Can't open IE pages that require a log in

Or, at least that seems to be the pattern...

The user has XP Pro SP1, and Norton IS has been disabled for some time (she said she disabled it because she could not do the online renewal!)  She also does not have the Windows firewall turned on (again, in SP1), so I guess there's no telling what all bad stuff may be on her computer.  (And I do realize that these issues--SP1 and no firewall--need to be resolved.)

The problem is that there are many websites she cannot get on--it goes to the usual 'page cannot be displayed' screen.

She CAN get on sites such as with no problem, and go to the various links with no problem.

But sites she is having problems with include these: won't come up at all. won't come up at all. comes up OK, but if she clicks on the sign in screen, it fails. comes up OK, but if she clicks on the sign in screen, it fails. comes up OK, but if she clicks on the sign in screen, it fails.

Note that I WAS able to download the new version of adaware, and it removed the old version and installed the new one, but I cannot get the latest definitions; it gives me an 'error retreiving updates' error.

She still has Norton Internet Security on her computer, and although it recently expired, it says the last update to her virus defs was 10/04/06, so I ran a virus scan and it found nothing.

I also cleaned up temp internet files, and unchecked virtually everything in msconfig and restarted.

And, in the IE tools, I went to Advanced and restored defaults, and did the same at Security>Internet>Custom Level, resetting it to Medium.

Does this info give any hint as to what the problem might be, and steps I can take to fix it?  TIA
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Dale MayConnect With a Mentor SecurityCommented:
While this post isn't a solution, here's some links to prevent further trouble (it's from a cut & paste document that I keep for these occasions):

First, do you have an antivirus application running? If not, I use AVG Free Edition - you can download it here: AVG Free Edition
and, are you running a firewall? I use both a hardware firewall (built into my router) and a software firewall. Specifically I use the Sygate Personal Firewall - it's also free and can be downloaded here: Sygate Personal Firewall It's not the Pro version, it's at the bottom of the page with a "Free Download" button to the right of it.

Secondly, have you scanned for spware? Here's some links for the stuff that I use:

AdAware - A free scanner for spyware
SpyBot Search & Destroy - A free scanner for spyware
SpyWareBlaster - Prevents spyware from being installed on your system (free)
HijackThis - A diagnostic tool that helps to find spyware on your system (free) (also at: HijackThis.exe)

BTW, don't forget to use the built-in update functions to update them before you run them!

lrmooreConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First, try the winsocxp fix..
Other steps to try:

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool

Winsock Repair for XP:

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP

Repair Internet Explorer 6

Page can't be found error (remove index.dat),289483,sid1_gci866794,00.html

Start > Run sfc /scannow;en-us;310747 
Dale MaySecurityCommented:
your files need fixed,
have you downloaded and ran

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Dale MaySecurityCommented:
Winsox Fix Link:

With Windows 2000 and XP, this was not possible, due to the fact that TCP
could not be removed or uninstalled, and even if the Winsock keys in the
registry were deleted, they will recreate themselves, but with no relevant
data, therefore making them useless.
 But after much research in this matter, it was found, that these Winsock
Registry keys, were of a Global nature, and not unique to any particular
machine.... meaning they could be transplanted from a working computer, to
a broken one.
 Other factors can play a part in successfully restoring these winsock values,
such as disabling the network adapter before the import of the new Registry keys.
Also with Windows XP came the very handy "netsh.exe" with the commandline to
Reset TCP. Although this will reset TCP settings, also removing any tweaks and
other modifications done, it does not touch the registry Winsock keys.
The most common symptom would be a Valid IP address, but no ability to
view any Web pages, as well as the "" IP address symptom common to XP.
1.) From the commandline enter the following:
Netsh ip int reset resetlog.txt
2.) These 2 Registry keys will need to be replaced with known good ones.

The next hurdle, would have to be the "Hosts" file. This file (having no extension)
and residing in "Windows\Hosts" for Windows 95 - Me versions and
"WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\Hosts" for Windows XP. Often this file
(blank by default) can become littered with entries, and again, after the removal
of Third Party Advertising Clients, that were installed as bundled software with many
P2P file Sharing programs, this "Hosts" file retains entries that may be no longer valid.
Generally resulting in some web pages and Domains coming up "Blank".
The VB Winsockfix Utility will:
1.) Detect your current Operating System
2.) Release the IP address, taking you "Offline"
3.) Reset the TCP stack using Netsh.exe (Windows XP only)
4.) Delete the current Registry TCP and Winsock Values
5.) Import new "Working" Registry Values
6.) Backup any Current "Hosts" file
7.) Replace the "Hosts" file with a default one
8.) Reboot the Computer
No one should rely on "Quick Fixes" to resolve their connection issues, only by taking
responsibilty for the software you allow to be installed, can you protect yourself from
re-occurring problems.
A Google search for information relating to "SpyWare" can usually point the curious, in
the right direction to get an understanding of why some programs seem "Free" in cost,
but you end up paying with damage to your system settings, Background running Programs,
whose only purpose is to plaque the User with non-stop Pop-up advertising, and an overall
drain on system resources.
VB WinsockFix was written and designed by Option^Explicit Software Solutions
Comments send email to  Theron at ""

sasllcAuthor Commented:
I will try all this--although it will be complicated by me being 1000 miles away from the computer, and having to do all this remotely.

But I guess I was hoping that maybe these symptoms would 'ring a bell' with someone, hopefully pointing to some type of virus, spyware, corruption, wrong setting, or whatever.  If so, please point me in the right direction.

And what about the idea of upgrading her computer to IE 7?  Will that likely fix it, or just make things worse?
Dale MaySecurityCommented:
sounds like she needs to check her ssl strenght.
the above sites seem to be secure sites
sasllcAuthor Commented:
How do you check your ssl strength?  Where and how, and what are the 'proper' settings?
Dale MaySecurityCommented:
This is a good start:

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), its successor, are cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet. There are slight differences between SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0, but the protocol remains substantially the same. The term "SSL" as used here applies to both protocols unless clarified by context....

Dale MaySecurityCommented:
In internet explorer go to tools and internet options and then the advance tab go all the way down and make sure the two radio buttons are checked SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0
I would make sure the default level is checked, then I would reboot for changes to take effect.

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