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Problem Accessing Websites

Posted on 2007-10-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
I have a real beauty of a problem here! I am working on a friends PC which has a very unusual problem. Running Windows 2000 with a working broadband connection, the PC can download and send emails and can get into search engines, i.e. Google, Ask etc.. It can search Google and get results. However, the PC cannot access any other website, either via Google or by typing in a URL! I have performed a clean re-install of Windows, tried 3 different ADSL modems, changed cables, filters etc.. but nothing makes any difference. His ISP have checked his line and reckon it's fine. Anyone out there with any ideas, I am stumped?  
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Question by:tbale
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20110726
tbale,

That is a real puzzle, especially after a reinstall of the OS.  Can another computer use the connection and duplicate the problem or does that computer have complete access?  What if the problem computer is taken somewhere else to access the Internet?

Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

b0lsc0tt
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20110980
Hi, thanks for the reply. OK, can't test another PC on the connection at the moment but I might be able to get a laptop there tomorrow and try it. As I understand it the problem arose suddenly a couple of weeks ago when the PC was running Windows 98SE. My friend got a PC repair man to look at the problem and he upgraded to Windows 2000 in his repair shop and claimed to get a full internet connection - all websites accessed OK. I can't confirm this however. I am fairly convinced that the problem is NOT with the PC, however with the ISP confirming that the line is OK, plus the PCs ability to get email OK and access search engines, I can't get my head around what could be the problem. Oh yes, I've tried using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer and this makes no difference - same problem.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20111063
Does the PC connect directly to the modem or is there a router, etc?  Can the PC ping other sites?  Try using an IP if the domain name fails.  Let me know if you need an example.

The test of another computer (and moving one that to another location) will be very telling and helpful.  There are many things that could be wrong but the ISP is pretty rare if you have Internet at all.

You could check the DNS server setting and make sure it is correct for the ISP.  Look at the ping results when you try a domain name to see what the IP is resolved to.  The nslookup command can also be used to see if that part is working OK.

Let me know what you find out or if you have a question.

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20111161
PC is directly connected to the modem via USB. I'll try pinging tomorrow and take a laptop with me to try out. I did check the DNS setting and it's correct (he can send/receive emails fine). Nslookup is working, I checked that. Will report back tomorrow. Thanks.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20111201
Don't worry about replying til tomorrow but a quick followup.

Does the computer and modem have the option to use ethernet instead of USB?  Have you tried it?  I have always avoided using USB if at all possible and have seen odd issues when it is used.  I know it can work and you have swapped modems but just a thought.

When you said nslookup was working do you mean it got an IP for site that you couldn't browser to?  Just wanted clarification. :)

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20111627
The modem only has a USB connection unfortunately. I may have an ADSL modem with ethernet lying around somewhere, I'll see if I can find it and try connecting. Nslookup got the IP of my own website OK but I still couldn't connect to it in IE or Firefox!
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20117788
More information! This is definitely a hardware/software problem with the PC. I tried a laptop on the ADSL connection and it worked fine. On the PC I reset the TCP/IP settings and tried pinging websites. I could only ping Google. All other websites timed out. Does anyone think that the problem might be with the network controller on the motherboard? I can't think of anything else that could cause this problem. Any further help will be gratefully received. And I've upped the points as this is such an obscure problem!
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20127056
The network controller on the board shouldn't be the issue unless it has gone bad or doesn't have the correct drivers.  A new card and disabling the onboard card (in the BIOS) would be a way to test or correct it if this were the issue.

Thanks for that info.  What do you mean when "reset the TCP/IP settings"?  Please confirm the OS on the computer is Windows 2000 or let me know the OS.

A next resort is to try the file below.  It should work on Windows 2000 too.

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/xptcpiprepair.html

If you still have a problem then just to be sure I would scan for Viruses and malware.  Use at least 2 good programs for the malware scan.  Then use HiJackThis to produce a log and have it analyzed.  With a clean install none of these should be the cause but your issues are usually caused by infection or removal.

After the TCP/IP repair and before the virus/etc steps you could do steps to "reinstall" the network adapter, etc.  Under network connections/properties you need to delete the network adapter.  Make sure you don't have a duplicate entry.  The adapter and protocols should disappear when you do this.  All options may disappear if this is the only connection (i.e. File/Printer sharing, MS Networks, etc).  Check in Device Manager to see that the adapter is not listed.  Then restart the computer.  Have OS discs handy and the motherboard drivers.  This will basically have Windows reinstall the adapter, etc.  Make sure they are the latest and correct for your hardware.  Check properties to make sure the TCP/IP protocol is reinstalled for your adapter.  I have fixed odd issues like this in the past with these steps.

Let me know if you have a question about any of this.

