Mod Edit: Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/572896/ie7-wont-connect-to-some-secure-websites/ - Hamluis.
Hi OP, I'm having the same problem.
Recently I started having the "cannot display the webpage" problem under Windows XP SP2 with IE 8 when accessing secure (HTTPS) websites. Actually it started with IE 7, then I updated to IE 8 and the problem persisted, now I'm back to IE 7 again due to several other issues that IE 8 presented.
The problem is clearly to do with secure websites. I'm unsure of what changed IE's behavior. Everything was working fine 2 months ago
IE7 is using SSL 3.0, 2.0 and TLS 1.0. Although it sounds logical that secure websites are simply refusing older browsers to connect to them, it's not the case. An enormous percentage of browser users, millions of people worldwide, are still using Windows XP. Websites would have to block users according to their User Agents strings, and I did try changing (faking) my UA string to no avail. I will try again today with other UA strings and report the results.
I tried everything under the sun and the problem still persists. Every HTTPS website, including the many *.google.com websites, is inaccessible, except for maybe 1 or 2 websites, like the Gibson Research website. I can access https://www.grc.com
fine with my bugged IE7. I'm really curious if Steve Gibson would know what server configuration in GRC.com is setting it apart from all the other HTTPS websites.
I'm a computer scientist and I really tried to go to the core of this problem, and all I could find was that IE7 and the server simply stop communicating after the initial connection to the website. IE8 sends a SSL encrypted message containing a 'Change Cipher Spec Message (20)' and a 'Handshake Protocol: Encrypted Handshake', but no 'Application Data' is included in the packet or sent afterwards in another packet. Both Google Chrome and Firefox at this point send Application Data and the website is correctly loaded. I used a Windows network packet analyzer to check this information.
Next thing you see is that IE7 asks the server to drop the connection before any HTML data can be exchanged. It simply closes the connection. Why?
Obviously this is one of the trickiest IE bugs, and that is why people are simply dropping IE7/8 and XP altogether. If it wasn't for IE, I bet that a lot more people would be sticking to XP and Microsoft products.
* I have no viruses in my system.
* Command "netsh winsock reset catalog" in cmd.exe -- no avail
* Initialized the HTTP SSL service and HTTP service.
* There is no group policy in gpedit.msc that makes any difference regarding this bug
* Resetting IE settings, changing Advanced settings, didn't make any difference.
* Re-registering DLLs, reinstalling the browser, didn't make any difference.
* Playing with the User Agent string made no difference.
* Used 'Fix IE' utility to reregister all dll & ocx files, which are required for the smooth running of Internet Explorer.
* Made sure the SSL certificates were installed
* From Internet Options> Content, clicked on Clear SSL State.
* Running Compatiblity View enabled for all websites makes no difference
* Running IE with no addons made no difference.
* Messing with registry system tweaks made no difference
* Reinstalling all the Root Certificates made no difference
* No suggested fixes in the Microsoft database makes any difference. Also XP support is over as of 2014.
Please guys, try to understand: a lot of us who still use Windows XP use it for a very good reason: productivity. I have 90% of control over my system and a lack of time to switch all of my tools to Win 7.
Edited by hamluis, 23 November 2015 - 12:43 PM.