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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    I experienced an unusual problem over the weekend. I made the problem go away by using Windows Restore so it must have been an issue with my XP Pro SP3 operating system. That said, I'm pretty curious as to what actually caused this problem.

    I discovered over a period of 24 hours that a few of my applications that rely on the internet to phone home were no longer working. For instance, I use Endicia to print postage labels. When I need to buy more postage, Endicia alerts me and I give it permission to charge more postage to a credit card that I have on file. When this problem began, Endicia wouldn't load because the first thing it does when it starts is to check how much postage is available to the user. It was obvious it couldn't access its server to do that. I incorrectly assumed the Endicia server was down for maintenance.

    The next clue came when an eBay application I use to upload listings created offline, TurboLister, could not access eBay servers. Since I had already created listings, I was using the app to relist several items. I've done this hundreds of time. This time however, TurboLister could upload my listings.

    I knew I had a problem when I experienced the same problem with a third application. What's strange to me is that I had no difficulty accessing the internet with any of my browsers during this time. And email was also working correctly.

    I first suspected it may have been a firewall issue although I use XP's built in firewall and it's not known to be aggressive. That said, I turned it off and still could not get my "broken" apps to work. While it's possible this was tied to malware, neither Avast, Threatfire, or Malwarebytes picked up anything. After I restored Windows to a period 48 hours earlier when I knew everything was working properly the problem went away. The problem - at least for me - is that I don't know what what caused all this to happen or what Restore repaired.

    Has anyone experienced this or do you have any thoughts?

    Ron

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    My first thought would be don't rely on System Restore. Make an Image of your PC with a good 3rd party Imaging app, then reimage regularly to keep your image up to date. Check out various threads in Security and Backups on Imaging. I have never had any of these problems with Turbo Lister, although it has been several months since using this app. For postage I was using PayPal shipping and using my PayPal balance to pay for shipping. I also sometimes used the USPS site and used my PayPal balance to pay the charges there as well. This alleviated the need to pre-purchase postage, thus alleviating one more app that I felt was unnecessary.

    I ultimately upgraded to Win 7 and am much happier than XP, both for useablility and security when running a business on line. I realize these points don't solve your original problem, but may give alternatives that made my life easier back when I was an eBay Gold Powerseller.
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  3. #3
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    Did you check the Event logs to see if there were any errors logged during that time?

    Did any of the failing applications create a log file or error report?

    Have you added new software, updated existing software, updated drivers, or applied patches right before this happened?

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Thanks for your thoughts.

    With respect to imaging my drives, I do have multiple backups, including a recent one kept offsite. Fortunately, using System Restore worked and was a much easier and faster fix.

    I did check my event logs and saw nothing that pointed to what caused the problem. I do install quite a bit of software but don't recall doing so over the weekend.

    It would help if I knew what Windows XP service and/or files may have gotten corrupted that would allow my browsers and email to continue working but prevent the selected apps from connecting to their servers.

  5. #5
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    It is difficult to say for sure what files if any may have been corrupted. It depends on how the application phones home. Did you happen to check what the description of the restore point was that you used to fix the problem?

    Did you apply patches around the time you noticed the failure?

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    The restore point was named "System Checkpoint", and no, I did not apply any patches in close proximity to the failure.

    But thanks for helping to solve "the mystery."

    RonnieV

  7. #7
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    Well, that is just a generic restore point. Sorry but I'm out of ideas. Post back if it happens again. Maybe we can see what is happening during the occurrence.

    Joe
    Joe

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