Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Google Sites Won't Open

by xelaw / January 5, 2009 2:38 AM PST

I am running WIN XP SP3, For the past few days (since January 1) I have been having BIG problems getting into all kinds of Google sites, including Gmail. Normally I would post this problem on a Google forum, but I can't get into their sites for posting, so I'm posting it here,

The problem was first noticed when trying to get into Gmail, which didn't show up. I could search for something in Google and get a search list, but none of the links ln the list would would work. I could not get into my iGoogle page either. In Firefox 3.0.5 I would always get a blank page, and in Internet Explorer 7 I would get "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage". All other sites except for Google work fine.

The problem is on my PC and my wife's laptop - we are both on the same router and modem (hers is a wi-fi connection). So I took out the router and connected the cable modem directly to my PC - problem remains.

So I called my ISP. They said they tried using my user name to go to Google sites and had no problems, so they weren't much help.

I then removed all the Google cookies in FF, and lo and behold - I had GMail and Google search OK. So I went to my wife's laptop and did the same thing, and I got Google search, but no Gmail. I went back to my PC, and closed the Gmail, and tried opening it up again - no luck. No Gmail. (By the way GMail notifier works -it shows that I have Gmail waiting.)

I didn't find a virus or spyware (unlikely to have the same bug in 2 browsers on two computers.) I also tried a couple of Gmail proxy sites - no luck.

So the situation now is:
*Google Search - works
*Gmail - can't get it. Had it immediately after I removed Google FF cookies, and when ISP told me to lower security settings in IE, and maybe another couple of times at random in last few days, but in general, no Gmail on either computer.
*Google Maps - I get it, but can't get to the "My Maps" feature in FF. I removed the cookies, and I can't get to the Google sign in page, In IE, where I didn't remove cookies, I can get to "My Maps"
*iGoogle - can't get to my page
*Google Forums - can't get to a page from which I can post.
*Google Earth - works fine

I can Ping Google.com and Gmail, and get replies.

Sounds like a connection problem at Google? My ISP says no, and proxy sites don't work. Has Google been monkeying around with new versions lately? If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Google Sites Won't Open
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: Google Sites Won't Open
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 -
Just A Thought... Tried Reinitializing Your Modem..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 6, 2009 2:13 AM PST

First, turn OFF the computers.. Next, turn OFF the router, next turn OFF the modem.. Leave everything off for 10 minutes, yes 10 minutes.. Next, turn ON the modem, let it initialize for 2 minutes.. Then turn on the router, wait another 2 minutes.. Then turn on the computer and wait for it to connect.. Now clean out all the files from "C:\Documents and Settings\Yourusername\Local Setings\Temp" folder and the files from the "Temporary Internet files" folder. Now attempt to reach your Google sites.

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
No Joy!
by xelaw / January 6, 2009 3:42 AM PST

Grif Thomas, thanks, but I'm afraid that's not the answer. I've tried resetting modem and router and turning off PC before, possibly not in the sequence you mentioned, so I tried it again as per your instructions. The extended modem off time apparently made the ISP supply me with a new IP address, but didn't get me any better connectivity with Google.

My System apparently doesn't have the same path to cache and temporary internet folders as yours, but I cleaned these out from Tools in FF and IE (as I have done a number of times in the past few days), and it makes no difference.

Collapse -
Paths Are The Same, You Need To 'Show All Files'
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 6, 2009 6:40 AM PST
In reply to: No Joy!

..in the Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/View section, CHECK the box next to "Show hidden files and folders" and UNCHECK the box next to "Hide Protected operating system files" and "Hide extensions for known file types", then click on Apply, then OK. You'll then be able to see the C:\Documents and Settings\Yourusername\Local Setings\Temp folder.

And since you're still not able to see Google stuff, I start doing further troubleshooting.. Check the HOSTS(no file extension) file which resides at C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc.. (You'll need to have performed the "Show all files" steps above before you can see the HOSTS file.. Once you find it, rename it to HOSTS.txt and double click on it to view its contents.. If you find Google.com in there, delete that particular entry, save the change, then rename the file back to HOSTS, without a file extension.

