Computer Help forum

General discussion

Connected to Internet but no web pages

by Vicki Hepler / March 27, 2010 6:55 PM PDT

Hi, I hope someone can help me with my internet mystery. I have a Dell Vostro 200 desktop computer. It was new in August 2008 and runs on Windows XP Service Pack 3. It has a Core2Duo processor and 2Mb of RAM. It?s connected via an ethernet cable to a Linksys Wireless-N router, which is then connected to my HughesNet (satellite) modem.

I?ve never had any trouble with it and have been very pleased with it ? until a few days ago! I worked on the internet for about four hours, paying bills and posting some ads on craigslist. Then I turned off the computer and went out to dinner. When I turned the computer back on six hours later, I was surprised by the slow internet connection. I could not get any web pages to come up ? just progress messages saying, ?waiting for www???. I could not even do a speed test because I couldn?t get on the 2wire web page. I tried and tried in three browsers ? Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera (Internet Explorer quit working on both of my computers after a Windows Update one day last year). I rebooted the modem - I rebooted the computer ? no web pages. After a few hours of frustration, I turned on my new Dell laptop and got onto all my favorite web pages with no problem ? and satisfactory speed.

Even though I know that I made no changes to the computer?s configuration that day, I have done the following things ?

(1) I went to Control Panel / Internet Options and restored all the security settings to Default.

(2) I connected the modem directly to the computer, bypassing the router.

(3) I ran a virus check of the whole hard drive with Avast.

(4) I ran checks for malware with Spyware Terminator, Malwarebytes, aSquared, and Spybot Search & Destroy.

(5) Every night I use CCleaner to remove all temp files and clear cache, as well as creating a new restore point before I turn the computer off. I have tried to restore to several earlier Restore Points but got an error message that nothing was changed and it could not be restored.

The current situation is ?

(a) My laptop computer has no problem, so I know it?s not the modem, the satellite dish, or the router.

(b) Downloading an update from within the anti-virus and spyware programs presents no problem and seems to be as speedy as usual.

(c) If I reboot the computer and open up one of the browsers, I can download one page from any of my bookmarks, but then I cannot go to another page through any links on that page or through another bookmark ? until I reboot the computer again. And then, I will still only get the first page I click on.

I really need to be able to access the internet from my desktop computer. I hope someone out there will recognize this problem and offer a suggestion for it?s solution.

Thank you so much, - - - Vicki in California

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Connected to Internet but no web pages
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Connected to Internet but no web pages
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Connected to Internet but no web pages
by Cursorcowboy / March 27, 2010 10:17 PM PDT
Section one:

1. The article [Q870700] explains how to troubleshoot problems accessing secure Web pages with Internet Explorer:

? Network connectivity issues
? Look for third-party firewall or antivirus programs
? Turn off the pop-up blocker
? Delete the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder
? Configure security, content, and advanced settings in Internet Explorer
? Use the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) tool to scan all files that are protected by Windows File Protection (WFP)
? Third-party browser extensions
? Create a new user profile

2. Click Start, Run, type ncpa.cpl, and then press ENTER. Click the Local Area Connection in the right window pane and look to see what is displayed at the bottom Details of the first column of the Network Connections context window. You should see a connection, whether connected and firewalled protected, including the network controller and IP Address.

3. It the Details does not show a proper connection, what happens if you repair it? Right-click the Local Area Connection and select Repair which may or may not restores the connectivity of your network connection. Repair operations attempt to refresh the stored data related to the connection and renew registration with networking services. Repair is used to issue broadcast renew of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) address, flush the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), NetBIOS and domain name service (DNS) local caches, and reregister with Windows Internet Name Service (WINS_ and DNS.)

4. "You receive an error message in Internet Explorer: "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" (Q956196)."

5. The article [Q314067] explains the procedure that you can use to troubleshoot TCP/IP issues depends on the type of network connection that you are using and the connectivity problem that you may be experiencing. Use either the instructions in the topic Automated troubleshooting or simply click Start, Run, type netsh diag gui, and then press ENTER.

Note: As instructed, "look for any items that are marked in "RED", expand those categories with the small plus in front, and then view the additional details about what the testing showed" and if you have further question concerning "FAILED" items, included them in your subsequent posts -- any item(s) displayed can be highlighted and copied.

