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  1. #1
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    Unable to run browsers

    My desktop PC was working normally in every respect yesterday until shutdown at 22.30. I booted up at 9.oo today and read my e-mail (via Mailwasher Pro and Thunderbird) but Firefox repeatedly failed to load but on each occasion left a process running in Task Manager - which I ended. I tried rebooting without effect. Thinking to download the latest version and re-install I tried IE and Chrome only to discover that they both behaved in the same way.

    I ran scans with Avast Antivirus Free and Malwarebytes Antimalware Pro and the both reported no findings.

    I tried a System Restore from a restore point from yesterday but Windows reported that the restore failed. Since I had Windows System Images from 9th and 25th December I tried to Restore the image from the 25th but Windows could only find the older version. Consequently, I ran a full Image Restore using Paragon from December 12th and this completed successfully but all browsers still do not run.

    I downloaded Firefox 26.0 using my Notebook (where this is coming from as well) and re-installed but with no improvement. I have run System File Checker and run the Repair option from my System Repair CD - no change.

    Everything else seems to be running normally and from my journal I can report that I have not downloaded or installed any new programs since I made the System Images on December 12th.

    I have run out of ideas. Can anyone help?

  2. #2
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    Can you browse when booted up into Safe Mode with Networking ?

    You could also retry the internal restore points in Safe Mode as AVs can disrupt those.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2013-12-31 at 09:13.

  3. #3
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    Yes! All browsers run successfully in Safe Mode.
    I cannot do anything about Restore Points as having restored a system image this morning the only restore points available are from a time when the problem already existed.

    What next?

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    As you've restored from a system image then it's unlikely to be anything that could be eliminated through a clean boot and I suspect that it could be your AV that's blocking, but just to check that you don't have any malicious add-ons/toolbars, download AdwCleaner and run that.

    If that doesn't find anything then a reinstall of Avast may be needed but to fully eliminate that, use Avast's Uninstaller and check to see if the problem persists with MSE

  5. #5
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    Disabling Avast makes no difference. In any case, I am running the same software here on my notebook without any difficulty.
    Could it be a service at fault. What services are essential for all browsers?

  6. #6
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    I have also downloaded and run AdwCleaner, rebooted but the problem persists.

  7. #7
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    It's possible that it could be a non MS service but as the system image was well before the problem occurred, I'd discounted that.

    This article will take you through a clean boot to eliminate any Startup programs/non MS services.

  8. #8
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    After restoring with the system image did you bring Avast back up to date with its Definitions ?

  9. #9
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    You seem to be a bit obsessed with Avast AV. It updates automatically several times a day and has not caused me any problems over several years.

    Anyway, thanks for the link to Clean Booting. Very tedious abut very thorough in the end. No Service was found guilty but working through the Startups I eventually pinned down the browser helper KeyScrambler. This is now uninstalled and Firefox is booting normally.

    The problem is how and whay something happened to this program overnight with the computer turned off. I will try to contact QFX Software and report the problem and since I would like KeyScrambler to be running I will try installing the latest version again and check it out.

    Once again, thank you for your help.

  10. #10
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    Not obsessed with Avast but AVs tend to be the usual culprits, so try to eliminate those first but glad you found the clean boot helpful.

    As for KeyScambler becoming buggy, that may have been due to a glitch during Shutdown, so there could be something recorded in Event Viewer.

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