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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Windows 7 machine, fully patched, four browsers, only one can connect

    (sorry, Windows 7, not Windows 8)
    Windows 7 box, 4 web browsers:
    1) Internet Explorer 10 Version 10.0.9200.16576
    2) Google Chrome Version 26.0.1410.43
    3) Firefox 19.0.2
    4) Comodo Dragon Version 26.0.2.0 ("A faster, more secure version of Chrome")

    If I attempt to load too many tabs at once, it stops working altogether. None of (1), (2) or (3) can even see Google.com. Only (4) can open any web sites, but it is absolutely fine in opening them... for a time (if I load too many tabs, it stops loading anything). The results of trying to go to http://www.google.com reports DNS-like errors:

    1) Nope - "This page can't be displayed"
    2) Nope - Error 105 (net::ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED): Unable to resolve the server's DNS address.
    3) Nope - "Firefox can't find the server at www.google.com"
    4) Yay! - Finds the Google search page just fine, and responds correctly to searches.

    If all 4 of then encountered DNS issues, then it obviously would be a DNS problem, but for one of the 4 to work???

    I have tried lots of things, but I am willing to try them all again, methodically, if it eventually results in satisfaction

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Daniel
    Last edited by Daniel Bragg; 2013-06-07 at 11:17. Reason: correcting facts

  2. #2
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    Do other internet based programs (email client) worked? Have you checked for malware? If so, how?
    Rui
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  3. #3
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    The machine had pre-installed (before any weird activity started happening) SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, as well as Microsoft Security Essentials, all ran clean, although MBAM encountered problems updating their definitions from the web, both SAS and MSE updated their definitions clean. However, using Comodo Dragon, I can visit each of the providers' web pages to install updates (although each software package relies on its own internal systems to fetch updated virus definitions, so I can't do that manually).

    I am re-running the suites again, to double-check that malware isn't the issue. I have considered doing a malware sweep using a LiveCD, but I haven't yet, because of this odd and interesting situation where Comodo Dragon seems to be functioning well.

    I don't have an e-mail client installed on the machine, but although some other interenet software (uTorrent) also does not connect, as with other software programs that rely on having a connection (SpywareBlaster, definitions are current to Dec 23, 2012), some still can (the Java auto-updater, and the Adobe Flash updater both managed to make a connection and fetch updates.)

    I am downloading the Microsoft Security Scanner on that box, and will give it a run, just because.

    This is an odd one, for sure. I have heard of others encountering similar issues all based on the IE Internet Options, so I have opened IE 10, and have gone to Options... -> Internet Options -> Advanced -> Restore advanced settings, as well as Reset..., have selected everything for resetting, OK'd, and rebooted the machine, but no improvement.

    Thank you, everyone who assists. If need be, I can reinstall the OS from scratch, but I'd rather not have to do that as I like to troubleshoot computer issues like this as a side-line, so I'd like to offer friends and family a little more hope than 'blow it all away, Jim'.
    Last edited by Daniel Bragg; 2013-06-07 at 11:44.

  4. #4
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    In an interesting act of providence, www.giveawayoftheday.com is offering an anti-malware suite (http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/iobi...fighter-2-pro/). Although I haven't (and won't) install it, there are some commenters whose input I respect, who l led me to (http://www.sur-la-toile.com/RogueKiller). It didn't find anything glaring, but a few registry keys it questioned, that I removed, then rebooted. After reboot, scanned again, and the questionable registry keys are gone, but situation not yet improved; browsers and other internet apps still reporting unable to connect. Have restarted the anti-virus sweeps again, in case those registry keys could have been hiding something. I may also try some of the other suggested off-the-beaten-path offerings, as they are least likely to have aroused the defenses of the virus/malware writers.

  5. #5
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    It seems that some of the browsers from Comodo use their own DNS. I wonder if you may be having DNS issues. Have you tried using alternate DNS providers? You could try Google and see if that helped: https://developers.google.com/speed/...dns/docs/using
    Rui
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  6. #6
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    Tried Google's DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4, with the same results. Currently I am using DNS servers from OpenDNS (208.67.222.222/208.67.220.220), and using nslookup and pinging google.com return favorable results.

