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  1. #1
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    I moved from Hughes satellite to AT&T wireless for my desktop Internet connection a couple of weeks ago. System is Dell XPS 210 with Windows XP and all updates. Browsing and download speeds were great, with one exception. When I tried to get to att.com Internet pages, the pages did not load. There were no error messages. The screen just blanked and froze. I could sign in to the problem pages from another computer. Using a neighbor's AT&T wireless air card did not resolve issues, so the USBConnect device is okay. Using Microsoft's Fixit50199 to automatically reset TCP/IP did not help. Using Microsoft's Fixit50203 to reset Winsock settings did work. However, the problem returned after the next reboot. Using Winsockxpfix.exe also works, but those att.com pages only load until I reboot the system.

    Since this appeared to be a software-related issue, and since I don't mind an occasional challenge, I restored the computer to Dell's factory settings. After the Windows and Security updates were applied (using Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Firewall), I set up the Internet connection with AT&T's air card. Those att.com pages loaded well, but no longer worked after the first reboot. Using Firefox instead of IE 8.0 does not help.

    There are no other obvious problems on this system, and all other web sites load great. AT&T wireless says this is a problem for their att.com folks, since the pages with loading problems reside there. The att.com folks say it's a wireless hardware or software issue. Any ideas how to generate a permanent fix for corruption of the Windows socket settings?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi jimjek,

    Was there any software installed on your Dell for the Hughes satellite that may still be active and may be set to start up when Windows reboots?

    Have you checked the Event Viewer Windows Logs for error codes at the time the symptoms occur?
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    Hello Gerald. The Hughes software and hardware never toughed the new installation, so is not causing conflicts. The Event Viewer is a good idea. Since I know how to cause and temporarily fix the problem, I'll cross-reference the logs for ideas. I'll post back tomorrow with results.

    Thanks,
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimjek View Post
    Hello Gerald. The Hughes software and hardware never toughed the new installation, so is not causing conflicts. The Event Viewer is a good idea. Since I know how to cause and temporarily fix the problem, I'll cross-reference the logs for ideas. I'll post back tomorrow with results.
    If you don't see anything in the event logs, use a tool such as Autoruns for Windows (the Logon tab) to check what is starting when you boot the system. Perhaps you'll see something unusual. Post a screenshot if you need help identifying something.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    Gerals, I checked the Event Viewer and there are no problems listed for the reboots. That's not surprising, since Windows is not throwing off any error messages. I installed the Autoruns for Windows utility, and did not see anything in the Logon section of concern. I think I'll have to approach this backwards, and search for things that can trash the Winsock settings since repairing it temporarily fixes the problem.

    Jim

  6. #6
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    I think I'm spinning my wheels. I browsed my installation CD to Support\Tools and double-clicked the setup.exe file to install. Then I opened the run box and entered Command. I typed in netdiag /test:winsock /v to check the Winsock settings. All looked okay. Everything passed, and the protocols were identical when the att.com site was blocked, and when it worked. I'm not sure where to go from here.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Jimjek, one of the things you mentioned is "There are no other obvious problems on this system, and all other web sites load great." So the questions to answer are:

    1. What would prevent connection to one and only one web site upon rebooting following successful connections after resetting Winsock?

    2. Why is that one and only one web site AT & T, the manufacturer of the wireless card and ISP?

    Just out of curiosity, was the computer you used to sign in to the site run from your home or a friends home? Do you have a router?

    Give Safe Mode with networking a shot. Many drivers do not load in Safe Mode. See if you can connect to AT & T reliably after rebooting in Safe Mode with networking.

    Use nslookup in a cmd window to find the numeric IP address of the AT & T page. Enter: nslookup target_name (target name being the AT & T web site.) to get the IP address and type it into the browser address line to see if you can connect with it.

    Give the Traceroute utility a run. Run from the cmd window by entering: tracert target_name . This shows every hop along the route from your computer to the AT & T web server, including the time taken for each hop. Run tracert after you reset Winsock and you've verified you can bring up the site. Try running it more than once and take screen shots to compare before rebooting. After reboot confirm you cannot connect to the web site, and run tracert again a couple of times to compare to the first set. See if the two sets are different, and where.
    Deadeye81

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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    This may be a real shot in the dark, but if all else fails, a bad Windows Update could be the potential culprit. See here for an example of what has been happening.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  9. #9
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    Gerald, thank you for responding. Your two questions are interesting. I thought maybe it was a Corporate attack, with the ATT wireless folks trying to trash the att.com (DSL side) folks.

    This computer is a stand-alone Desktop system, and does not have a router. The computer I signed in from was my brother's Windows 7 machine with router and home network.

