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Windows Security login box problem

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have just upgraded to a new windows 7 64bit machine and have been having a few problems logging into some websites with Internet Explorer 8.

Basically what happens is that at the login page a new window appears with the title "Windows Security" and the message "The server at (server name) requires a username and password". I duly enter my username and password for the site and it is deemed incorrect even though I know it to be correct and can log in just fine with Firefox.

One of the sites is 123-Reg. I tried multiple times and was on the verge of phoning their support line when suddenly I thought of not ticking the box to remember the credentials. Amazingly it then worked and, even more amazingly when I checked in again later it actually had remembered my login.

The other sites I have had problems with are those with cPanel logins. In this case the same Windows Security login box appears and my login details are refused. The dialogue then changes to cPanel's own login box where I enter exactly the same details which are immediately accepted.

I would be very grateful for any insite into this strange behaviour and if it is possible to do anything about it. I would also like to know if it is possible to turn off the Windows Security style login and revert back to the more traditional one as per XP.
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Question by:grigorovsky
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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try clicking compatibility view for the website in question.
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Expert Comment

by:Timothy McCartney
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Have you tried resetting your advanced settings in IE?

Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Click "Restore Advanced Settings" AND "Reset..."

After closing and reopening your IE, try the desired sites again.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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ve3ofa: I have tried compatibility view but the problem still exists.

tracerfett: I have reset everything as you suggested but the problem is still there.

Any other suggestions please?
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by:Timothy McCartney
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Have you tried removing IE8 and reinstalling?

Download IE8 without using Windows Updates (Link below)
https://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/worldwide-sites.aspx

Then use Revo-Uninstaller to FULLY remove IE8
http://www.revouninstaller.com/download/revouninstaller.zip < - This is a portable, non-installer, version of the program. The full free version can be found here if you wish to continue using the program. I find it to be a tremendous help when troubleshooting problem programs (a lot of the time a regular uninstallation of an application leaves behind files that keep the issue alive when reinstalled)

Now run the IE8 installer that you downloaded above to reinstall it and see if your issue has been corrected.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Thanks for sticking with this. The computer is brand new and the IE8 installation also. I have found another reference to the problem here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie8-windows_other/cpanel-logins-do-not-work-in-windows-7-ie8/dbd7174d-7581-4494-884e-2c4a6c2a5193 but still no answers.

I would really prefer not to go down the uninstall reinstall route if possible as everything else works fine and the installation is a fresh one.
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by:Timothy McCartney
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Give this a shot:

A Windows security update is responsible for a loopback check security feature that is meant to prevent reflection attacks. Authentication fails if the host header does not match the local computer name. Disable the loopback check in the registry:

   1. Run regedit.
   2. Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa.
   3. Add a new DWORD value called DisableLoopbackCheck.
   4. Modify the new value data to 1.
   5. Reboot.


[Source(s)]
http://www.andornot.com/blog/post/Fix-IE8-unable-to-authenticate-on-a-local-website-using-Windows-authentication.aspx
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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That sounded like a good idea! Unfortunately it did not make any difference to the problem. I have done some more tests and discovered something unusual.

Most of the sites I manage via cpanel are with the same company but I have one which is hosted elsewhere and also has a cPanel. When I try to log into this one I immediately get the legacy cPanel dialogue and the credentials are accepted. With all the other sites however I get the Windows Security login dialogue first and this is what fails. Why would that be?

In addition to requesting the username and password the Windows security dialogue box also has the message: "Warning: This server is requesting that your username and password be sent in an insecure manner(basic authentication without a secure connection)". Could this have anything to do with the problem?
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by:Timothy McCartney
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Hmm... that is strange.

Have you tried adding the desired sites to your "Trusted Sites" zone in your IE security tab?
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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I have just tried that with one of the sites and it shows as trusted but the login still fails. It must be something to do with the way Internet Explorer is communicating with the server. Some kind of incorrect protocol?

