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Comp can browse websites in safemode but not normal mode

Posted on 2009-05-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a laptop that can browse the internet in safemode but not in normal mode. I have uninstalled Endpoint Protection. I have booted the machine in diagnostic mode (no services, no startup items), I have tried to reset firewall and winsock (netsh winsock reset, netsh firewall reset). The machine can ping websites (ping www.google.com replies no loss) in both normal and safe modes but cannot browse in normal. I'm at a serious loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
  Preston

p.s. i have tried wireless and lan adapters, i have tried firefox. the machine can also send/receive emails but epic fail on the website browsing from any source.
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Question by:prophet001
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Expert Comment

by:bcaronongan
ID: 24433504
you already know you have a bug.

now you have to locate it.

one option; can you format the haddrive and reinstall (might be the quickest way to resolve this)?  

if not, download hijackthis and look for suspicious registry entries.  

you may also want to look at the task manager in standard mode and look for processes that look suspicious.

what virus protection are you using?  if you can update the virus protection, can you also do a complete scan?

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Expert Comment

by:spamster
ID: 24433531
Is there anything in the event viewer after you try to go to a website?
I assume it used to work. Did you do anything to your PC right before it started happening? (Install new software, did Windows Updates run, did you apply new drivers? Loan the laptop to a friend with a off-shore gambling problem? haha... kidding)

Have you tried running System File Checker?
sfc /scannow

Or it could be malware:
http://malwarebytes.org/

Also, I like the suggestion Warturtle usually makes of booting from a CD that will run a virus scan outside of Windows - he recommends Dr Web CureIt Live CD: (http://www.freedrweb.com/livecd/) ...and I'd agree with him, it's a good product, and a good idea if you're at a loss of what to do.

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Accepted Solution

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LeeTutor earned 200 total points
ID: 24433554
It could be an add-on that is messing things up.  Have you tried it with Internet Explorer (No Add-ons), which you will find on your Start Menu under All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools.  If this works, then you can troubleshoot your normal IE connections by selecting Tools menu -> Manage Add-ons -> Enable or disable Add-ons.
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24433567
Here is the hijack this log. What does safemode do differently than the diagnostic startup? (diagnostic startup loads no services and no startup items). The virus protection was Endpoint Protection 11. However, when i booted into safemode and was able to browse Endpoint Protection was still installed and loaded on the safemode boot. I uninstalled it anyway just to be sure. Format and reinstall is possible but I would like to exhaust all other avenues.
Thank you for your help,

Preston
hijackthis.log
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Expert Comment

by:spamster
ID: 24433579
That's why LeeTutor's a 'Genius'
I don't know why BHOs and Add-ins are the *last* place I tend to look :D
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24433621
i like the boot cd idea. i have a copy of UBCD4Win do you think that might be sufficient to av scan? There are no errors in the Event Viewer after attempted connections. I disabled a "zango" add on in IE but would that affect FF too? If i can't get ubcd to pick something up then i'll give the warturtle suggestion a shot
thank you guys
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Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 200 total points
ID: 24433622
I posted your Hijackthis  log here:

http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english

There were some items where files were missing, but nothing else found at least at that site.  Paste your log there and click on Analyze at the bottom to see what the analysis came out to be.
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24433630
no go leetutor :( sweet idea though. i didn't even know that existed.
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Expert Comment

by:spamster
ID: 24433670
I haven't used the Ultimate Boot CD, but I've heard good results from others. If it's updated with recent virus scanner patterns, I'd say to give it a shot.
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24433674
i think there is something to be learned from the fact that it browses from safemode but not normal?? what does safemode do differently that normal or even diagnostic mode for that matter?
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Expert Comment

by:spamster
ID: 24433720
That's seemed weird since I first read the question. I assume it's safe mode with networking, right? (Stupid question, I know. Otherwise how would you even use your NIC :)
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24433731
The best (free) antimalware programs I am experienced with are Malware Bytes (mentioned above by spamster) and SuperAntiSpyware.  You might try "fixing" what the HijackThis log shows, just in case it has any effect somehow...
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Assisted Solution

by:spamster
spamster earned 100 total points
ID: 24433765
You might try reinstalling TCP/IP
http://www.petri.co.il/reinstall_tcp_ip_on_windows_xp.htm

Have you tried completely turning off firewall and virus scanners?

Also, you said you can ping sites, like google. Can you get to the website by using the IP?
http://74.125.53.147 <<google
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:spamster
ID: 24433780
My last post seems to be ignoring the fact that email goes out just fine... but it's worth it if it works! :)
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Assisted Solution

by:3nerds
3nerds earned 100 total points
ID: 24435317
It seems a lot of things were tried and I am only throwing my 2 cents in here because I had a similar problem about a year ago and this corrected the problem.

netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
netsh winsock reset -->requireds a reboot

Good Luck,

3nerds

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Assisted Solution

by:bcaronongan
bcaronongan earned 100 total points
ID: 24435367
make sure norton firewall is disabled.

log looks ok.

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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24450096
prophet001, any feedback?
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24450160
nothing suggested thus far has worked. someone on the microsoft xp forum suggested group policy. the laptop is being used until tuesday next week. i will resume the troubleshooting and update the post if i find anything.
thank you all for your suggestions.

Preston
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Author Comment

by:prophet001
ID: 24707362
ok well i had to wipe reinstall. just so you know, i tried win xp installation repair and even tried installing suspect offending apps then uninstalling. i hoped that that might reset some registry key that was corrupt. no such luck. wipe reinstall did it (actually it was hp so restore from partition)
thank you all again for your help
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