    However, you may be onto something there. I remember when I ran the RogueKiller, it noted my DNS settings, and I didn't think anything of it. However, I just now ran it again, and noted that the DNS settings *don't match* what I thought they should. I checked my adapter settings, and the settings there are correct for OpenDNS, but RogueKiller indicates that they are instead (64.59.168.13/64.59.168.15). I did a tracert on these addresses, and they resolve to my ISP. "ipconfig /all" now reports that my DNS is pointing to OpenDNS (I didn't check before running the RogueKiller fix).

    Is it possible that my router is redirecting my DNS requests to my ISP rather than what I am explicitly setting in my adapter configuration? I am going to let my anti- scans complete, then reboot my computer and try this all again, paying a lot closer attention to what and where those DNS settings are set to.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    The system DNS overrides any router DNS setting by default and there wouldn't be any redirecting by the router to your ISP. They're the gatekeeper so they can just capture and redirect when it gets to them. I used to have a satellite ISP and would regularly run over my measly quota of less than a gig a week so first thing they did was retard the connection to fast dialup speed, which was still way faster than our former knuckle dragging dialup connection, so the next step they took was to redirect the DNS to a limited pool where only so many connections could get through. I have a feeling a lot of us were in that pool of malcontents because about the only time connections would get through was between 3 and 4 am. That worked however! No way to go over quota if DNS is damned up by the ISP.

  8. #8
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    You can change your router DNS settings, as well. I would try it.
    Rui
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You might also want to go to Control Panel > Internet Options > Connections tab > Lan Settings button and verify that "Use a proxy server ...." is not checked,

    Jerry

  10. #10
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    I have gone into the router settings, found that there were DNS settings in there, and they were pointing to my ISP's DNS IP address. I have changed them to be the two OpenDNS entries, and one Google (8.8.4.4) setting, and upon saving, it rebooted my router. I checked afterwards using IPConfig /all that the DNS is still the new settings.

    I checked the LAN Settings, and Proxy Server is not enabled. I also turned off "Automatically detect settings", just in case.

    Rebooted the computer, still same (Chrome can't find websites, Comodo Dragon can, haven't checked the others).

    Thanks for the ideas, guys, I'm appreciating every one of them!

    Daniel

  11. #11
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Do you have any third party firewalls running? If so, temporarily disable them as a test. If that doesn't work, try a clean boot:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    Jerry

  12. #12
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    Thank for the additional suggestions. Disabled the Windows Firewall, and performed a clean boot as described in the KB article (disabled all start-up programs and non-Microsoft services), with the same results. (1), (2) and (3) browsers still cannot connect, (4) can without issues.

    Am I getting to the point where re-installing Windows 7 is my only remaining option?

    I am leaving the firewall disabled and will leave the box in a clean-boot state for a while, which I test other things also, to see if _anything_ has a better chance of connecting.

  13. #13
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    I would probably try a repair install before going the full reinstall route.
    Rui
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  14. #14
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    Can the browsers connect to your router?
    What happens if you try to access Google via 74.125.224.72?

  15. #15
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    ruirib: If I get that far, I'll try a repair first, for sure.

    Spaceman:

    With windows firewall OFF, and antivirus turned off, running in clean-boot mode attempting to access http://74.125.224.72:

    1) Internet Explorer returns "This page can't be displayed"
    2) Google Chrome does access the main Google page, and a search for "kitten" returns results, but the pages are broken (missing images, etc.), and links on the page are broken. When I choose to look for images for Kittens, only the first 20 images load, all the rest don't.
    3) Firefox has identical output to Google Chrome
    4) Comodo Dragon loads everything fine, with no limit on the number of images populated, and all links from the returned Google search results return fine also.

    Should I be contacting the folks at Comodo to ask then what makes their browser so great, and to ask them what could be hamstringing my other browsers?

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