I would also update my version of Java, etc. then check for spyware which might be causing the issue. A good, free spyware removal tool is at the link below.:

SUPERAntispyware Removal Tool

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
Still not working
by xelaw / January 6, 2009 10:39 PM PST

Grif Thomas, thanks again. You were right about the path. I had "Show all files and folders" turned on; it's just that I looked in the wrong place. Sorry

In any case, I emptied out the temp folders, etc. No luck. I had already looked in the Hosts file a few days ago. Google isn't there. I also updated my version of Java. Again no change.
I had run Windows Defender, AVG Spyware, and Norton AV (all updated) on my PC a couple of days ago, and found nothing much. I ran the anti-spyware you recommended, and it found a few trojans and some tracking cookies, which I quarantined. I rebooted, tried Gmail - no luck.

I then did something I should have done a couple of days ago. I took my wife's laptop to a cafe that has a hotspot. I got into GMail with no problems (with FF), and read her mail. I closed the laptop, took it home, and opened it up, and tried getting into GMail, and it worked. I then went to my PC and tried GMail - no luck! Went back to the laptop, closed FF, opened it again, and tried to get GMail - this time no luck.

I then spent a couple of hours with Technical Support at my IPS, trying to convince them that it's a problem with connectivity to Google. They did all sorts of traces, and changed all sorts of settings for my modem and router (including my password) but they couldn't find anything. At their end, everything worked. I think we both gave up out of exhaustion.

That's the situation now, except that I think I've regressed - now Google search doesn't work correctly on FF. Sometimes I get nothing when I search, sometimes the search list but the links don't work. In IE, Google search seems to work OK. All other sites work OK on FF and IE.

If you have any more suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.

Collapse -
Seems Like You've Narrowed It Down..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 7, 2009 2:21 AM PST
In reply to: Still not working

It does look like your particular internet connection is causing the problem.. Now it becomes a troubleshooting procedure to eliminate possible culprits.. I'd start with the free stuff first.. I'd find updated firmware for your router and modem and install it.. If that doesn't fix the issue, press the reset button to eliminate all settings from the router/modem and start from scratch..

If that doesn't get it done, I swap in a new modem to see if the current one is faulty..

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
And Since You DID Find Trojans...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 7, 2009 2:25 AM PST
In reply to: Still not working

Please try these instructions and a second free spyware removal tool from the link below.. Remember, although it may take quite a bit of time, run these tools on BOTH of your computers, laptop and desktop, repeatedly till you find nothing on both..

On a friend or family member's computer, download the Malwarebytes installer and update files from the links below, copy them to a CD or flash drive, then transfer the files to the problem machine and use them.. I use the sites below to download the installer file and the manual updater:

Once downloaded and before transferring them to the problem machine, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Installer Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)
http://www.besttechie.net/tools/mbam-setup.exe

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam/database/mbam-rules.exe

In a few situations, in order for the program to run, it was also necessary to rename the main "mbam.exe" file also after installing it.. It resides in the C:\Programs Files\Malwarebytes Antimalware folder.

Hope this helps and let us know more.

Grif

Collapse -
I have same issue
by Festerf / January 7, 2009 2:47 AM PST

I have a laptop which has the very same problem but i have long ruled out any ISP trouble.. the problem begin a few days ago and only effects gmail. i cant open the sign in page for it or the sign in page on the Google page.. i have tried it on different internet both in work and home and mobile internet it wont open at any location but my pc at work and home has no problem with gmail..

virus scan and spy ware scans did bring up some a Trojan.. that's been removed.. still the problem is there.. and i really am running out of ideas

Collapse -
Thanks for the help
by xelaw / January 7, 2009 3:17 AM PST

Grif Thomas, again thanks for your help. As I said, I don't think the router is at fault, since removing the router didn't change the way the system rejects Google sites at all. As for updating the modem, it was provided by the cable company, and it doesn't have any firmware updates.

