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FireFox & IE Browsers Won't Display Webmail or Advertising


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15 replies to this topic

#1 dancing_forever

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:36 PM

Greetings,

I need help resolving why none of my browsers (FireFox and IE) can see certain websites, and why I can't see advertising in yahoo & gmail webmail (although this is kind of a nice feature ;) ). Also, when I access my GoDaddy webmail I only can see part of my webmail interface as most is blocked. Also when I click on 'safe' links on a certain website I get the following error message:

Error message I get in FireFox:
Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at server.iad.liveperson.net.

Please do help me resolve this. Maybe a firewall setting or?

I have a Windows XP Professional 2002 SP3, Intel Pentium 4, 1.5 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM. Avast free anti-virus, Comodo free firewall, MalWareBytes free.

Troubleshooting ~ I use FireFox mostly, and I have tried checking that Java is enabled, that pop ups are allowed for certain sites, I uninstalled ZoneAlarm free firewall and installed Comodo free firewall, but not sure it is allowing my browser to connect (not sure my firewall settings are correct, a bit technically over my head) and so now I come to ask for assistance. Which I wish I had done sooner. I await your response.

Your help with this issue is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
:)
~Dancer


PS
I previously worked with Blade in the 'Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs' category. He was a great help with all that. If I recall correctly though, I have noticed this browser issue since then. Maybe one of the tools I ran with him? Please advise if you can. Thanks.

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#2 Sightless

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

Hi, do you have a HOSTS file? If so, it may be blocking the connections to advertising sites.

Your HOSTS file is located at C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc
You can open it with notepad.

#3 dancing_forever

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:54 PM

Hello,

Ok, just looked in that path ~ C:/Windows/System32/drivers... and I did not see any file called HOSTS. And I have hidden files showing.

~Dancer

#4 ThunderZ

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:01 AM

You missed by one folder. There should be a folder actually called etc in the drivers folder. The host file will be in the etc folder.

But what I believe Sightless is talking about is if you are running a modified Host file. Some security programs may add entries as a form of protection.

All Windows systems have a Host file.

#5 dancing_forever

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:08 PM

Hi there,

Thanks for explaining that I missed the folder, OK I found my HOSTS file. I don't know if it is modified or not, I havn't modified anything. How do I check to see if software has modified it or if it is the culprit? Please elaborate.
:)
~Dancer

#6 MadDawg

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:14 PM

Here are some examples of default HOSTS files in Windows: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972034

Here is an example of a modified HOSTS file from this site.

To check if the HOSTS file is the culprit, back up the old HOSTS file (you can rename it to, say, "hosts.bak") and create a new one with the default entries, then open a browser and see if all is normal. If the results are the same, you can eliminate the HOSTS as a culprit (provided that it hasn't been edited again), and you can choose to restore the old HOSTS file or keep the new one.

Edited by MadDawg, 27 January 2011 - 02:15 PM.

A penguin broke my windows with a half-eaten apple!

#7 ThunderZ

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:22 PM

One other option to compare Host files is to right click on them. Select open with then select\browse to notepad.

They will open in a plain .txt file and a side by side comparison can be done. A normal Host file actually has very little content so comparing two standard ones would be quit simple.

#8 dancing_forever

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:09 PM

It worked :)! All my issues are resolved. Woot :)! Great ideas and how-to's everyone :). Much appreciated.

I renamed the HOSTS file that was the culprit. I couldn't tell why it was 'off', there were hundreds of entries placed by SpyBot Search & Destroy and possibly something else...

Temp Fix ~ I temporarily am using an older different version of the HOSTS file ( that I found in that folder already...) ~ as it looked like most of the entries were from Spybot adding in bad sites to avoid. Is this a correct assumption~ that these were by SpyBot? So maybe I should keep this older file? Please advise. Is this a normal place for SpyBot to add entries for bad sites? Do you recommend keeping this old HOSTS file because of the SpyBot entries, or going with the new clean default one? I.e., will using the new clean default HOSTS file expose me to more crappy sites? Curious.

