Browser only works in safe mode

I have been fighting with a computer for the last 3 days - Outlook Express works, I can ping by URL or domain name (meaning DNS works) but I cannot get ANY page to open in Internet Explorer. It had 7 installed - I installed 8 - no improvement. I installed Firefox. It doesn't work either. I added a new user - still no joy. AVG and SuperAntiSpyware come up clean. Clean-My-PC registry cleaner comes up clean. I reinstalled XP Pro SP3 from a known good install disk as a repair install. I've run WinsockFix programs and deleated and re-installed networking services. I'ce replaced the NIC. What is causing the problem and how do I fix it? A total strip-down and re-install is more than daunting. This thing has Mastercam, autocad, accounting software, tax software, and at least a dozen other specialized sotware packages installed.
I have dissabled all add-ons, and all programs that start on bootup.
I've checked the 'net and it appears I'm far from the only one fighting this problem - and there does not appear to be any commonality to the "fixes" being recommended (most of which I have tried) or ehat finally ends up "solving" the problem.
All other systems connected to this network run fine, and this one misbehaves on another network as well.
Running in safe mode with network connection, both IE and Firefox work just fine.

How do I pin down what the problem is, and then fix it??? Any chance it is a hardware problem (Asus board P4S333 with StarTech NIC (replaced) - hardware monitor shows all voltages in range, no popped caps on the motherboard, all temps good.
LVL 1
ClareSnyderAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

geowrianCommented:
Could you clarify as to what "dpesn't work"? Does the software load at all? Is it buggy once it loads? Is it just unable to connect to any websites?
0
KorbusCommented:
Double check AV & firewalls to confirm browsing (port 80 for http, port 443 for https), is NOT blocked?
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Try shutting your firewall software off, see if that resolves the issue. If you are using mcafee/avg/symantec, uninstall it and check connectivity. Sometimes firewall software gets corrupt disallowing any connectivity.

Check your connection settings, right click on your connection under network connections and choose properties. Click the TCP/IP properties and verify everything is on automatic.
Check your cable, make sure it's a good ethernet cable. Verify the computer is not being blocked via router and connected to the correct port.

In command line ipconfig /release  and ipconfig /renew   ipconfig /flushdns   ipconfig /registerdns
Im sure you done those already, perhaps try them again after all security software is uninstalled.

0
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Office 2010

This course will introduce you to the interfaces and features of Microsoft Office 2010 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. You will learn about the features that are shared between all products in the Office suite, as well as the new features that are product specific.

ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
OK. Clarification.  The browser opens, but cannot display ANY pages. There is NO firewall enabled, no anti-virus or spyblocker enabled.Outlook express works. I can ping by name or address. IPCONFIG shows everything as it should be. I've tried all the above at least 3 times. Tried the flush and register again for good measure - still the same - cannot displaythe webpage. Connection diagnotics will not run. Did once - results:
Error attempting to validate winsock base providers:2
Not all base service provider entries could be found in winsock catalog. A reset is required

Previously I also got a message saying http, https, ftp could not be accessed, or something to that effect.

The program runs in safe mode.

Same problem with FireFox
 
0
NaturaTekCommented:
did you run netsh winsock reset catalog
reboot then
netsh int ip reset reset.txt

Run LSPfix  http://www.cexx.org/LSPFix.exe
reboot

Internet explorer,
Click tools, Internet options, advanced settings and choose Reset internet explorer
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
It.s not hardware - a fresh install on another hard drive works just fine.
Back to the original hard drive and reinstalled IE AGAIN (still failed to pen pages and indicated Winsock catalog error) and ran WinsockXPfix again. No change.
Ran the connection diags AGAIN - said there was aproblem with the Winsock Catalog and I reset it AGAIN. Now the diags wpn't run again.

I'm going to bed - work on it again tomorrow.

0
NaturaTekCommented:
did you run the command line like posted besides the xpfix.exe?
and the lspfix afterwards?

Perhaps there is something severely corrupted at this point. Consider doing a SystemRestore back to a point that was working and before all the winsock.exe's that were done.

