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Laptop looses internet connectivity when opening browser

Posted on 2012-08-15
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I am working on a Dell latitude laptop with Windows 7.  A few weeks ago, this laptop had it's home page hijacked as there was some sort of malware installed.  I removed the malware (don't remember the name of it) and did numerous malware and anti-virus scans...all came up clean.

The problem is, when opening a browser page, the home page usually comes up fine and I can browse the internet for a few seconds (anywhere from 5-20 seconds).  Then, the browser starts timing out and displaying the page cannot be displayed as I go to various web sites.  After another random time, usually around 10-30 seconds, the browser starts working again and I can browse the internet.  But then, after 5-20 seconds, the same thing happens.

I setup a continuous "ping" to a server here at my office and just watched it as I browsed the internet.  What I found was, if I just have the laptop turned on and sitting there with NO browser open, the ping is consistent and never drops.  Once I open a browser, the internet connectivity starts to drop in and out.  If I close the browser, connectivity is consistently fine.  I've tried both IE and I downloaded Firefox, and they both have the same behavior.

Not sure if it's related, but I am also getting DNS errors in my event log.  There are numerous Event 1014 errors.  It says "Name resolution for the name ....com timed out after none of the configured DNS servers responded".  The dns domain name various.
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Question by:jbobst
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Assisted Solution

by:CompProbSolv
CompProbSolv earned 668 total points
ID: 38297189
The DNS errors may be the issue.  Please check what you are using for DNS:
start
run
cmd
ipconfig /all

Look for DNS Servers and let me know what the numbers are.

There may be more than one set of these.  We're looking for the ones associated with whatever network card (wired or wireless) that you are using.  If in doubt, supply all of them here!
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Assisted Solution

by:xDUCKx
xDUCKx earned 668 total points
ID: 38297222
Additionally to Comp's post, check your hosts and lmhosts file and make sure it doesn't contain anything but Localhost  127.0.0.1

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

You can open this file in Notepad.  Because you're able to continually ping, the culprit looks like DNS and name resolution.
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38297253
The DNS server in ipconfig/all is just the router, which is 192.168.1.1.  I also tried manually putting in 8.8.8.8, and the same behavior happened...internet would work and I could browse but only for a short time before it timed out, and then reconnected, then timed out, reconnected...etc.

xDUCKx - I will check the hosts and lmhosts file, but to be clear, the continual ping "timed out" right along with the internet browser.  The only time the continual ping actually got a continuous reply was when I had all browsers closed.  I sat there watching the continual ping reply for 20 minutes straight.  About 5-20 seconds after I opened a browser, the ping would time out...then reply a couple times, then time out again, then reply again...over and over.  As soon as the browser was closed, the ping responses were all replies without any problems.  Opening a browser is what causes the problems for some reason.
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
Ess Kay earned 664 total points
ID: 38297260
If the above dont work,
reinstall windows7, it will be much easier than looking through all the regestry, config files and performing open heart laptop surgery
use your original disk or go to thepiratebay.com and download windows7

then reinstall it, just save you documents folder and any other documents you may need.

This will also increase your speed of the laptop as all your files will no longer be fragmented from daily use

sometimes, its the easy way out which is best, that and you will be sure that you have no adware, trojans, spyware, virii, worms or malware left hiding

hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:HornAlum
ID: 38297405
check your proxy settings under internet options->Connections->Lan settings. make sure it is set to automatically detect and uncheck any proxy settings that it may have

download TDSSKiller and save to desktop and run that. Also, download "ComboFix", save to desktop and run it. that will typically take care of any browser hijacks
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38297426
I did already check the Lan settings in the browser...nothing fishy in there, just set to automatically detect.

Also ran combofix last night, and no problems found.  Also ran Malwarebytes, MS Security Essentials and I also downloaded the McAfee Stinger program and did a scan with that.  Nothing found.
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Expert Comment

by:HornAlum
ID: 38297435
have you tried doing an reset? (internet options -> advanced tab)
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38297462
Did not try that yet.  I'll have access to the computer in about an hour.  I did install Mozilla Firefox last night, as this laptop has only had IE on it for the past two years.  Firefox has the same behaviors.
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38297471
Also, I was thinking that there might be an off chance this problem could be coming from a bad router possibly?  I am meeting the owner of the laptop and the laptop in an hour at a public internet location to see if this happens while connected to another internet service and router.  I'll also check the lmhosts file there.
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Expert Comment

by:HornAlum
ID: 38297492
yea, check both LMHOSTS and HOSTS. hijacks can often change your HOSTS file.
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Expert Comment

by:Gajendra Rathod
ID: 38297566
First of all please install window 7 SP1 and all latest security updates.

Secondly

Download and install Microsoft Security Essentials

Please run the Full scan
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38297600
Your trojan may have installed a dialer.

This will create a dial up number to dial a internation number running a high bill. This may not create a visible dial up connection.

You should backup your documents and reinstall.
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38298167
Gajendra_Rathod -  All updates, including service pack 1 are installed.  Second, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, I already ran MS Security Essentials, Malwarebytes, Combofix and the McAfee Stinger...all reported the system clean.
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Author Comment

by:jbobst
ID: 38298171
FIX - After using the laptop on another network and installing a new router, the laptop works flawlessly.  Not sure why the router went bad, but a new router did the trick.  Thanks for ALL the help!!!
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Expert Comment

by:Ess Kay
ID: 38298227
make sure u make a complex password on your new router to avoid it getting hacked
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