I no longer have SpyBot, I use MalwareBytes.

Please do advise.
:)
~Dancer

Edited by dancing_forever, 27 January 2011 - 04:14 PM.


#9 dancing_forever

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:10 PM

Fantabulous, I can access my webmail and online files now. Thanks :)!
~Dancer

#10 Sightless

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:07 PM

as it looked like most of the entries were from Spybot adding in bad sites to avoid. Is this a correct assumption~ that these were by SpyBot? So maybe I should keep this older file? Please advise. Is this a normal place for SpyBot to add entries for bad sites? Do you recommend keeping this old HOSTS file because of the SpyBot entries, or going with the new clean default one? I.e., will using the new clean default HOSTS file expose me to more crappy sites? Curious.



Hi, you are correct. The HOSTS file prevents you from connecting to malicious sites, or just unsafe sites in general. Many times advertising sites are listed among HOSTS files, which would explain why ads weren't loading for you.
I would keep the HOSTS file you have now, as the clean, default file will not have any entries. If you knew exactly which sites you needed to connect to, you could download the most recent HOSTS file from MVPS and just delete the sites you need to connect to from the list.

#11 ThunderZ

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:07 PM

Glad you got it worked out.

Have not used Spybot in years. But it is an example of a security app altering a file and causing a problem.

#12 dancing_forever

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:32 AM


as it looked like most of the entries were from Spybot adding in bad sites to avoid. Is this a correct assumption~ that these were by SpyBot? So maybe I should keep this older file? Please advise. Is this a normal place for SpyBot to add entries for bad sites? Do you recommend keeping this old HOSTS file because of the SpyBot entries, or going with the new clean default one? I.e., will using the new clean default HOSTS file expose me to more crappy sites? Curious.



Hi, you are correct. The HOSTS file prevents you from connecting to malicious sites, or just unsafe sites in general. Many times advertising sites are listed among HOSTS files, which would explain why ads weren't loading for you.
I would keep the HOSTS file you have now, as the clean, default file will not have any entries. If you knew exactly which sites you needed to connect to, you could download the most recent HOSTS file from MVPS and just delete the sites you need to connect to from the list.



Ok, I think I understand better now. More entries the better if they come from a safe site like MVPS.

So I went and downloaded the latest MVPS HOSTS file just to see if it worked, and I had the same issues again, crud. So I searched in the MVPS HOSTS file for the sites I am trying to connect to, but they aren't listed :(. Any ideas how to figure out which entries are blocking access to GoDaddy's webmail and such... so I can just delete those?

Sightless's idea. A good one.

~Dancer

#13 Sightless

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:38 PM

I do not know any of the domains used by GoDaddy, so I cant help much there. Did you try to "find" GoDaddy entries? Press ctrl + f
This will bring up the find menu. Just type in "Godaddy" or any of the sites you believe should be allowed access and remove them.

#14 ThunderZ

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:54 PM

I`m afraid, due to the type of work you do, that an altered host file will probably not work for you.

Or at the very least it would need to be frequently and heavily edited\modified after much research on your part. Also, the fact that sites of "questionable" content are forever changing their location\IP\Domain, the file would need constant editing on your part.

If you do decide to go back to a default host file the how to info can be found here.

Edited by ThunderZ, 28 January 2011 - 05:58 PM.


#15 dancing_forever

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:35 AM

Sightless: Yes I tried searching for GoDaddy, and nothing came up. Apparently they use some other domain name for their system. Thanks for the idea though.


ThunderZ: I know how to revert back to the default HOSTS file, thanks. I am going to use the HOSTS file that blocks the most ad crud. Just wish I knew the name of the domains that I need to allow and still keep the others blocked...

Thanks for your help everyone :).

Signing off.
~Dancer




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