We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Chrome Opens With a Grey Page and Sad Face Fav Icon

27,688 Views
Last Modified: 2017-03-29
Hello Experts, I have a bit of a weird one.  For some reason whenever we open Google Chrome we get the problems described above.  Its happening on almost all the computers on the network that are part of the domain except for the servers themselves, including the DC, Exchange Server, and a Member file/database server.  We have tried a ton of things and I'll try to list them all below, I have also googled this problem but I can't find anything that pertains to our problem specifically.

Things we have tried so far that don't work:
Re-install, Chrome cleanup tool, disabling all extensions, making sure its up to date, using an offline installer, running with no-gpu option, disabling firewall, disabling anti-virus, uninstalling anti-virus, running as admin, running from an admin user (local and domain), turning off UAC, turning on UAC, disabling offline files, enabling offline files, removing and rejoining to the domain.

Things we have tried that will get Chrome to work but can't be used:
Running Chrome off the domain, running with no-sandbox switch, running in safemode with networking.

It would seem to me that the problem has something to do with some service running while the computer is in normal mode on the domain, but I haven't been able to figure out what it is, there is no event logs indicating why this is happening and I can't find any documentation on Chrome to tell me what conditions trigger the sad face state and what is different between no-sandbox mode and regular mode.  If I had something like that  I might be able to tell what the differences are and try to narrow it down, but at this point everything looks normal.

It is worth noting that on one computer I was able to get Chrome working again after i removed and rejoined it to the domain, but this didn't work on any of the other computers we tried it on.  I mirrored the computer that is currently working with chrome in msconfig and still nothing.  

Any help in where to look for clues to this, or if someone else has experienced this problem, some insight, would be greatly appreciated.
Comment
Watch Question

RaminTechnical Advisor
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
I'd suggest you uninstall Chrome. After this, you could complete the below steps one by one before you install Chrome again:

1.Download and run the Chrome Cleanup Tool and Malwarebytes to remove unwanted programs affecting Chrome. Reboot your system, and check if it helped.

2.Uncheck Use hardware acceleration (Menu > Settings > Show Advanced Settings > System menu).

3.Try installing Chrome offline using alternative Chrome installer.

4.If you’re using an antivirus or firewall software, let’s begin by ensuring Chrome is trusted or allowed by these programs. You could temporarily disable your antivirus or firewall to see if this resolves the issue.

Author

Commented:
Thank you for the reply, I have actually tried this already.
Devops Staff
Commented:
Unlock this solution and get a sample of our free trial.
(No credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
RaminTechnical Advisor
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Try to run it with these switches, and retest.
Chrome.exe --reduce-gpu-sandbox

Author

Commented:
@Champloo -
thank you for the reply, this is exactly what i have been looking for, some kind event logging.  Clearing the dnscache didn't help, but I am noticing that random letters are showing up in the host cache when i watch it.  I have placed a screen shot to see if that helps, in the mean time i'll continue researching.  I have scanned this computer with malwarebytes and it came up clean.

@Ramin -
Thanks but I have also tried that already.
weird_dns_cache_ss.png
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

Commented:
From your screenshot I notice 2 things. You are running that machine with the no-sandbox switch and also I see some errors with resolving some of the hosts. When you are seeing these errors on chrome, have you tried other browsers? Or perhaps try pinging some domains from the command line?

Author

Commented:
The no-sandbox switch is because thats the only way that chrome will open.  The hosts you are seeing aren't valid hosts, they are random letters that are just showing up there, possibly from the DNS server.  The one for chrome is showing up because i had typed that in myself and hit enter by accident when i was bringing up the net-internals, probably should have cleared the cache before posting that screenshot.  However all the valid domains listed there are accessible from other browsers and they are pingable.  This morning I am going to try some different DNS servers to see if that makes a difference.

Author

Commented:
Well after doing some research on this I am back at square one, but at least I have eliminated the random letters as a possible culprit or symptom.  It would seem that chrome sends out these three sets of random letters on startup to determine if the isp is doing DNS hi-jacking, so the random letters are actually by design....oh well back to the drawing board, or something... -.-

Reference: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=47262&can=1&q=random%20host%20names&colspec=ID%20Stars%20Pri%20Area%20Feature%20Type%20Status%20Summary%20Modified%20Owner%20Mstone%20OS
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

Commented:
That is unfortunate that was a dead end. Have you tried enabling the debug logging for chrome?

Author

Commented:
Yes, I enabled it late yesterday, i've been combing through it but I'm not familiar enough with the guts of chrome to understand everything in there.  I have attached a copy of the debug file from chrome.  the data from this debug came from opening chrome with no switches (except for -enable-logging), after it opened i opened a new tab, tried going to yahoo.com, and then closed it out.
redactchrome_debug.txt
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Fellow
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Commented:
I think I'd step back for a minute and check a few basic things:

1. Can you drop to a command prompt, and do:

  Ping www.google.com

 and get a response?

