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Dell PC Will Not Finish Loading Webpages

Posted on 2013-11-16
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a client with a Dell Vostro 320 All-in-One PC running Windows 7 Home Premium. It had gotten hit with some malware and was running very slowly and was unstable. I decided that backing up his data and restoring back to factory defaults would be the best approach for giving him a relatively fast, stable machine. I brought the PC to my home and ran the Dell System Restore to get it back to factory default settings. Then I downloaded & installed all available OS updates and patches. While at my home I was connected to my Time-Warner cable connection via Ethernet cable.

After installing all necessary software and restoring his data, I brought the PC back to his home. I plugged it into the Verizon DSL Modem (a Westell Model 6100) and booted up the PC. The problem is that when I try to launch a webpage, the browser gets stuck indefinitely loading and goes nowhere. It never gives a "page not found" or Connection Time-Out error. The browser just spins and spins but never finishing loading. This is happening in IE, Firefox & Chome.

I called Verizon DSL support and they ran a line test that shows the connection is solid. However, we are unable to get a page to load in either IE, Firefox or Chrome.

So what could be preventing the web pages from loading all while not getting timeout or "page not found" errors? The Verizon tech had us reset the Westll 6100 modem, but this did not help. Windows Firewall is enabled, so i tried disabling it. Didn't help. I can ping various websites from the command line and they all reply back normally.

I had decided that something had gone wrong with the Westell modem. However, I connected the client's Acer Aspire netbook (running Win 7 Starter) and the netbook has no problem loading webpages. So the problem is not the modem. It has to be some configuration issue on the Dell PC. I just don't understand. Everything was fine when using my Time Warner connection at my home.

Hoping I can get some guidance on how to resolve this problem. Thanks in advance.
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Question by:anuneznyc
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 100 total points
ID: 39653331
Have you tried clearing the Browser cache or even tried creating another Windows profile to see if this resolves the issue? Have you checked the event viewer to see if there are any error messages preventing browsing?


Will.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39653339
Since it is working fine at your home and not at your client's, try resetting TCP/IP.

Below is a link to a Microsoft Support link for resetting TCP/IP. Try this and see if it helps.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39653342
Thanks for your response, Will. The Verizon rep did have me reset the settings in IE 10 and it didn't help. But no, I did not specifically try clearing the cache in either IE, Chrome or Firefox.

When I first restored the PC, I did create a 2nd Admin profile. I tried logging into that profile while at the client's home and had the same browser problem.

Yesterday I opened the Event Viewer and did a cursory glance for error messages, but didn't find anything related to web browsing.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39653347
Try the TCP/IP reset as it resets the internet connection parameters.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 39653383
Thank you, Thinkpads_User. A TCP/IP reset sounds like a good idea.

Any other suggestions in case that doesn't do the trick?
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39661490
I tried resetting the TCP/IP stack (twice) and it had no positive effect. I also tried clearing the browser caches, which also yielded no results.

I realized one other thing about this PC. I had installed LogMeIn so that I would be able to remote into this PC. I realized that the LogMeIn was able to connect to the internet b/c when I checked my LogMeIn control panel, the client's PC had been online until I shut it down that same day I brought it back to his home.

Purely on a hunch,  I went back and brought along a spare Linksys router. I plugged the DSL modem into the WAN port and then connected the Dell All-in-One via Ethernet cable into one of the LAN ports. And what do you know!?! Instant internet connection and I was able to browse websites freely!

So can someone please explain to me why introducing a router in between the DSL modem and the Dell PC allowed it to use the internet when it could NOT load websites when directly connected to the DSL modem?? Very confusing. I would really appreciate some insight into this.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 300 total points
ID: 39662193
Since you refreshed TCP/IP, it is not likely the computer operating system causing the issue.

It is possible that the computer NIC is not compatible with the DSL modem. That could happen. Introducing the router would isolate that if the router is compatible with the NIC.

It is also possible that introducing the router did a reset of the DSL modem.

Since the DSL modem is probably out of your control, you probably need to use a router in this case.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39671859
Very strange. The NIC is definitely compatible with this DSL modem, since it was working fine before I took the PC home with me and did a restore to factory settings.

In any case, Verizon sent the client a new combo modem/router, which we installed, and this allows his PC to connect to the internet w/ no problem.

Still, I would really like to know why the PC had internet access before the factory restore, had internet access at my place and yet failed to connect properly when connected back  to the original DSL modem after having the OS reinstalled?? Very mysterious.
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John Hurst earned 300 total points
ID: 39671875
I have had to replace both wireless NIC's and Routers in order to make solid, trouble-free connections. Mysterious: yes. Why: I cannot say for sure (and I doubt anyone could). Replacement fixed things. Wireless connections for sure, and wired connections much less so are as much an art as a science.

So the replacement router/modem combo fixed the problem, the problem then is along the lines here or what I was putting forward earlier.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39686850
@anuneznyc - Thank you, and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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