0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
NaturaTech - I tried both twice. Didn't try LSPFIX yet. Just downloaded it, copied it to CD and ran it on the problem machine - says no errors found.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Sorry, NaturaTek
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Can't do a system restore because I did a repair install. No previous points survived.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Ran the two scripts again, with required restart and the lspfix still says no errors and explorer still cannot display any pages.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Is there something I can remove from the registry that would force a full uninstall of IE that I could re-install it complete? Don't think that would fix it though because FireFox doesn't work either.
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Can you run malwarebytes from malwarebytes.org, install it, UPDATE the definitions first, then run it.
Download hijackthis http://download.cnet.com/Trend-Micro-HijackThis/3000-8022_4-10227353.html
and post the log here please?
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
will run malwarebytes and HJT later today and report back.
0
HITSMANCommented:
Boot an Ubuntu CD and make sure you can browse the net.  That will eliminate any strange hardware problems.  But you did say SAfe Mode is good to browse so it shouldn't be hardware.

Sounds like you have a proxy setup or something.  What happens in the IE status bar when you try to connect?  Does it say say web site found but just not going anywhere? or detecting proxy? Or anything at all.  The gateway IP correct?  Have you tried using a static IP, gateway and DNS setting?  

Did this just happen out of the blue? Working one day and not the next?
0
HITSMANCommented:
Also can AVG, SuperAntiSpyware etc perform software and virus definition updates?  Can you connect to an FTP site with WSFTP or the like?
0
cclassenCommented:
with an XP CD that is slip-streamed to the latest service pack in the cd rom drive, run this from a command prompt.
sfc /scannow.

that will reset all system files to the correct version for the service pack.  
you should be able to reinstall IE 7 after running, and that will hopefully fix the issue.


Also, check the hosts file under c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
OK, have run sfc/scannow with slipstream SP3 disk. Hosts file is clean. AVG and Superantispyware cannot upgrade. Cannot FTP. Was working one day, not the next. Nothing recently installed. Gateway IP is correct. Outlook express works fine. IE and Firefox don't.
Nothing in IE status bar to indicate what is going on.

It works in safe mode.
It works with fresh install on different hard drive, so I have pretty well ruled out hardware.
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Clare

On a diff pc go http://www.superantispyware.com/definitions.html
Download the latest manual self installing definitions on a usb drive.
Install on the troubled computer, apply the update and run superantispyware, you can run it in safe mode.

After scanning, right click on the superantispwyare icon, go to view control center, go to 'repairs' tab.
Click on every repair option there and choose 'perform repair' for each (some ask you to reboot, but dont yet, keep reparing other options)
after all repairs, restart.

That don't work..I have one last option to tell before reinstalling.

0
HITSMANCommented:
Ok run MSCONFIG and disable all startup items and non MS services reboot and try.  If it works start re-enabling startup items in groups of say 5.  Enable the most suspect ones first and try.  Teadious I know to keep re-booting but it must be software and as it works in safe mode it must be something running that doesn't run in safe mode.

If it doesn't work look at the MS services running when you are in safe mode then compare to normal mode.

Good luck.  Very frustrating these sort of problems but it sounds like the system is working well enough to not wipe and start fresh.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
All startup items have been disabled LONG ago in the process.
I have downloaded and installed the super-antispyware updates in safe mode and run it in both safe mode and normal mode several times in the last 5 days.
There has to be SOMETHING SIMPLE we are all missing, but I can't figure out what it could be. About to download and run HJT.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
OK, downloaded and ran HJT in safe mode. Log attached.
hijackthis-1-.log
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Ran it in normal mode too. Here is the HJT Log
hijackthis2.log
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Clare,

Can you COMPLETELY uninstall AVG temporarily, restart, and see if you can get connected with No problems.
Use the AVG remover here: http://www.avg.com/download-tools
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Once you completely remove avg restart check connection.
While there do a
netsh winsock reset
and one more restart, check connection.

Antivirus/firewall software programs can get corrupted at times, disallowing you complete functionality. Had the problem with mcafee/symantec products.

0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Removed AVG, restarted, netsh winsock reset, rebooted still no browser. I can ping anything with no problems.

This  is getting ridiculous..