My present thought is to change ny ISP. I have to leave on a 2 week trip in a couple of days (I'm not taking the laptop, I'm taking a flash memory), so I won't be able to do this, or try the spyware removal tool you mentioned till I get back. I had hoped to resolve the problem before I left, but unfortunately, there's not enough time.

Festerf, are you able to get into Google Gmail Help and ask them any questions? I can't - have you given it a try - I once had a different problem with Gmail, and they answered me and gave me a solution.

Collapse -
Afraid not
by Festerf / January 7, 2009 6:44 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for the help

No i am unable to get to the log in page at all so cant get to the help section. I also noticed while trying Google Chrome to see if it would help, when i click any link to do with Google Chrome i get rederected to Google home page..

such strange things going on AVG, Malwarebytes, spybot all show system as clean

Collapse -
Hmmm...You Both Have Google Chrome??
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 7, 2009 8:04 AM PST
In reply to: Afraid not

Just curious whether Chrome has something to do with the issue.. No reason for it but it is curious??

On a computer without Chrome can you log in to Gmail or use Google sites?

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
Don't have Google Chrome.
by xelaw / January 7, 2009 2:17 PM PST

Nope. I don't have Google Chrome, and I don't intend to install it until my present problem is straightened out.

Collapse -
No Chrome
by Festerf / January 7, 2009 8:52 PM PST

No i have both IE and Firefox on the laptop with the problem.. i only tried to install Chrome to see if it would help but as i mentioned above.. When i click on any Chrome link i get sent straigh t to google homepage..

Has to be the strangest problem i have seen in years.. it leads me to think there is still some forum of infection on the lappy but after 2 scans of 3 different programs the laptop shows up clean..

Collapse -
Facebook
by Festerf / January 7, 2009 9:45 PM PST
In reply to: No Chrome

Sorry guys i think i may have got ahead of myself.. I have just noticed the problem shows up on facebook when clicking the login section i get redirecte to google home page also..

so armed with more problems hopefully it well help locate the problem

Collapse -
Just For Grins... Please Try...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 8, 2009 3:15 AM PST
In reply to: No Chrome

...searching the computer for the mentioned file in the link below:

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?forumID=32&threadID=322286&messageID=2939683&tag=forums06;posts#2939683

Read the discussions mentioned carefully and be sure to identify the correct problem malware file.. IF it's there, is will reside at : C:/Windows/system32/wdmaud.sys
___________

And if you haven't used BOTH Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware, please use the instructions below to scan your computer:

On a friend or family member's computer, download the Malwarebytes installer and update files from the links below, copy them to a CD or flash drive, then transfer the files to the problem machine and use them.. I use the sites below to download the installer file and the manual updater:

Once downloaded and before transferring them to the problem machine, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Installer Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)
http://www.besttechie.net/tools/mbam-setup.exe

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam/database/mbam-rules.exe

Next, download the SuperAntispyware program and the manual updater from the links below. After running the Malwarebytes tool above, if you still can't download and install it directly from the problem machine, download it on a friend or family member's computer as well.:

SuperAntispyware
http://www.superantispyware.com/

SuperAntispyware Manual Updater
http://www.superantispyware.com/definitions.html
____________

In a few situations, in order for the program to run, it was also necessary to rename the main "mbam.exe" file also after installing it.. It resides in the C:\Programs Files\Malwarebytes Antimalware folder.

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
It will be interesting to see
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 8, 2009 4:52 AM PST

if this is the same problem.

Sorry Grif, I've been tracking this discussion because I have seen a number of such problems reported lately, and one in particular in V&S about a member unable to log into Dell's secure payment page that we have not been able to resolve.

I know that is not the same as Google, GMail and Yahoo, but some of the symptoms seem similar, and this file wdmaud.sys may be a common cause if it is elsewhere than System32\Drivers directory.

But I'm holding off for the moment until I see more.

Mark

Collapse -
Mark, We're Dealing With It On the McAfee Forums Also
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 8, 2009 12:23 PM PST

Seems like wdmaud.sys is hiding from the normal scanning process, much like a rootkit.