2. Review the event logs on the station, specifically application and system.   Look for errors.

Jim.
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

Commented:
He mentions above that he was able to ping domains and use other browsers so I don't think that is an issue. The other things that come to mind is perhaps there is something wrong with the user you are testing with, although you mention you tried different users.
I guess to try and troubleshoot some more information might help.

Did chrome work before on the domain machines and did it suddenly stop working for all users on the domain?

Is this the business version of chrome deployed as an MSI? https://enterprise.google.com/intl/en_version/chrome/chrome-browser/
If so, are there any device based or user based policies for chrome that are possibly enabled?

Author

Commented:
@Jim Dettman - Thank you for the reply, as Champloo states I have tried the basic troubleshooting such as pings and looking at the errors logs already, pings are normal and there is no errors logged.

@Champloo - Yes it did work before and it suddenly stopped working about a week or two ago.  The server had crashed but the AD database seemed to be unaffected so we migrated it over and seized the FSMO roles on a new DC, all was working fine until a day later we started getting reports of Chrome not working and the rest from that point you already know.  
Regarding your question about business version of Chrome I actually had no idea there was such a thing so if there is restrictions in that version that could be causing it then that wouldn't be it.

An update on the troubleshooting though, I have been able to get Chrome working consistently on two machines by doing what are seemingly random steps.  I know that there is something in here that is causing it to start working again but I don't feel right calling it a fix until i am able to narrow down what it is.  My best guess is that user profiles are corrupted, but I'm not sure.  Anyways the steps are below.
1. Uninstall Chrome from the computer
2. Move the user data folder under %userprofile% to a different location
3. Delete the chrome data under program files (x86) (if any)
4. Remove the computer from the domain
5. Rejoin to the domain
6. Login under a testing user I created in AD
7. Install Chrome
8. Test by browsing to different websites and closing and reopening on several different users

By following the steps above (except for 8 of course since its testing) I have been able to get Chrome working consistently on two different computers so far.  I am going to eliminate steps that don't seem necessary such as logging in as the test user first to try and get closer.  

Anyways, not sure what that sounds like to you.
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

Commented:
Chrome is installed per user in the application data folder usually and the debug log you posted shows your installation is pulling stuff from the user application folder. I do suspect something has gone wrong with your user profiles that is preventing chrome from working. The above linked MSI installs it at a system level perhaps you can give it a try.
You might also want to uninstall chrome at the user level first and remove the application data for chrome under that each user.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Some questions - some of which may have been asked answered but only had time to glance at question and some answers

1. Does IE work on these computers
2. Is this affecting all users
3. Have you checked your GPO's to see what they are pushing to the machine - this sounds like it might be corrupt profile but if the "corruption" is by a bad GPO your previous attempts at cleanup might have been bolting the door after the horse went awol
4. What happens if you double click a .html file from the file system - does it open
5. Are you using a proxy server

From what you describe I think we can rule out the basic installation. You have done cleanup, re-installed, and it happens to multiple users so I would say it is a safe bet that it is environmental. My gut says potentially GPO or Login script that modifies user profile on logon - so I would look there.
Gerwin JansenTopic Advisor
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2016

Commented:
Hi, can you try (for testing) whether a portable version of Chrome is working or not?

You can get Chrome portable here: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/google_chrome_portable

Author

Commented:
@Champloo - I'm not sure if you meant to put a link in your post?

@Julian Hansen -
Thank you for the reply
1. Yes IE Works
2. I've been told by the client its all users
3. I have checked and on a computer experiencing the issue its pulling only three GPO's, two of them are drive maps (using group policy preferences not net use), and a folder redirection policy.
4. .html files do not open in Chrome
5. No we are not using a proxy server

@ Gerwin Jansen -
Thank you for the reply
I will try that and report back.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Just to clarify
4. .html files do not open in Chrome

When you right click an .html file and say Open With Chrome - the file does not open?
Anthony GarciaDevops Staff

Commented:
The link is in my previous comment. Thebone I mentioned is the business version.

Author

Commented:
@Julian Hansen - correct

@Champloo - ah ok, I will give that a try.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Still sounds like local security - did you check both user and machine GPO's

Author

Commented:
I have no idea what caused this issue but the fix I came up with seems to be working.  My best guess is that some of the userdata for Chrome or the user profile itself was corrupted or otherwise inaccessible and it was causing Chrome to upchuck.  I still don't know enough about Chrome to say for sure though.

Thank you everyone for your replies.  Champloo was the most helpful and helped me to better understand how to troubleshoot Chrome and pointed me in the direction of a business version which I will be using in the future, so I'll award him the points.

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a sample view!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.