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Captive Portal will not load

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#1 AmateurITguy


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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:12 PM

Hello everyone:

I've used this site to fix many problems, but this is the first one I can't already find an answer for.

When I was traveling, I had a problem getting online via a wi-fi network that used a captive portal (I think that's the right term) because the re-direct would fail.
This happened in three separate locations, (two airport lounges and a hotel room) so I'm reasonably sure that the problem is on my end (not the network's end). Plus, in one case (an airport lounge) I saw others using the network and asked one person, and they reported no problems.

I am running Windows XP Pro SP3 on my dell dimension machine.
I typically use google chrome for a browser, ver
but this problem also occurred using Firefox and IE8. (which i keep installed because chrome does not work for all pages).
Windows Firewall is disabled (always!).
I'm running McAfee Virusscan. I have since uninstalled ad-aware and spybot.

I would see the unsecured SSID on my wi-fi utility (I use dell's that was pre-installed).
The connection to the network would be fine. It would show me as connected, and I would have a local IP assigned via DHCP.

However, when starting my browser, I would expect that I would be redirected from my home page (or last page open, depending on the settings) to the captive portal where I would agree to the terms and conditions, and/or enter the password. The airport lounges (two different lounges) had a publicly displayed password you were to use, and the hotel instructions were to use your room number.

Instead, it would simply give me a "page not found". I would see the URL for the redirect.. all 3 were https and were have something like "secure.ibahn.com/guest/login?" in them. but they would not load, even when taking the link and pasting it into the address bar.

I have googled EVERYWHERE looking for suggestions about this problem, but can't seem to get anywhere (I end up on a lot of pages aimed at webmasters, not users).
I don't think this is a virus or a trojan, because I'm not getting popups, or redirects. it's the lack of redirect that is the problem. My hunch is that some setting somewhere is being overly protective.
I have reset my internet settings on IE8 to default, and tried lowering my security and privacy settings to minimal. SSL and TLS are all checked enabled (on all broswers). I checked my hosts file (C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\hosts) and all that was in there was localhost, which I think is normal. I have also run a system restore back to my earliest available date. Still no dice.

I can't replicate this problem now because when I was having this problem I couldn't get online. I'm back in my office and accessing the network with both wired and wi-fi without problems, so it does seem to be the captive portal step that is the problem.

Any ideas, oh wise ones?

Edited by AmateurITguy, 08 January 2010 - 02:14 PM.

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