We'll see.

Grif

Collapse -
I found wdmaud.sys
by xelaw / January 8, 2009 2:48 PM PST

I found wdmaud.sys in my /system32/drivers folder. What does this mean? According to Windows Explorer, it was last modified on 13 April 08, long before I started having any problems.

Collapse -
Xelaw, That File Is LEGITIMATE.. Don't Delete..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 9, 2009 7:16 AM PST

If you read my post in the thread mentioned in my earlier link, you'll see the "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\wdmaud.sys" file is intended to be there.. It's only a problem if the file resides in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, exactly as Mark mentioned below.

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
In reply to - I found wdmaud.sys
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 8, 2009 6:52 PM PST

I've started this new sub-thread as forum limitations restrict sub-thread lengths.

xelaw, I am sure Grif will confirm this, but if that wdmaud.sys file you found is in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers, then it is probably the right file and is needed by the system to work correctly. Don't delete or modify its name.

It was only if you had found another version of wdmaud.sys elsewhere in the System32 folder itself, (and not in the Drivers sub-folder), that this could have been a cause for your problems.

Hopefully Grif will have some other ideas for you, as this disabling of Google search seems to be a growing problem.

Mark

Collapse -
Another File/Driver To Check For..TDSSserv.sys
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 9, 2009 7:19 AM PST
Collapse -
bogus websites - wdmaud.sys file the culprit apparently
by njwxgirl / January 13, 2009 8:39 AM PST

I had a google problem. Windows XP sp3, firefox. Using google in the search box at the top of the browser gave me a page full of bogus links. The supposed web page titles and summary info looked legit, but the links didn't match.

On the AVAST forum someone said they had success fixing the problem by removing a bogus file:

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\wdmaud.sys


I had this file, renamed it, and that seems to have cleared up my problem.

Collapse -
Monster Market Redirect
by Festerf / January 13, 2009 6:25 PM PST

I discovered the problem i had was with a monstermarket redirect which was not removed correctly on the first scan of anti spyware software... after running combofix all was sorted Happy thanks for your time guys

Collapse -
And Did You Read The Earlier Post From THIS Thread
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 14, 2009 12:07 PM PST
Collapse -
Spam Search Results ob Google & Yahoo caused by "wdmaud.sys"
by PsychoRocketRanger / February 6, 2009 8:23 AM PST

I was having the same trouble...

I'm on Windows XP Pro SP 2, using Firefox 3.0.6

When I used Google, Live, or Yahoo searches, I'd get link results like: police-xp.com, toseeka.com, antivirus-scan.com, antivirus.com, moxiesearch.com, couponmountain.com, monstermarketplace.com, areaconnect.com, searchexplorer.com, and info.com.

When I'd search using Blackle (an energy-efficient version of google), Gigablast, Altavista, and Lycos I get the normal link results that I am used to; sites like: law.cornell.edu, usconstitution.net, wikipedia.org, house.gov, law.emory.edu, archives.gov, findlaw.com, gpoaccess.gov, and memory.loc.gov...

I'd also get normal search results from Google & Yahoo IF & ONLY IF I went through a proxy server

To add to my wonderment, when I searched Google, Live, or Yahoo and got the weird links, I'd still seem to get the proper site descriptions....

I had been having this problem since Google's "This Site May Harm Your Computer" issue on Saturday, Jan. 31st, for which I was up and had experienced first-hand, though I am not sure if they're related, but it sure is suspicious, as I had tried clicking Google's info link about "This Site May Harm Your Computer", but that page would never load, it would just go to a blank screen. When I clicked on the website result link, instead of taking me to my desired website it would take me to the info page that previously would not load, but would offer me no way of getting to the actual site. About 30 minutes later that issue was gone, but I then started getting the bogus link results...

I cleared my history, cookies, & cache. I made sure that I had the most up-to-date installs on my OS, browser & its plugins. I scanned my PC with AVG, TrendMicro, