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Browsing annoyance - about:blank


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#1 Angel White

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:37 PM

Hello. Well this is the 3rd topic i've made about this annoyance i have been having. I don't even know if it can be resolved or if I can avoid it at all. 

 

about:blank:  We found out, its not a malware(in this case), hijacker or anything that can harm the machine.  Even so, its hanging up my browsing efforts, slowing down at times and even stopping the search. i sometimes have to refresh or hit the link again to get it to move. It doesn't always show up. it seems to be a random thing. When it hangs, its anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds before continuing. 

 

This happens in chrome and firefox. Although, it seems to hang with chrome and firefox just zips through it like its just part of the search path.I have also noticed it when i was using IE and that was a disaster, so not going back there..

 

Has anyone else heard of this issue besides the hijacker thing? Just wondering because only a few people i know of has even heard of about:blank. Id really like to figure this out, if its even possible lol....

 

And, since its not a malware or anything that is 'attached' to my system, i wonder if i should go ahead and contact Microsoft since its their creation?  Maybe they have a way of getting rid of it.  

 

 

 

Windows 8.1 64 bit; Desktop (UTD)
Google Chrome (UTD)
Avast avp
Malwarebytes
SuperAntispyware
Ccleaner

 

 

I was referred from here:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/578667/aboutblank-possible-malware/

 

 

 

Thank you in advance for any help! :)



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#2 Robear Dyer

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 12:43 PM

OP has also begun another new thread here on 26 June 2015: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/45bf2bdc-ff0d-4479-beef-4350fb15608c/aboutblank-annoyance-and-issues?forum=w8itprogeneral


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#3 satchfan

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:18 PM

Hi Angel White.

 

Glad you started a topic here but there's a very important bit you left out:

 

Ive had this problem forever! with every computer or laptop ive ever had

 

It's important that the helpers here get as much background information as you can supply in order for them find out the source of the problem.

 

Satchfan


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#4 Robear Dyer

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:32 PM

 

"The about:blank seems to be not showing up in IE or Chrome now. (maybe the awcleaner did it) Although, i have not set up my chrome page settings since resetting it."

Source: op. cit


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#5 Angel White

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:37 AM

Hi Angel White.

 

Glad you started a topic here but there's a very important bit you left out:

 

Ive had this problem forever! with every computer or laptop ive ever had

 

It's important that the helpers here get as much background information as you can supply in order for them find out the source of the problem.

 

Satchfan

Thanks for catching that. Guess im getting frustrated lol.. :)

 

Yes, ive had this problem on every machine, laptop and pc. This is the first brand new, not rebuilt ive had, i figured it would be safe.

 

Also forgot to add to the first post, it happens when i open a new tab or click an external link. Just in case its important.

 

 

 

"The about:blank seems to be not showing up in IE or Chrome now. (maybe the awcleaner did it) Although, i have not set up my chrome page settings since resetting it."

Source: op. cit

 

It's back, once i set up my settings in Chrome again with the extensions and theme.  I also checked each extension and the theme and doesnt seem to be making a difference if i have them enabled or not.
 
Thanks guys

Edited by Angel White, 29 June 2015 - 02:45 AM.


#6 Robear Dyer

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:38 PM

[This is a duplicate of a reply to your thread in TechNet forums.]

 

Roll up your sleeves, cross your fingers...

 

ACTIONS

 

[You will want to print these instructions (or copy/paste into Notepad) for offline reference. IMPORTANT => DON'T SKIP ANY STEP & perform all Steps in one, uninterrupted session! If a Step says to reboot, reboot! None of the steps can possibly harm your computer.]

 

1. Right-click on the following link, select SAVE TARGET AS... & download a the McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool, saving it to your desktop, too: http://us.mcafee.com/apps/supporttools/mcpr/mcpr.asp

 

2. Close all open applications (i.e., anything with an icon on the taskbar).

 

3. Right-click on the file you saved in #1 above and select Run as Administrator to run the McAfee utility. Don't TOUCH your keyboard until the run completes, then reboot again.

 

4. Re-assert Internet Explorer as the default Browser in the CUSTOM (<=important!) section of Set Program Access and Computer Defaults [1]

 

5a. Right-click on the following link and SAVE the download to your desktop: http://www.slipstick.com/doit/chromehtml.reg [2]

 

5b. Double-click on the file you saved in #5a above & accept the prompt to MERGE the data with the Registry.