In Firefox I also get the browser's own login dialogue rather than the legacy cPanel one but there are no issues with the authentication. It's driving me nuts!
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by:Timothy McCartney
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http://utilu.com/IECollection/IECollection1709.exe

Do me a favor and try downloading the above item. It's a third party collection of almost all of the IE builds (including 8). They install separately than the standard built in IE but are full-featured, meaning they can do anything the original IE can do and they look exactly the same. If you can install IE8 from this collection and use cPanel with no issues, at least it's a step in the right direction.
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by:Timothy McCartney
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I've used the above collection for quite a few various fixes when IE is having problems including downloading windows updates
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Ok I'll give that a try. I have posted a request at the cPanel forum also, just incase anyone there might know something about this.

I understand that the reason the Windows login box appears first (rather than the legacy cPanel box) is because HTTP authentication (as this appears to be) is much more secure than cookie based authentication which happens when the credentials are entered directly into the cPanel dialogue box.

Could there be something wrong with the HTTP authentication process in my IE8?
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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since it appears on a lot of people using cpanel it is probably a cpanel problem
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by:Timothy McCartney
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I'm going to have to second @ve3ofa's comment. This is starting to seem more like a compatibility issue between Win 7, IE8, and cPanel.

If the version of IE8 you install from the collection above doesn't work either, then I'm going to definitely say it's compatibility.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Ok. You're probably not going to believe this but after Googling for "IE8 HTTP authentication" I have found several articles where people are having similar problems and not just with cPanel.

One article in particular at: http://www.compuhelpforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25166 caught my eye. In it the person with the problem has found a workaround which is somewhat mind boggling. Basically he tried entering his username and password using only the keyboard and even using the Enter key to submit it rather than the mouse. Low and behold he found that his credentials were accepted.

And now the spooky part. I have just tried this with one of my sites and it worked!! Now that is weird, how is that possible?

Just tried it again and it works as long as the credentials are entered via the keyboard, clicking the submit button with the mouse is fine too. So what is going on?
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by:Timothy McCartney
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I'm starting to believe this is a glitch with the IE8 authentication methods... It seems various end-users are having similar issues not just with cPanel. I did a similar search based on what you posted in your last comment.

Would you be willing to give IE9 beta a shot and see if that makes a difference?
Did you try the IE8 install from the collection I posted?
Do you have another computer you can test on? Some users reported they were having authentication issues, but things were working just fine from alternate computers (which would hint at the IE8 installation on the troublesome computer having issues)
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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It gets crazier! I have now determined that if I use Ctrl-V to paste the password in the box, it is accepted but if I use Shift-Insert (which does the same thing) it is not accepted.

Logically this cannot be the IE8 authentication method but more to do with the data it is submitting. I do have a laptop running Win7 with IE8 also and I have just run a check. Guess what, exactly the same behaviour. If I copy and paste the password in with the mouse it fails but if I use Ctrl-V it is accepted.

Bear in mind that it is the same copy as with the mouse just a different method of inserting it. Exactly the same on my laptop as on my desktop machine! Wow, I have not come across anything as odd as this in all my years working with computers.

Any thoughts?
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by:Timothy McCartney
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heh... weird...

I'm kind of at a loss for this behavior...

Good news is at least you're now able to access your cPanel sites through IE8!

I'll touch base if I come up with any reasonable explanations or solutions to prevent this from happening.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Several tests later and here is the result.

If I type in both username and password, authentication works
If I type in either the username and password but copy/paste the other item in with the mouse, it fails
If I copy either or both items with the mouse but paste in using Ctrl-V it works
If I copy either or both items with the mouse but use Shift-Insert to paste, it fails.

Using the mouse to select either box and/or submit does not alter any of the above.

Same behaviour on Desktop and Laptop machines.

I can't pretend to understand this behaviour but at least it is consistent. I suspect a bug!
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Timothy McCartney earned 500 total points
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Agreed on the suspecting of a bug.

That is very strange behaviour... At least you know how to get past it :-)

Let's hope Microsoft Addresses this issue though, especially with IE9 just around the corner.
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Thanks for your help. Happy for you to havethe points for all your time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:grigorovsky
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Arrived at the conclusion that a bug is causing this behaviour. Tracerfett's assistance was of great help in eliminating other possibilities.
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