Section two:

1. Download and follow the instructions for "IEFix" - a general purpose fix for Internet Explorer (Win 98/ME/2000/XP) which:

a. Registers Urlmon.dll, Mshtml.dll, Actxprxy.dll, Oleaut32.dll, Shell32.dll, Shdocvw.dll, [Q281679].

b. Refreshes Internet Explorer using IE.INF method -- two additional notes FYI:

? "Unable to Install Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP (Q304872)"

? "How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP (Q318378)"

NOTE: Read and understand what RESETING Internet Explorer means in the article "How to reset Internet Explorer settings (Q923737)"

c. Initiates "SFC /Scannow" (Win2K&XP), [Q310747].

Caveat: Using IEFix myself, the utility does not suggest or require a reboot but I do suggest that you do. In addition, if an extra icon for IE is located on the Desktop afterwards you may delete it.

Note: Else, some of the core Internet Explorer "?.dll files" may not be correctly registered or need registering. First, verify the exact path of where the Iexplore.exe file is found and used as noted for this example. Second, click Start, Run, type exactly "(Hard Drive Letter):\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" /rereg and then either click OK or press Enter.

2. Reinstalling otherwise:

a. First, be familiar with "Information About Internet Explorer Setup (Q256340)". Second, click Start, Search, All Files and Folders, More Advanced Options, enter a check in Search Hidden Files and Folders, Search System Folders, and Search Subfolders. Type ie.inf in All or Part of the File Name box, select C: in the Look In drop-down menu or the letter of the hard drive containing the Windows folder, and then click the Search button. Find the file labeled ie.inf in the result pane. Right-click this file and then from the context menu, select Install.

b. The article [Q304872] states that when you try to install IE6, you may receive an error message that can occur if it has already been installed and the installation package does not contain any new customizations -- a customized versions of Internet Explorer 6 that was created by an Internet service provider, Internet content provider, or a corporate administrator that is installed instead of the default browser.

3. Fixing connectivity/WinSock problems:

a. WinSock XP Fix offers a last resort if your Internet connectivity has been corrupted due to invalid or removed registry entries. It can often cure the problem of lost connections after the removal of Adware components or improper uninstall of firewall applications or other tools that modify the XP network and Winsock settings. If you encounter connection problems after removing network related software, Adware or after registry clean-up; and all other ways fail, then "download" and give WinSock XP Fix a try, a 1,412kb file. It can create a registry backup of your current settings, so it is fairly safe to use.

b. "LSP-Fix" is a free utility that may be downloaded to repair certain problems associated with Internet software when you can no longer access Web sites due to bugs in the LSP software or deletion of software. LSP-Fix repairs the Winsock LSP chain by removing the entries left behind when LSP software is removed by hand (or when errors in the software itself break the LSP chain), and removing any gaps in the chain.
Collapse -
Connected to Internet but no web pages
by Vicki Hepler / March 28, 2010 7:45 PM PDT

As to your Section One, ##s 1 and 4 - I stated that I do NOT use Internet Explorer (because a Windows Update last year killed it and I cannot seem to reinstall even though I have downloaded a new install file from the MS website)- but I never used it anyhow because I hated it. As to ##s 2, 3 and 5 - I do NOT have a problem with the computer's connection to the internet, since other non-browser programs, including but not limited to Avast antivirus, SmartFTP, Malwarebytes, and RealPlayer can quickly upload and download files, there is no need to "repair" the connection or fiddle with TCP/IP settings.
As to your Section Two, ##s 1 and 2 - again, I am not using Internet Explorer.
As to #3, do you think I'm having a WinSock problem if my other (non-browser-related) apps have no problem with the internet connection? I have a Linksys Wireless-N router with hardware firewall; I use ZoneAlarm personal firewall, I have four anti-spyware programs that I use regularly and I never find anything untoward on the hard disk. Does the fact that my wirelessly connected laptop has absolutely no problems and the fact that the wired desktop computer ONLY has problems in the browsers still indicate that I need to run these two programs? Please let me know what I should do next, and please read everything I have written and don't just send me back "a form letter"!!! Thanks for your continuing assistance.

Collapse -
You are blowing off ...
by Edward ODaniel / March 29, 2010 2:31 AM PDT

trouble shooting recommendations without apparently trying them because a specific browser is mentioned - FORGET THE BROWSER and concentrate on the trouble shooting.

LSP Fix might well be all that you need to try (or we could step you through a considerably more labor intensive manual fix.