 

6. Reset Internet Explorer per the instructions on this page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/reset-ie-settings

 

          Note => For optimal results, check the Delete personal settings option.

 

7. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter from start to finish per the first paragraph on this page => http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/troubleshoot-problems-installing-updates [3]

 

8. Reboot once more then test by running a manual check for updates and see if any/all updates offered (e.g., KB2976978; KB3074219) will successfully install now; follow all prompts.

 

  • HOW TO run a manual check for updates (Option #1 or #2)
     http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/25343-windows-update-check-install-windows-8-a.html

 

9. Open Internet Explorer (ONLY - NOT FIREFOX OR CHROME!) to this page & confirm that Flash Player plugin for Internet Explorer v18.0.0.194 is installed => http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

 

10. Reply to this post with a status report.

 

Good luck!

 

=========================================================
[1] After we've finished this thread, feel free to reassert one of your alternate browsers as your default, if you wish.
[2] Trusted Source: http://www.slipstick.com/problems/this-operation-has-been-cancelled-due-to-restrictions/
[3] Full Disclosure: Running the Windows Update troubleshooter will delete your Update History but not the list of Installed Updates.


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#7 Angel White

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:24 PM

(copied this reply from TechNet Forums)

 

Hi.  Went through all the steps. IE is now running Flash Player plugin v18.0.0.194.

The about:blank does not seem to come up when clicking an external link now.  Although when i open a tab and click a link from the bookmarks bar, it comes up then.  It starts to go to the page i want, the little wheel spins backwards real slow, then goes to about:blank. If i let it sit there, sometimes it eventually(after 10-20 seconds) goes to the page or website i want, but a lot of times i have to retry the link, and then it responds and loads.

Does what i am saying make sense? It doesn't to me.. it's like a lag thing, right? 



#8 Robear Dyer

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:02 PM

IE is now running Flash Player plugin v18.0.0.194.

The about:blank does not seem to come up when clicking an external link now.  Although when i open a tab and click a link from the bookmarks bar, it comes up then.  It starts to go to the page i want, the little wheel spins backwards real slow, then goes to about:blank. If i let it sit there, sometimes it eventually(after 10-20 seconds) goes to the page or website i want, but a lot of times i have to retry the link, and then it responds and loads.

 

Well, at least you've made some progress (i.e., KB3074219 is installed now).

 

1. Which, if any, other updates were successfully installed when you ran the manual check for updates (e.g., KB3074219; KB3013791; KB3018467)?

 

2. How does the computer connect to the internet (e.g., dial-up; ADSL/cable broadband; satellite; WiMAX; mobile wireless USB modem)?

 

3. The default location for CCleaner Registry Cleaner backups (i.e., REG files) is in your My Documents folder.

 

ACTIONS => If you...

...does the behavior persist in Internet Explorer?

 

===============================================

 

PS: I assume "bookmarks bar" means IE11's Favorites bar.

 

internet-explorer-8-favourites-bar.png

Figure 1: Favorites bar


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#9 Angel White

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 03:41 AM

1. All the files you listed seem to have been installed.
 
2. hmm... I just know  wireless high speed broadband, im not sure as i didnt have it installed, 
 
3. I found those files and "merged" like it said to do. Nothing happened. A box came up with the message "The Keys and Values contained in 'xxxx\documents\...' have been successfully added to the registry".  Which is said to be saved in 'documents' but i dont see it.  It's really weird how its not there. i remember on one of my other machines i use to have i always saw it in the doc.
 
 

 

 

...does the behavior persist in Internet Explorer?

 

Yes, when using IE, only when i click an external link. It doesn't seem to hang there just zips past it.  
 
 
"The about:blank does not seem to come up when clicking an external link now."
 
I guess i jumped the gun by saying that. It still goes to that before continuing onto the site i want.  Still seems to be random. Like, when clicking on the Piriform link.
 
 
Its almost like its redirecting, kinda reminds me of 't.co' when you click on a link that takes you out of Twitter. Does the same thing, sometimes just hangs there til it waits on the website you're trying to get to.