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20127230
Thanks for the post.

OS is Windows 2000 pro so you can't uninstall/reinstall DUNs or TCP/IP. I used the "netsh" reset command. But to no avail.
I have scanned for viruses/spyware (3 different spyware progs) and everything is clear.
Today I have used the PC restore CD to take the computer back to it's original state, i.e. back to Windows 98SE with all the original drivers. Hard drive was wiped and re-formatted. Didn't work, still the same problem.
As a last resort, almost, I am going to try a router with an ethernet connection and see if this makes a difference. I may even re-install on a new hard drive in case there is some deeply hidden problem with the current hard drive.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20127392
>> so you can't uninstall/reinstall DUNs or TCP/IP <<

Um ... yes you can.  I am not real sure what you mean by DUN (Dial Up Networking I assume) and maybe there is part of that which can't be uninstalled but TCP/IP isn't not an automatic component with the adapter like it is in XP (just 1 KB article that talks about removing TCP in 2000 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837333).  The protocol itself can be deleted.  However that part of my steps was not the most important part.  I have found in Windows 2000 it is best to remove the TCP component first but the key is removing the adapter from Windows (delete/uninstall).  Removing in the area I described is usually the best and cleanest way to do this.  The reinstall process of the adapter and protocol can do more to fix issues than using netsh reset.

Since you have gone back to Win 98 then the info and steps above is moot.  The hard drive is very unlikely to be the cause or a fix.  Did you try a new network card?  Make sure you disable the onboard card.  Drivers could've still been an issue but a new card would eliminate that.  I would try it before a new hard drive or router.

Let me know if you have a question about any of this.

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20127479
Hi Bol. Thanks for the post. Got my info for removing TCP/IP in Win2K from - http://www.modemsite.com/56k/duns-reset.asp.  As you say it's moot now I have gone back to Win98.

As the ADSL modem we are using is USB then the network card is not in the equation at the moment. When I try the router/ethernet link I will use a new card.
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b0lsc0tt earned 1000 total points
ID: 20127572
That article mentions Win2k but the details of removal are just meant to refer to WinXP.  It is confusing in that article though.  It was an interesting page and completely removing dial up networking would probably be an issue even in Win2K.

>> As the ADSL modem we are using is USB then the network card is not in the equation at the moment <<

Duh!  I had forgotten that.  Thanks for the reminder.  I have always avoided using USB for network stuff because of the reports I have read or seen of odd issues.  A router capable of using the USB connection (from the modem for the WAN) may be hard to find.  If a new non-USB modem is an option then I would pursue it.

I just thought of 1 thing.  What different connections (including types) do you have if you run "ipconfig /all" (run at a command prompt).  Let me know the results but you can modify any public IPs (e.g. 66.59.xx.xx).

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20134413
OK I have (sort of) resolved the problem! Actually I have bypassed the problem. I installed a new network adaptor (PCI ethernet card) and connected this to a wired router. Bingo, everything worked perfectly! So it appears that the problem lies with the original USB modem connection. No idea what the problem is but by now I don't care!
Many thanks for your help Bol. You can have the points for your patience and ideas!
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20134964
I'm glad you did it and it is working.  I thought that (using PCI network card) was something I recommended.  If so I am a little surprised with the grade.  I am glad it is working and the reason USB had an issue doesn't really matter to me either.  As I mentioned earlier issues like this are why I avoid it for this.  I guess I just thought this was pretty complete and so a little surprised by the B.

Thanks for the fun question and I am really glad it worked.

bol
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Author Comment

by:tbale
ID: 20135351
Hi Bol. Sorry, I thought I'd hit A not B. Don't think I can change it now. Many apologies, I really appreciated your efforts and suggestions. Professionally I would really like to understand what is going on here but I have spent so much time on this problem that I am just pleased to have resolved it, even if it has just been circumvented. If I charged my client my hourly rate for all the time I have spent on the problem he could have bought a decent replacement PC!
Thanks again.
Tony
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20135395
You can actually post a message in General Community Support (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/General/) to have the moderators change the grade or reopen this.  I am mainly glad to hear it was not intentional.  I can understand the mistake, especially if you closed this as you were thinking of all of the unbillable time you spent on this. :)

I would also like to know because I have seen other odd things occur.  However the use of USB is so rare and there is no advantage to using it so I have just left it as a "computer mystery."  Luckily I don't have to many of them but they are annoying when you find them.

Thanks again!

bol
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by:Netminder
ID: 20153337
Grade changed by Asker request.

Netminder
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20153414
tbale,

Thanks for taking the extra time and effort to get this corrected.  I appreciate it.  It was a fun question and thanks for the points and the A.

Thanks Netminder for your help.  :)

bol
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