If you forgot how to get into your house and I suggested -
1 walk up to the front door
2 open the storm door
3 insert your key into the keyhole and turn it to unlock the door
4 Turn the door knob to open the door
5 walk into the house

Would you blow those off because you don't have a storm door and you have a digital lock and your door has a lever handle rather than a doorknob or would you follow the steps and modify the parts of the instructions as necessary to fit your specific situation?

Collapse -
Connected to internet but no web pages
by Vicki Hepler / March 29, 2010 6:50 PM PDT

I ran the LSPfix program; the results were ?No problems found. Repair summary: No changes necessary. 0 NameSpace provider entries removed. 0 NameSpace provider entries renumbered. 0 Protocol provider entries removed. 0 Protocol provider entries renumbered.?

I looked at Article Q870700 -

- Network connectivity issues - there are no issues, since I am able to upload and download files to/from the internet in many other (non-browser) applications.

- Look for third-party firewall or antivirus programs - my Avast antivirus program and ZoneAlarm software firewall are configured correctly and are not preventing the three browser programs (Firefox, Chrome, Opera) from connecting to websites.

- Turn off pop-up blocker (in ?Internet Explorer SP2") - I cannot open Internet Explorer, but I went to Internet Options through Control Panel and unchecked ?Turn on Pop-up Blocker? on the Privacy tab.

- Delete the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder - every night I do this by the use of the CCleaner program, which deletes cookies, temp files, history, cache, download locations, Index.dat files, and recently typed URLs in Internet Explorer and other applications.

- Configure security, content, advanced settings in Internet Explorer - again, I cannot open Internet Explorer, but I went to Internet Options via Control Panel and reset the Trusted Zone and Internet Zone to the default settings (even though I had already done this, as I originally explained).

- Clear the Secure Sockets Layer state and AutoComplete history - (note: it?s not just secure websites that cannot be accessed, but ALL websites) - I did these things, even though CCleaner mentioned above clears those areas and I never save passwords.

- Verify that Internet Explorer is configured to use SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 - again, I cannot open Internet Explorer, but I went to Internet Options via Control Panel and, on the Advanced tab, ?Use SSL 2.0" and ?Use SSL 3.0" were already checked.

- Use System File Checker tool to scan all files protected by Windows File Protection - I decided to delay this as I didn?t know long it would take.

- Third-party browser extentions - as above, I brought up the Internet Options window and, on the Advanced tab, unchecked the box by ?Enable third party browser extensions.? I did NOT restart the computer (or did it mean restart IE?), but I did click on Internet Explorer and, lo and behold, it opened, and it asked me if I wanted to install IE8 and import from Firefox, so I said yes. Then the page went blank and the status bar said, ?Waiting for The progress bar seemed to run all the way to the right side, but I waited almost ten minutes and the page it was waiting for never did come in - so, it was just a false alarm (just like a MS product to do that). I opened Chrome and tried to access a random website from my bookmarks, but no success. I decided to restart the computer, but nothing had changed.

So, I looked at Article Q314067, which is about TCP/IP connections -
- Out of curiosity, I tried the IPConfig tool to verify the configuration and it showed the IP address of my HughesNet modem. Then I used the Ping tool and it sent and received 4 packets with 0% loss. Not a connectivity problem.

All this time my laptop (wireless connection to the same router) was sitting right next to the desktop computer accessing the internet constantly without any problem, AND the desktop computer was able to upload and download files to/from the internet in other apps, such as SmartFTP, Spyware Terminator, RealPlayer, etc. So I again conclude that this is not a connectivity problem, but it is definitely a browser problem. Where is the key hidden? What could have happened that day I innocently turned off the computer and expected to work the same when I returned from dinner? This is crazy!

What can I possibly try next? I do not have time to reinstall Windows!!! Please help - Thanks so much.

Collapse -
Connected but no web pages
by Vicki Hepler / March 29, 2010 7:49 PM PDT

My connected-to-the-internet-but-no-web-pages problem is SOLVED.

For at least a year I had been running Avira Antivir antivirus program in full mode (including resident sheild), along with AVG-Free antivirus program with only the email scanner feature active. This had presented no problem. I can?t remember the exact day - but obviously it had to be the day that my problem began - I replaced the Antivir program with the Avast antivirus program. Evidently it does not work and play well with AVG, like the Antivir did.

Now that I have totally removed AVG, what will I use to scan the emails for viruses (I use the Mozilla Thunderbird email program and it doesn?t have this feature)?

Thanks for your help - now I can get some work done and get to bed earlier than 3:00 a.m.!!

- - - Vicki in California

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.