, with everal open windows and multi tabs on each, then suddenly not have access to the internet on port 80, while still connecting on port 443 ?

that's a stage 2 description of course; but even moving to stage 3 where neight ff or oe will connect at all, but there is still an internet connection via p;inging - and between stage 2 and 3 (on feb 23, browsers worked after a reboot, on feb 25 they didn't) there were no changes to ZAP ??

just thinking out loud....

Vern

#10 Stang777

Stang777

    Just Hoping To Help


  • Members
  • 1,821 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:05:30 AM

Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:47 AM

Hi Vern,

Zillo might have been just thinking some kind of conflict was occuring. For me, if it were not for the one port staying open, I would think maybe the Zone Alarm lock is becoming accidentally enabled and those programs do not have permission to bypass it.

Edited by Stang777, 06 March 2009 - 04:02 AM.


#11 Zllio

Zllio

  • Members
  • 1,107 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:30 AM

Posted 06 March 2009 - 07:15 PM

Hi Vern999,

I'm wondering about a hardware problem. Did you try replacing the modem with another one? Maybe you could borrow one to try this out? Are you having trouble with the same websites, or with many different ones?

Did you try both disabling and uninstalling Zone Alarm Pro? If not, I recommend trying this.

You mentioned the following: "system restore: I don't use it, since it is reputed to not be as good as a full backup".

System restore only returns the registry to an earlier state. It doesn't affect your data files. This allows many software problems to be circumvented. It won't affect any of your data files, like text, documents, photos and music, but it will affect any recently installed programs or updates, because it will put the registry back to an ealier state. It is different than returning the computer to a factory installation.

If you've never done this before, Go to Start / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / System Restore
check the box to Restore my computer to an earlier time and click on Next. You'll see a calendar with highlighted dates. Choose one of the dates just preceeding these problems and allow your system to return to that date. See if the problem goes away.
If this doesn't work, go back into System Restore as per the above instructions, only this time choose the option to reverse the change you made.

Zllio

#12 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 06 March 2009 - 10:56 PM

[quote name='Zllio' date='Mar 6 2009, 07:15 PM' post='1166450']
Hi Vern999,

hello Stanq777, thanks for the thoughts.

and Hi Zllio; my comments below, prefixed "vhd:"


I'm wondering about a hardware problem. Did you try replacing the modem with another one? Maybe you could borrow one to try this out? Are you having trouble with the same websites, or with many different ones?

VHD: it isn't the modem. it is a motorola s85100 surfboard 'extreme speed' modem.
and as stated earlier, when browsers fail, there was still internet connectivity via ping, and in stage 1, email. so the modem is working.

Did you try both disabling and uninstalling Zone Alarm Pro? If not, I recommend trying this.

vhd: NO. it isn't zone alarm. see further on this, below.


You mentioned the following: "system restore: I don't use it, since it is reputed to not be as good as a full backup".

vhd: system restor is turned off on my system, so there will be no calendar.

in my reply to your questions, the paragraph following where I mention not using system restore, says :

"use bootit ng, with which I do a bootable image weekly. this has enabled me to run my jan 7 image, which is working fine, as you can see.
since feb 25, ff has only stalled once, and this was the stage 1 version, just closed ff and restrted it."

so with an approximately 2-month old system, is how I am getting on the internet to talk to you, and the problem is reduced to stage 1, which has only occurred twice since feb 27. when ff 'stalls', I just close and restart it, no problems.

so it certainly does not seem to be Zone alarm. surely closing and restrting firefox would make no changes in ZAP.

so my present plan is to make my jan 7 system which I am running on, my production system.

I would still like to see if there could possibly be a virus on the production system before I overlay it.

thus am hoping to get permission to run combofix and have someone check its log.

then we are back to stage 1 of the problem, which is merely annoying; but it would still be nice to find a solution.

regarding the question on trouble with websites: as I mentioned, when the problem occurs, I usually have several windows open in ff, with more than one of them having several tabs.
when the problem occurred in stage 2, I would flip over to each different window and tab, (each being a different website) and get the same result. so my conclusion has been that it is not a website related matter, nor specifically a browser-related matter, since it happens to both browsers - ff & ie - at t he same time. and in stage 1 oe email still works (ports 25 and 110), and all pings work with no undue delays.



appreciate your interest and input,

Vern

#13 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:44 PM

please consider this thread closed now.

thank-you for your interest.

vhd

#14 Layback Bear

Layback Bear

  • Members
  • 1,880 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Ohio
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:12 AM

Good morning to all. Vern999 did you remove the left over Norton pieces parts. I like you use to use Norton. I took me forever to find all the hidden things and remove them. They would cause all kinds of strange things to happen.

#15 Vern999

Vern999
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:30 AM

Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:23 PM

Hi Layback, I switched to nod32 in early '07, and was sure I had used Norton cleanup program; but just to be sure, scanned the registry, and found 63 entries for 'norton' ! and 3 or 4 for 'symantec'. so deleted them all.
maybe it will eliminate the problem, thanks.

Vern




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users