Certain websites not displaying properly

david_greer
david_greer used Ask the Experts™
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We have a user that started complaining last week that www.target.com was not displaying properly.  When I looked at it, it seems that most of the formatting of the page was missing.  All of the hyperlinks on the page were just plain text hyperlinks.......no graphics, and the page was stretched to about 10 times its' normal length.  After doing a little investigating, I noticed that it wasn't just target.  I noticed the same thing on the Microsoft Update website.  
I checked her version of IE, and noticed that she was on IE8, so I dropped her back down to IE7, however, with the same results.  I also reset IE back to defaults, and also cleared all Internet cache and temporary files.  
I'm not sure if this is a firewall (Watchguard) issue or not.  Originally I thought it might be something from the watchguard stripping the site, but other users from the same group on the Watchguard are having no problems at all with the website.
I've run out of ideas to check.  Does anyone have any ideas??  
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Does their internet explorer have any add-ins? These can do an number of things, including mess around with the html before it is generated (like grease-monkey).

--
Alain

Author

Commented:
Ok, I just checked on their machine, and the following add-ins are showing:
Adobe PDF
Diagnose Connection Problems
Google Dictionary
Google Toolbar
InformationCardSigninHelper
Java Plugin
Microsoft Silverlight
Research
Shockwave Flash Object
Spybot Search & Destroy
SSVHelper
Sun Java Console
Windows Media Player
Windows Messenger
XML HTTP 6.0
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
david_greer--The best way to determine if add-ons are the problem is to run IE with no add-ons.
Start|All Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Internet Explorer (no Add-ons)  If that fixes the problem, the next step (which I will leave for later) is to determine which add-on causes the problem.
Is the client using a third party toolbar?  If so, uninstall.  (I see Google Toolbar add-on mentioned in your list.)
Does the client run a HOSTS file?  That could be blocking a CSS file from another site.  Click IE View|WebPage Privacy Policy and see what third party sites are involved when visiting the sites with problems.  (Or right click|View Source)  Then check the sites in the HOSTS file.
Do the settings in IE|Tools|Internet Options|Security tab indicate that Active X controls and plug-in are permitted to run?
If you had not mentioned that IE7 has the same problem, I would have suggested http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/02/21/more-about-2400-websites-and-ie-8-compatibility-list
One thing that bothers me is that reverting to IE7 from IE8 often does not bring IE7 fully back to how it was.
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
If WG is the culprit then in Traffic monitor you would HTTP proxy logs, which would indicate if WG is stripping anything.

If you can post few sanitized logs for HTTP proxy that would be helpful in determining the problem.

Thank you.

Author

Commented:
Sorry about the delayed response.  I was able to work a little more with it today.  I have determined that this is not isolated to Internet Explorer.  I downloaded Firefox, and am getting the same results.
I have not had a chance to go through the log files on the Watchguard, but I am going to try to do that tonight.  I really think something with the watchguard is stripping it off.  I wanted to post a picture of what I am talking about.
target-website.JPG
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
david_greer--Did you look into View Source to see the source of the CSS file(s)?  Did you look for a HOSTS file?  Did you run either IE with no addd-ons?
Is "Run ActiveX controls and Plug-ins" set to Enable in Internet Options|Security tab|Custom Level?
Hi all

Yes, I did check the HOSTS file with no luck.  I also ran IE7 with no add-ons, as well as made sure the ActiveX and plugins were enabled........all to no avail.

Luckily, I have resolved the issue.  As I suspected, the WatchGuard was causing the problem.  After doing a little more digging, I found that the WebBlocker was blocking the category "Infrastructure."  After unchecking this category and saving the config, everything started working like a charm.  I'm still not sure what exactly they are referring to in a category of "Infrastructure", but at least it is working now.

Thanks all for your help.

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