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Zone Alarm Stopping Firefox?


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#1 Novitiate

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:42 PM

I've just removed my Norton Internet Security pack and installed Zone Alarm Free firewall, AVG Free Antivirus and Antispyware, as well as Superantispyware. Since then my Firefox browser has been having trouble accessing sites. Not all the time, but often enough to be annoying and I can't make out the pattern. Also, if I click on the "Try again" button, it usually finds the web page. Could it be the firewall, and, if so, what do I do about it? When I checked out the Windows XP firewall settings (on the Exceptions tab) I saw a file I didn't recognise - avgamsvr.exe - so I googled it and was taken to www.processlibrary.com that said the file was safe and it could run a free scan for avgamsvr.exe related errors; it also has tools such as Registry Booster, Speed up my PC and Spy Eraser. Is this a safe site? Can I run the scan? ( Some time ago, I saw on one of the BC forums a link to a a list of programs/sites to avoid but I can't find it.) Thanks, Marg :thumbsup:

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:58 PM

There are a lot of questions all packed into one paragraph, but I will take a stab at those I can reasonably answer.

If your firewall was blocking Ff, then it would not be able to access the internet at all, and repeated attempts to access a site would all have the same result.

You should not be running Windows Firewall at the same time that you are running Z/A. This can certainly take extra processing time, and can result in application conflicts.

avgamsvr.exe is a legitimate AVG process. You can also check this against the BC StartupList tabbed above the forum pages.

In general, registry boosters and other applications claiming to speed up your PC do not give you much bang for the buck. Any application making changes to your vital Windows registry should be avoided unless you are both extremely careful about reviewing every item these want to delete and make a back up of your registry first. You are much better off doing routine computer maintenance.

I have used process library as a resource for information, but never for any scanning nor have I used any of the tools mentioned from it.

Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 buddy215

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:58 PM

Why would you need to run a scan? It is AVG's Alert Manager.
You could search for Norton files left on your comp. That could be part of your problem. Let us know if you still have Norton files.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#4 nigglesnush85

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:04 PM

Hello,

How did you uninstall Norton? did you use the removal tool? http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgen...005033108162039

Edited by nigglesnush85, 19 April 2007 - 06:06 PM.

Regards,

Alan.

#5 tos226

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:36 PM

Please give Firefox Access rights both Trusted and Internet, if not already done.
Or better yet, give it "?" in both columns and watch what the alerts say.
Do NOT give it, or anything other than svchost (Generic Host process), server rights.

Edited by tos226, 19 April 2007 - 09:37 PM.


#6 Novitiate

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 03:35 AM

Nigglesnush85 (one of the few names I've come across that must be easier to type than say) - I uninstalled Norton by using the Windows Add/Remove facility. Isn't this good enough?

#7 Budapest

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 03:42 AM

I uninstalled Norton by using the Windows Add/Remove facility. Isn't this good enough?


Unfortunately no - you need to run the tool recommended by nigglesnush85.

It is pure laziness on the part of Norton that they haven't addressed this long standing issue and it is one of the reasons many people on this forum recommend ditching Norton.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#8 Novitiate

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:53 AM

I had a lot of trouble getting the Norton Removal Tool. Firefox wouldn't download it at all, so I tried IE, which couldn't find the BC link so I fumbled around in the symantec search engine. When I finally got to the page, they were very coy about it all - didn't mention the Removal Tool, just stepped you through the Windows Add/Remove program facility with a bottom-of-page question "What if I have problems with Uninstall?" that, finally, takes you to the Removal Tool. I've run it, fingers crossed. Just need to confirm a few things: The installation guide for the AVG Free firewall settings recommends enabling Windows XP firewall settings but jgweed says this will create conflict with Zone Alarm. Still turn it off? Also, the Zone alarm Program settings suggest ticking both Access and Server columns for AVG anti-everything programs but there is a big red cross against Win32 svchost in the Server/Internet column. Feeling very confused (par for the course). Should I toggle the AVG antis off and svchost on?, Marg

#9 nigglesnush85

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 06:52 AM

I would allow all of your security products to access the internet, AVG tells the user to allow exceptions in the firewall just in case the user only has windows firewall. As you have ZA it is perfectly safe to turn off windows firewall as long as ZA is turned on.
I would leave AVG on and allow the svchost to connect.
Regards,

Alan.