#10 Robear Dyer

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 09:56 AM

Answer by number:

 

1. Which, if any, updates were installed on Monday other than KB3074219, KB3074219, KB3013791 & KB3018467?

 

2. Did you remember to Reset IE again (with the Delete personal settings option checked) & reboot after you restored the CCleaner REG files?

 

3. Does the behavior persist when the computer's connected directly to the router or the modem/router unit (i.e., not wirelessly)?

 

4. Who installed your internet connection, modem & router (or modem/router unit)? When was it installed? Do you own the modem & router (or modem/router unit) or do you rent it from your ISP?

 

5. The fact that you've seen the same behavior "on every machine, laptop and pc" you've owned suggests something to do with your internet connection may be in play here. Were any of your previous rebuilt/refurbished/used computers ever infected with malware/hijackware?

  • If a computer's infected, it can also infect your router (or modem/router unit)!

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#11 Angel White

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 05:43 PM

1. It is showing the last update installed was on 6/24, nothing past that.
 
2. yes, i reset it.  the probem persists. 
 
3. I forgot to mention, i am not connected to the wireless, it says. I am plugged in to the router.  I could never get a good conection otherwise due to my 'gamer' roommates.
4. My Provider set up the connection.. just called them.   'Broadband Wireless' is what they told me.  They have a satellite that the connection runs through the air from their tower into my router. but i am running directly with a cable to the router from my computer. lol of course, she said the problem is not them if its not every device in the house. 
      (by the way) i typed in their(Provider's) website to get the phone# and the about.blank showed up, and then it went on to the website. so it is everywhere but only random. 
 
5. Most of my PCs were infected at some point, but i do a lot of stuff on the internet, research, etc.. i click a lot of stuff.  Once i changed to Firefox and added adblockplus, wot and i think i had 'Noscript' at one time, i stopped getting so many viruses, trojens, etc.. and i added the MBAM, SAS, ran daily scans.  I have not had an actual attack for about 8 years or so. Once in a while Avast will catch a threat, but that is rare. Im a lot more cautious.  Not to mention that now i am the only one using my computer, nonone else touches it!.  the laptop i had was a friend's, which i borrowed and cleaned up, it was a mess with no protection and many malware, issues.  That laptop also had the about:blank problem. Completely different internet service, different physical address.  Yes! every computer ive ever had has always had about:blank on it. that's why i thought it was a Windows thing.
 

 

 

  • If a computer's infected, it can also infect your router (or modem/router unit)!

 

    -- Ive heard of that, its like a worm? or something...once with a different provider, he called and said to shut off my roommates computer it had a worm that was going through the router... he could see it!!
 
 
Maybe i need to reset this back to factory settings.. wouldn't that see if it is this computer? (not that i want to do that >headache<)
 
Thanks


#12 Robear Dyer

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:52 PM

If the router belongs to you, see if reinstalling (not just resetting) it resolves the behavior.

 

If the router does not belong to you, get one ASAP. If it's a wireless router, don't give ANY of your housemates the WPA-2 password.

 

Tip: If you can access stuff on your housemates' computers and vice versa, you're never going to resolve this until such is not the case.


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#13 Angel White

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 10:41 PM

If the router belongs to you, see if reinstalling (not just resetting) it resolves the behavior.

 

If the router does not belong to you, get one ASAP. If it's a wireless router, don't give ANY of your housemates the WPA-2 password.

 

Tip: If you can access stuff on your housemates' computers and vice versa, you're never going to resolve this until such is not the case.

Okay, but i just recently got this router, since having these roommates live here.  Before that, the one i was using belonged to the internet provider.  I puchased this one just so we could share bandwidth.. They are basically on the xbox and phones.  No computers.  Also, i have had this issue with 2 different providers.
 
They do not have the password.  No access to my computer, or me to theirs.  These guys are pretty cool and only care about GTA, COD, etc.... Now If i was hiding gold points....lol


#14 Robear Dyer

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 05:52 PM

Then reinstall the router & change the WPA-2 password, too.

 

If the behavior persists, do it again & stop sharing the connection with your housemates. If the behavior no longer persists, you'll know who the troublemakers were. :wink:


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#15 Angel White

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 10:31 AM

 

 

Then reinstall the router

not sure how to re-install the router






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