    I tried Safe Mode with Networking, and could not get it to work. When I started the AT&T Communication Manager, it was stuck on the "Initializing, please wait" message and finally said that no wireless device was detected. Since that is a USBConnect wireless air card, I rebooted to the bios screen and confirmed that my USB controllers were set to load. The bios settings looked good. I think this is a separate issue, and not sure what to do about it, since I may need Safe Mode with Networking for some troubleshooting options. I've used that mode many times before, but never with a USB wireless air card on this computer.

    I ran ping and tracert commands, but got sidetracked. When att.com pages freeze, I usually get a white page within the browser - not on my display. Once in a while, I see the page that says "Internet Explorer cannot display the web page". This time, I clicked on the "Diagnose Connection Problems" button and asked it to diagnose connectivity for my Sierra Wireless HSPA Network Adapter. The results follow:

    HTTP, HTTPS, FTP connectivity
    warn - HTTPS: Error 12031 connecting to www.microsoft.com: The connection with the server was reset.
    info - FTP (Passive): Successfully connected to ftp.microsoft.com
    warn - HTTPS: Error 12031 connecting to www.passport.net: The connection with the server was reset.
    info: - HTTP: Successfully connected to www.microsoft.com
    error - Could not make an HTTPS connection

    Winsock Diagnostic
    info - \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{5667792F-CDCD-439A-BECA-80F1B7C42E17} protocol is not found in Winsock catalog
    error – Not all base service provider entries could be found in the winsock catalog. A reset is needed.
    action – Automated repair: Reset WinSock catalog
    action – Successfully executed: netsh winsock reset catalog
    info – System restart required

    When I rebooted the system, the att.com pages loaded well. After a reboot, the pages no longer loaded. Maybe the errors listed above will point to a permanent solution? And if you have any ideas as to why Safe Mode with Networking doesn't work with the USB air card, please feel free to offer advice.

    Thanks for your persistence!

    Jim

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    jimjek, I am not familiar with the USB Wireless air card. Is it wifi or 3G? If it is 3G then you do not use a modem, right? Is the Sierra Wireless HSPA Network Adapter your USB wireless air card? Is this different from the AT&T wireless air card your friend loaned you?

    Do you have a system restore that was saved before any of these issues began?

    Are you certain Microsoft Security Essentials is the only real time antivirus software running on your system, and is the Windows Firewall the only firewall running? Or does your wireless USB air card have a firewall built in?

    Have you run scans for virus, rootkits, and other malware that may be persistent on your system?
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  11. #11
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    I've been using that utility to fix my Winsock settings. It works after the 1st reboot and let's me into all HTTPS pages, but the problem recurs after one more boot.

  12. #12
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    I refreshed the Winsock settings and rebooted. My HTTPS sites (att.com and others) worked fine. I opened the registry and searched for the protocol listed as missing when HTTS sites don’t load. This string 5667792F-CDCD-439A-BECA-80F1B7C42E17 was found in the following locations:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    SYSTEM
    ControlSet001
    Services
    lanmanserver
    Linkage
    Default (string not listed here)
    Bind (string listed here)
    Export (string listed here)
    Route (string listed here)

    Lanworkstation
    Linkage
    Default (not listed here)
    Bind (listed here)
    Export (listed here)
    Route (listed here

    The same six string entries were also found under ControlSet002, and under CurrentControlSet. When I rebooted, and lost the ability to get to HTTPS pages for att.com, I noted that I could still get to my Chase and Arvest Bank HTTPS pages. When I checked the registry, all three Services entries under ControlSet001, ControlSet002, and CurrentControlSet were missing. Does that information help?

    Do you know of any way to lock down Winsock settings so they’re not deleted on reboot?

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    jimjek, it appears that something is removing the settings after reboot, but what is doing it I have no idea. I also do not know how to lock down the Winsock settings. Have you scanned for rootkits, trojans, and other malware?

    Perhaps some others in the Lounge may have some fresh perspective on the information you have uncovered.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  14. #14
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    Gerald, That ATT USB device (from Sierra Wireless) is 3G, not wifi, since this is a Desktop system. I'm using the Lightning (latest) device with their Communications Manager software. The one I borrowed from a friend is almost identical (the Mercury series), but one model earlier. It also has a slightly different software version, which is downloaded automatically when you insert the device. Since his card works great on his system, but produced the same problems on mine, I took that to mean the problem was with my system, not the ATT hardware or Communications Manager software.

    I always set system restore points. However, when I reinstalled this operating system, the problem was present as soon as I was able to connect to the Internet. System restore is not likely to help.

    MSE is the only antivirus on this system. The original OS from Dell came with a Trend-Micro program; however, I did not allow it to install when I reinstalled the OS. I do not have any other antimalware or firewall programs on this computer. I haven't scanned the new system, because scans on the old one prior to reinstalling the OS came up blank. Those scans were with MSE and Malwarebytes (safe and normal mode). I know there's no malware on this fresh install.

    I found a website PChuck's Network that may help, and am currently working through the repair procedures. This site is pretty thorough, and should help me resolve the problem.

    Thanks so much for your help.
    Jim

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