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Can't access

by misha219 / May 14, 2008 7:01 AM PDT

All of a sudden I cannot access and with IE7 or Firefox 2. Amazon and Paypal say it is not their problem, and I can access the sites on my other computers. Does anyone know of a fix?

I am on WindowsXP.

I appeciate your help!

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(NT) Clear your cache?
by Coryphaeus / May 14, 2008 7:51 AM PDT
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by misha219 / May 14, 2008 12:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Clear your cache?

Thanks for your response. I have cleared my cache, in fact I have totally cleared all the pesky files that hold internet related stuff.


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Any recent changes?
by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2008 7:59 AM PDT

Any recent changes? Firewall update, new firewall, hosts file update, any other security software installed and/or updated recently? Before you say no, be sure to give it a good long think, because if you deny making any changes, and that's the problem, it's only going to slow things down.

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Problem is
by misha219 / May 14, 2008 12:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Any recent changes?

Thanks for your swift response! The problem is that this started several weeks ago and I have cleared all my caches, and have run many spyware, malware, etc products trying to get this resolved. I can usually solve problems myself, but this one has me perplexed. It seems to me that because it is only on this computer, and it doesn't matter if I use IE7 or Firefox2 that it has to be registry related???


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Have You Tried a Registry Cleaner?
by Waldorf PC / May 24, 2008 2:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Problem is

Registry cleaner may do the trick. Try C Cleaner (formally known as Crap Cleaner) It is an awesome program.

Be where though that sometimes spyware and malware can hide themselves or disguise themselves as important programs. they do this by embedding themselves into the opperating system. In these cases, such removal programs will not detect it there.

I had one client that brought his computer that came to me as a result of a weird IE problem. He could access his mail only if he did not check the option for his computer to remember his user name and password. When he did check that option, he could not access it as a result of his web mail account not loading. I cleared his cash, cleared his SSL certificates, and I also cleared his cookies. I installed C Cleaner on his system and cleaned the system as well as the registry. Still the problem persisted. I ran all the spyware checks, nothing. The virus scan even came up clean. Yet, his computer was running slow. It was also telling him that he did not have enough memory to run certain applications and that some of the windows would need to be closed in order to proceed. Pop ups were coming up. This was how i knew the stuff was hiding in his system.

Nothing I did worked to try to rectify the problem, so I did the thing I do as a last resort. I reformatted the hard drive, and all works well.

I hope this isn't your senario though. I hope you can get this figured out. Just a word of advice.

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registry cleaner
by misha219 / May 24, 2008 10:12 PM PDT

Oh yes, I tried all the things you described in your message, and I was getting ready to reformat my HD. Then I decided to follow the guide on this forum. I had to run the stuff twice, but in the end it DID something that allowed me to access the 'host' file...there I found the bad boys. I had to turn off my anti-virus software in order to delete them, but now everything is great. Thanks for taking the time to answer!


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Generally that is a result of your ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 14, 2008 8:41 AM PDT

blocking it or the cache as others have indicated.

Tell us what happens if you click these two links -

This one is to Amazon -

This one is to Paypal -

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by misha219 / May 14, 2008 12:52 PM PDT

Well I was able to get on Amazon, but I get...

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

Most likely causes:
You are not connected to the Internet.
The website is encountering problems.
There might be a typing error in the address.

What you can try:
Diagnose Connection Problems

More information

when I try the paypal address



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Check your Hosts file
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 14, 2008 7:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Interesting...

The Hosts file, (named Hosts without any file extension), is a special text file stored in the folder called 'ETC' in;
C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC (if you are using Windows XP). You can read it by right clicking it and selecting Open, or Open with Notepad.

There may be other Hosts files on your computer and others in this folder. The ones in the folder will be backups, and will have file extensions like Hosts.txt, or Hosts.old, etc.

Browsers use this Hosts file to check for url addresses before searching the internet. If the browser finds an address in the Hosts file it will be redirected to wherever the entry sends it. Typically this is location which is your own computer. In effect this means the browser is redirected back to your own computer and so will display a blank page.

The Hosts file can be taken over by malware, but many anti-spyware applications will now lock the Hosts file and also will enter their own list of unwanted adware sites or other insecure sites.

If you check your Hosts file have a look to see if there are any entries for or If so, then the browser is being redirected to the location at the beginning of those lines.

If you find them you can edit them out, but beware. When you resave the Hosts file make sure you do not save as txt. Use Save As, and in the Save As type: pull down box select All files.

I hope that helps.


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problem access Amazon and other sites
by TStph / May 22, 2008 11:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Check your Hosts file

Thanks for your advice. I'm having this same problem.
I found the Hosts file which indeed was routing Amazon and a number of other sites back to my computer.

When I try and delete the references to Amazon and then Save As...all files I find that the problem continues.
When I open the Hosts file again (using Notepad) the references to the Amazon files (.com, .uk, etc) are still there.
It seems the saving process is not working.
(I do get a "do you want to replace) message when I'm saving the hosts file, so it seems to be working normally, just not saving the changes...

Any thought would be appreciated!

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 23, 2008 2:59 AM PDT

Try this.

Make a copy of this Hosts file and store it somewhere else. Your Desktop would be a good, temporary, place.

Now, using the original again, just make the changes, then in File click Save, then close down the file. Re-open and check; have the changes been saved? Does the file still have 'no extension'?

If that fails, you still have a copy of the original.


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Sounds like the HOSTS file is write protected ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 23, 2008 7:20 AM PDT

so try locating the file then right ckicking on it and select properties and remove the read only attribute. After it is no longer read only you can edit to your heart's content.

If that is not the case it would appear that you may have some malware that needs to be removed or some anti-malware utility that is configured to "protect" the HOSTS file - this would beed to be corrected.

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by misha219 / May 23, 2008 3:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Check your Hosts file

You were right. Malware took over my host file and both amazon and paypal were in that file. At first I couldn't save the file, but then found out that my anti-virus software was locking out any changes. I shut down the anti-virus long enough to edit the host file and now I'm back in business!!!! Thank you everyone for your help.


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(NT) Glad we could help, and thanks for reporting back.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 23, 2008 6:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Success
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Re: paypal
by Kees Bakker / May 14, 2008 7:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Interesting...

The immediately switches to a https-connection. This might indicate a problem with safe http and encryption. It might well be that IE and Firefox use the same basic settings and programs for that.
When you're on amazon and try to register or pay, do you have the same problem? Does your electronic banking work?

Things to try:
- In Control Panel>Internet options>Advanced check the security settings (in IE7, there's a SSL2.0 and a SSL3.0, try both).
- Download and run IEFIX


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Just for future reference
by Jimmy Greystone / May 23, 2008 12:15 AM PDT

Just for future reference, as I appear to have forgotten to include this when the discussion was fresh.

Paypal and Amazon are both going to be set up on load balancing servers, so those IP addresses are almost certainly just going to hit the load balancer, and probably won't be farmed off to one of the supporting servers. If one of the servers behind the load balancer had an external IP, and you knew what it was, that might work.

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For your future reference ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 24, 2008 4:48 AM PDT

load balancing still retains the shared IP addresses to allow DNS to continue functioning.

Accessing the IP address through HTTP will get you there although trying to do so via tracert on the IP address will be problematic if the address is shared.

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