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Why can I no longer upload images to some web services eg. EBay & Photobucket ?

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-08-11
Hi, I am unable to upload images/ photos, therefore cannot for example, list on EBay or use Photobucket web services ...
1. Tried 3 different PCs using Win XP, Win 7 (64bit) and Win 7 (32bit) ... but they are on the same LAN ???
2. 4 different browsers ( IE 9 and 10, Firefox 30 and Chrome). All browsers have had caches and cookies cleared regularly.
3. PCs regularly rebooted.
4. AV and Malware detection has been turned OFF to test if it causes the problem, it doesn't.
5. Windows Firewall turned OFF... does not make any difference.
6. Clean reinstalled Adobe Flash Player with both v 11.7 and the latest 14.0
7. Tried uploading different jpg file sizes between 38KB and 1MB and at many different resolutions ... nothing helps.
8. Rebooted Router.

For example, ALL of the EBay uploaders ie. Quick Listing, or Standard and Basic from advanced tools fail. They just permanently hang with upload animation showing, no error messages. I haven't used EBay for many months so the likelihood of a nasty update (Windows or Adobe) may well have happened somewhere along the line. You can see already I was suspicious (wrongly?) of Adobe Flash ;-)

Strangely NO problem to upload photos to Facebook or LinkedIn, which tends to rule out network / firewall / router (maybe ?)

I am completely stuck. Do you have any other ideas as to what may be causing this please ?

thanks RR
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Question by:RetroRocker
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by:Gary
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Do you have any Ad blocking software running?
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by:RetroRocker
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Hi Gary, no ad blocking software at all. I run Microsoft Security Essentials and MalwareBytes together as they tolerate each other comfortably. Standard Win 7 Firewall. Have tested with all these OFF. Unfortunately it's still unsuccessful.

RR
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by:Gary
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It's unusual for sure
As you have FF installed install the Firebug plugin - open up Firebug before you try to upload an image and see if there is anything unusual in the Console or Net tab when you try to upload an image
It's probably one of those things that you need to be at the computer to debug.
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by:RetroRocker
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Gary, thank you for the suggestion. I installed Firebug and inspected the console. This shows an error an gives a solution suggestion, which is to move the resource to the same domain (obviously not possible) or enable CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing). I thought CORS was allowed by modern browsers by default and presumably eBay would support it on its servers. I am not sure how to deal with this and indeed why it has arisen in the first instance. This feels like pretty weird and heavy stuff for a simple eBay user to have to handle just to upload an image. Anyhow I digress, is there anything I can do to fix this situation ... a security setting change ? ... or an option change ? for example ?

thanks RR
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by:Gary
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CORS is only applicable when doing cross domain calls, it shouldn't have any bearing on uploading an image.
Where there any other errors?
As a test can you restart in safe mode with networking and see if you are able to upload.
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by:RetroRocker
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I tested my Win 7 32bit PC in safe mode with networking. I used Chrome, Firefox and IE10. Still exactly the same problem. This is the most perverse issue I have ever come across during PC use, it is truly weird. I cannot upload any image whatsoever to eBay, Photobucket and another site I have used before called be.Macmillan ... yet I can upload images to Facebook.
It seems to imply that it is at the 'LAN level'. Support personnel at eBay and Macmillan have been able to upload images to my accounts from their networks ! Very, very strange ... any ideas still gratefully received.

thanks RR
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by:Gary
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What Router are you using?
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by:RetroRocker
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DrayTek Vigor 2800VG
Have been using this for many years. I have checked through NAT settings for any odd things like port settings. It's pretty much default and I can't see anything untoward ... it's rarely touched and has been rebooted twice during the course of this investigation ...
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by:Gary
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I don't know then - the router is the obvious common denominator unless it is something to do with your ISP
You're not using a proxy are you?
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by:RetroRocker
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AFAIK with regard to proxies, it is standard. The browsers use the system proxy. I have never used any alternative proxy. I have had the same ISP for several years and the same static IP.

truly flummoxed ! RR
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by:Gary
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Out of ideas then, sorry.
Click Request Attention at the top and maybe some other experts may know.
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by:RetroRocker
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OK Gary, just to say I really do genuinely appreciate all the time and effort, thanks.

very best regards RR
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by:RetroRocker
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Just out of interest when we were talking about CORS, this is an exact transcript of the the error trapped by Firebug when attempting to upload an image (to eBay in this case) from any of my PCs ...

Cross-Origin Request Blocked: The Same Origin Policy disallows reading the remote resource at http://msa-b1.cgi5.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?EpsBasic. This can be fixed by moving the resource to the same domain or enabling CORS.

... does it shed any light on the issue ?

thanks RR
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by:Gary
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I'm sure if the problem was on the ebay side then they would have other users experiencing the same problem
I suspect something is intercepting the request
You could try contacting ebay and giving them the email and someone there may know but that it happens on the other site...
Did you try contacting your ISP
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by:RetroRocker
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It's definitely not on the eBay side, that's just the example. I cannot upload to many web services such as PhotoBucket and be.Macmillan as I mentioned earlier in the thread. I suspect there would actually be many services I cannot use. This is a truly perplexing issue ... really quite ridiculous on reflection ... none of my PCs have anything (knowingly) untoward which would do this and they are all quite varied in their content ... even 3 different operating systems.

I will contact my ISP after the weekend, not a bad idea, just in case and post back.

thanks RR
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by:RetroRocker
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Gary, I contacted my ISP and there is definitely no issue such as content blocking at their end. They could shed no light on it either.