#10 Novitiate

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Alan, I've done all this but my original problem - Firefox not reaching servors - is getting worse, if anything. For instance, when I'm in BC, the browser is dropping out about between pages. If it's not a firewall problem, what else can it be?

#11 tos226

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:17 AM

Just need to confirm a few things: The installation guide for the AVG Free firewall settings recommends enabling Windows XP firewall settings but jgweed says this will create conflict with Zone Alarm. Still turn it off?

AVG does not know what you have or whether you have a firewall, so they do the best to tell you to turned Windows firewall (flawed as it is) on.
When ZA installs they normally shut down the Windows firewall, or give you the option, I don't recall. Two firewalls must NEVER run together. Likewise two anti-virus.

Also, the Zone alarm Program settings suggest ticking both Access and Server columns for AVG anti-everything programs but there is a big red cross against Win32 svchost in the Server/Internet column. Feeling very confused (par for the course). Should I toggle the AVG antis off and svchost on?, Marg

As I wrote before, svchost must have Trusted internet access rights, and must have trusted server rights. It's basically 3 checks from the left.
I don't use AVG, but Avast. I only gave it two checks, both in the Trusted zone. I doubt there's any reason AVG needs internet server rights. If confused, or not sure, just put a "?" there and READ what the alert says, and act accordingly.

Assuming svchost has server rights, which it must have, spotty connection with FireFox is mostly due to something not enabled properly within Firefox, so review things such as cookies, third party cookies, various blocks you did. Did you give Firefox rights in the Trusted column - 2 checks from the left? Also, are you able to use Internet Explorer on the site you have problems with?

Edited by tos226, 20 April 2007 - 10:19 AM.


#12 Novitiate

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 07:05 AM

Hi Tos226, I've been a while replying because my dad is really sick and I've been back and forth to the hospital. Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. I reviewed Program Control in ZA, the only program with "three clicks from the left" is svhost but I'm still getting 2 or 3 ZA warnings a browser session that svhost has been blocked from internet access. The last warning said access was blocked to "sy-dns03.tmns.net.au (139.134.5.51) (DNS) from your computer program". I tried changing the Cross in the fourth column to a question mask, just to see what would happen, and got a really scary ZA warning about possible repercussions to changing the registry. I back off real quick when I get messages like that. Should I keep ignoring these warnings? Firefox is still dropping out. The first time I click on a tab or URL I usually get the "Server can not be found" message but clicking on the "Try Again" button usually does the trick, so I'm starting to wonder if this is a cache problem. To eliminate the firewall as a problem, the question to be answered would have to be something like: "What firewall process would stop a browser (specifically Fx) from accessing web pages the first time but allow it the second?". jgweed said earlier that "If your firewall was blocking Ff, then it would not be able to access the internet at all, and repeated attempts to access a site would all have the same result." Does this cover all possibilities? The only reason I'm still questioning whether the problem is caused by the firewall or not is because the problem started right after I installed ZA. thanks Marg

#13 tos226

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:18 PM

If that "sy-dns03.tmns.net.au (139.134.5.51) (DNS) address is your DNS server, please add to the Trusted Zone.
Basically the gateway (router perhaps) and the DNS servers, and the local host 127.0.0.1 need to be in the trusted zone. As well as any computers on your LAN which are best done as a range of IP addresses.

What you may want to do is
Start > RUN
type "cmd" without quotes
On the black window type "ipconfig /all" without quotes and space before /
Copy the values you see into the Firewall > Zone tab of the ZA screen.

Hope this helps some.

Edit: google search indicates some old problems with the DNS servers there
http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?p...c2e61d33f992c35
also read some diagnostic steps someone took on page 3 of that thread.

Edited by tos226, 23 April 2007 - 09:37 PM.


#14 tos226

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:30 PM

You mentioned that sometimes you get FF working but it might drop out. Here I would suspect the router (or modem) timeout setting. If you're idle for 5 minutes it might drop the connection, or your ISP provider changes your IP address. If you have a router and a DSL or other broadband connection, tell the router to "keep alive" always.

#15 nigglesnush85

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 05:29 AM

Hello,

It sounds like a DNS problem, If you go to start then run type cmd then type in

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /renew

Then go to start then run type services.msc scroll down the list and disable the DNS service.

I had a similar problem and this resolved it.
Regards,

Alan.




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