Nothing showed up in the HJT logs I'm assuming???
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
OK - Got the little beggar!!!!! I finally got hold of Microsoft support an hour and a half ago. After going through everything we have done here, the rep had me install Microsoft's remote assist program in safe mode and she got into the Device manager and enabled "show hidden devices" - and wouldn't you know it there were some "Norton Turds" left behind from an old Norton install. She downloaded and ran "Norton removal tool.exe" and internet explorer JUMPED back to life!!!

How do I go about giving both NaturaTek and Hitsman part of part of the 500 points I had offered for sticking with me, even though you didn't find the solution????
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
NaturaTekCommented:
Clare,

I know this is a trying time for you and the frustrations are getting there, hang tight.

If you are running in safe mode and firefox/IE works fine, but in normal mode you are not not working correctly..there is something impacting the web browser. Did anyone install any web monitoring, parental controls, etc (which are well hidden from the OS)?

in Hijackthis check/delete these entries
O20 - Winlogon Notify: avgrsstarter - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\avgrsstx.dll
O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {7FEBEFE3-6B19-4349-98D2-FFB09D4B49CA} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: WormRadar.com IESiteBlocker.NavFilter - {3CA2F312-6F6E-4B53-A66E-4E65E497C8C0} - C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG8\avgssie.dll

Try to think what was the last thing done on the pc before this issue.

I would like you to run SDfix, just follow these instructions

Download
http://downloads.andymanchesta.com/RemovalTools/SDFix.exe

and follow these steps:
1. Copy SDFix folder to System Root Drive c:\(the drive in which ur window is installed)
2. Restart Windows and press F8. Select Safe Mode and press Enter.
3. Logon in the same account tht u r using now.
4. Confirm that Windows is running on safe mode by clicking the Yes button.
5. go to ur system drive(must be c: drive) and open the SDFIX folder
6. Double-click on RunThis to start SDFix batchfile.
7. On the SDFix startup screen, type Y to proceed.
8. SDFix will start scanning processes, services and files for possible infection.
9. Wait until SDFix finished scanning the whole system
10. After scanning, SDFix will prompt for restart. Press any key to proceed.
11. After restart, logon in ur account to finish the system cleanup. SDFix will show confirmation that the process is already finished. Press any key to proceed.
\

Post back with your results.
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Congrats, and you know, I was going to ask you if you used norton prior, and to run the tool but honestly..thought you was a AVG fan for a while. Happy issue is resolved.
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
Thing is, it's not my computer, and it came with Norton installed from the factory an eon or two ago. When Norton expired a year or so ago, and had problems with SP?, it was removed and AVG installed. Only problem is, Norton crapped in the bushes on the way out. For some reason, all of a sudden Windows stepped in it!!!  I wasn't aware of Norton's "pooper scooper" utility and how to find the "hidden devices" - the gal in South India was, thankfully.

Actually the best Microsoft Tech Support I've experienced in something like 5 or 6 years? (since the offloaded it to India).
0
NaturaTekCommented:
Was it free the support call or is it pay per call nowadays?
0
HITSMANCommented:
YEEEE HAAA.  I love and hate these sort of problems.  I love the challange of trying to solve them but hate it when logic is all out the window.  Well done for getting to the bottom of it.  It's funny as I was skimming through the HJT log and saw the Symantec entry and asumed that it would of already been blown away.  I should of said something.

I love the your comment about Norton crapping in the bushes and MS stepping in it.  Will use that one if that's ok. LOL :)

Do what you like with the points.  Give them to yourself.  You deserve it as I bet you don't charge the customer or even worse family/freind for your time and pain.

It makes me think to run NRT on every PC that has suspect end results. JUST IN CASE.

BTW what part of the world are you in Clare?  Me Australia

Regards

Steve
0
ClareSnyderAuthor Commented:
I'm up here in Waterloo Ontario Canada - home of the BlackBerry (RIM)
You are free to use the Norton Crapping in the bushes anecdote 0 no problem.
The Microsoft tech support was free because IE 8.0 was installed and it WAS an IE8 problem. (It would have been a problem on IE7 or IE6 too, in all likelihood, but being IE8.0 the support was free. All 106 minutes of it.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Web Browsers

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.