This is a truly perplexing issue, I now no longer can think of anywhere else to investigate. In all the years I have worked with IT, this one has me stumped. I'm no great expert but I am a web developer and hold CompTIA A+ and Network+ qualifications, so I should have some idea ... but this time it's not enough :-( I did try requesting attention but no reply as yet. I have to leave this open because I do still hope to resolve. Should that ever happen, there will indeed be much rejoicing :-) ... thanks again. RR.
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by:kenfcamp
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Retro, sorry you're having a hard time

I've got three questions for you

1) what are you running for an antivirus?
2) Have you tried deleting your browsers cache?
3) you've mentioned you tried this w/ Chrome and FF, have you tried with IE?

Ken
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by:RetroRocker
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Hi kenfcamp, thanks for joining in, it's appreciated and I need all the help I can get with this one ... most of your query was actually covered in the opening question but just to detail a bit further ...
1. Each of these PCs runs Microsoft Security Essentials and MalwareBytes, a combination I have always found most efficient and effective. I have as part of the testing, on each machine, disabled both of these (and the firewall too come to that) temporarily. With no protection whatsoever, the problem still persists.
2. Browser caches emptied many times, in a situation like this it's the first thing I went for, it's often the common cause ... but not this time.
3. Tried with Chrome, FF (v 30 and 31) and IE 9 and 10. Problem persists in all cases.

... all ideas still gratefully received on this one :-)

thanks RR
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by:kenfcamp
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RR..

First in regards to MSE, I typically recommend Avast (Free or paid) though I've heard good things about AVG as well. MSE is ok I suppose but you might want to read this.
http://www.itworld.com/consumerization-it/377196/microsofts-security-essentials-isnt-best-antivirus-program-according-micro

Now, if you're willing I'm going to ask you to humor me :)
If you would, please download and install Avast (The free version is fine) Once installed, updated, and active could you "please" have it do a boot scan.

This can take some time but I ask that you let it finish. I'm curious to find out if anything is found

After everything is done, you can uninstall it if you wish :)

Ken
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by:Gary
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by:kenfcamp
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Gary, Like I indicated he can keep MSE if he wishes
Though I'd still like to see the results of the requested test
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by:lenamtl
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Try to reset browser settings
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by:RetroRocker
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Ken, I'm not averse to humouring you at all but I am keen to just know where your thinking is leading. Are you considering a boot sector virus on all 3 PCs which selectively compromises image upload to some web services eg. Facebook but not to others eg. eBay ? Also I run MalwareBytes Premium, always fully updated as well as MSE and this reveals no infections from memory, files or rootkit with heuristics and full (called 'Threat Scan' in MalwareBytes) scan. Is Avast really likely to dig up anything else beyond my 2 existing AV/MW products ? ... please don't think I'm being difficult about your suggestion, definitely not, just the reasoning behind it ... given everything so far.

lenamtl, If by 'resetting browser settings' you mean emptying caches, then this is fundamental and has been done many times, with each browser, on each PC. Thread refers to this in several places ... but thank you anyhow for joining in.

RR
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by:lenamtl
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No I mean reset the settings - parameters there are a lot of settings like advanced settings for example.

This happend to me once I have set something wrong about https and that was preventing me some browser action on https website only so this is maybe your case.

This can be related to scipts settings, activeX settings, license settings ect.

Every browser have a reset button (reset browser parameters) to get back to original settings (the way it is when you install without custom settings).
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by:Gary
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RR
The only thing I can think of to narrow it down is, if you can and haven't already tried, take one of the pc's outside your network and see if you can upload.
Or if you have a tablet etc try the upload in your network and outside the network
i don't see anywhere you said you had tried it.

If it works outside then the problem is definitely your router or ISP - dunno if the ISP is responsible for the router.
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by:kenfcamp
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RR,

I don't take you as being difficult at all, though I will admit I missed your stating this was happening on 3 PC's.

I suggested a boot scan not for boot sector viruses bit because it will scan the system before windows loads and before anything has a chance to interact with system processes.

In this case, boot scan means Avast will do a full system scan before the OS loads (when the system boots)
You have to manually select the option, and it will not repeat unless requested again.

Can Avast find something the others didn't? - Sure I've seen it plenty of times
Will it? - I dunno

The suggestion was made for 2 reasons:
1) The typical culprits appear to be innocent.
2) We had a customer with a similar problem though not with image uploads. Scans later found malware on the 3 PC's experiencing the issue. Once removed issue was gone.

Avast was chosen because I trust it, as well as to the best of my knowledge it's the only package has the boot scan option.

At this point my suggestion would be to try Gary's latest suggestion.  
If you still experience issues, you can think about it :)

Ken
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by:RetroRocker
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I am still researching this. I put one of the PCs onto a neighbour's network (ie. different router and ISP). It worked correctly, I could upload images to all web services !
The implication here is that it must be my router. So ...
1. I have factory reset the router.
2. I have disconnected all network devices excepting a single PC.
... nothing has yet allowed me to upload. Next I will have to try a different router in place of mine. This is taking a little time and I will report back. Still seems so weird though ... this router has been in use for years, until at some point it appears to have started causing a problem and some web services can still be uploaded to eg. Facebook.
I'll be back :-)

regards RR
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Gary earned 500 total points
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Disable the router firewall and any other settings under Security like Block anonymous requests etc
Your ISP may have updated the firmware.
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by:RetroRocker
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ISSUE RESOLVED !!!
Router (Draytek Vigor 2800VG) has this setting under Firewall>General Setup ...

"Drop non-http connection on TCP port 80"

... which was, always has been and is the default checked setting since this router was installed several years ago. Now, unchecking this option resolves the issue ! I had always been able to upload pictures to services such as eBay. I don't think the router is at fault as such but the web application technology used by eBay, Photobucket or whoever has probably 'evolved'. The implication is that now, the response from these services, for whatever reason, is not an http request on port 80 and was therefore intercepted. My sincere thanks to all who contributed to this thread... Gary, your last contribution put me well on track.

thanks again, RR
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