Why can't I get to web sites?

I have a customer who has an Acer Laptop running Vista Home Premium who cannot bring up a any web pages using IE8, Fire Fox, or Safari. With IE he gets "Web page not found" and in Fire Fox he gets "The connection was refused" and a similar message in Safari. However he can access the internet via any other means such as IM, PING, or using Vista Update. It also does not matter whose network he uses to access the internet; i. e. his house, Starbucks, or my house. It also does not matter if he uses wired or wireless connections. Therefore it's not his home network hardware. I cannot find anything that appears to be a virus or malware. Any ideas?
KibbageAsked:
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BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Kibbage

>>> "I now have browser access to the internet! However McAffee can still not access the internet to install." <<<

I suspect that the stage you are at is probably just because McAffee is only half installed.

Are you installing McAffee OVER the Internet?  I mean a web install rather than first downloading the Installer package to your hard drive and then running it from there.  If so, then is it possible for you to download the installer package?

The reason I am asking this is because of what I would probably do in your situation.  I would completely uninstall McAffee from Add/Remove Programs to start off with.  If it is a half-done setup, this may not allow for a complete uninstallation, but my next step would be to download, install, and run the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301

This lists programs that were installed by the Windows Installer process and can help in removing left-overs.  Hopefully it would list McAffee if you were left with a half-done installation.

I suggest that you then run the Norton AntiVirus Removal Tool if you can find the download link again from the page you were redirected to before.  Perhaps the utility actually installed on your system at that time and is still available, which would be good.

You should now check to see if internet access was available from safe Mode and Normal Mode.  If so, check once again that the Windows Firewall is completely disabled and install McAffee using the downloaded package.  If this completes this time, and if Internet Access was still available, then see whether that version of McAffee has a Firewall.  If so, it would be a case of deciding whether to use the McAffee Firewall and leaving the Windows one disabled, or vice versa.

If Internet access was still there before installing McAffee, but was unavailable after installing it, then clearly that application would be isolated as the cause, and it would be a case of checking to see if a McAffee Firewall was running and being too restrictive.
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jessc7Commented:
Does he have a security suite (firewall, antivirus, etc) that is incorrectly blocking regular port 80 traffic from web browsers?
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
I have turned off all firewalls and anti-virus programs.
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iamshakedCommented:
Try this program to reset the tcp stack for the network card
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html

If that doesnt work, check for spyware / malware / adware and viruses.These have been known to cause these exact type of issues.
Google Combofix, and run that first within safemode. If you see it is picking up alot of stuff, run a full suite of programs and disinfect the machine.
Also make sure no proxies are running or enabled. Ofcourse trying different browsers should of bypassed this.
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boat_ankerCommented:
Is the DNS setting pointing to an invalid address
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rpggamergirlCommented:
Don't google Combofix, you may end up getting one of those dodgy links.

Please download ComboFix by sUBs:
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/sUBs/ComboFix.exe

(If it doesn't run re-download but rename before saving to your desktop)
You must download it to and run it from your Desktop
Now STOP all your monitoring programs (Antivirus/Antispyware, Guards and Shields) as they could easily interfere with ComboFix.
Double click combofix.exe & follow the prompts.
When finished, it will produce a log. Please save that log and attach it in your next reply by pasting it in the "Code Snippet" or "Attach File" window.
Re-enable all the programs that were disabled during the running of ComboFix..

Note:
Do not mouse-click combofix's window while it is running. That may cause it to stall.
CF disconnects your machine from the internet. The connection is automatically restored before CF completes its run. If CF runs into difficulty and terminates prematurely, the connection can be manually restored by restarting your machine.
 


If needed, here's the Combofix tutorial which includes the installation of the Recovery Console:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
OK, here is the log. I can't see anything; I hope you can!
ComboFix.txt
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
Yes, the DNS is valid and changes depending on which network he is attached to.
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jessc7Commented:
Are you able to telnet to a web site from a command prompt?

1. Open a command prompt
2. Type: telnet www.google.com 80
3. You should then get a blank command prompt screen, meaning you've connected. If you get an error, then you know you can't access normal web ports through the command prompt as well, meaning it's not just web browser application related and more system-wide.
4. If you get a blank screen, hit Control+C to cancel the connection.
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
Telnet www.google.com 80 got the error "Could not open connection to the host, on port 80; Connect failed".

Any ideas where the problem could be now?

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jessc7Commented:
Does the laptop have Skype installed?
http://thevistaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=19040
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jessc7Commented:
Can you telnet to the following?

telnet 72.14.205.99 80

That is an IP to www.google.com (verifying DNS).
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
No Skype is not installed.
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
No, telnet 72.14.205.99 80 get the same error.
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jessc7Commented:
What anti-virus program is installed?
Are the virus definitions up-to-date?
When was the last successful scan of the system made?

What firewall program is installed? Vista's firewall or 3rd party?
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
OK, so as part of trying to fix this problem I had disabled then uninstalled Norton Anti-virus 2007. As a result of the question about anti-virus I tried to install McAffee anti-virus. The reason I switched to McAffee was that you can't install Norton in safe mode but you can install McAffe in safe mode. In safe mode I can browse the internet. I booted into Safe Mode and proceeded to try to install McAfee. McAffee said Norton was still installed and sent me to the Norton web site to download the Norton Uninstall Tool. After running the Uninstall Tool I tried to install McAffee. McAffee could no longer access the internet! I rebooted into normal mode and guess what; I now have browser access to the internet! However McAffee can still not access the internet to install. I'm 99% there but am really concerned that McAffee won't install. I will now contact McAffee and see what they say. Thank you everyone!
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
Thank you!
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KibbageAuthor Commented:
The bottom line appears to be that Norton Anti-virus was partially uninstalled and was blocking all web access to the internet.
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you Kibbage.  I'm glad you have it sorted out now.  Norton AntiVirus is well known for that very problem.
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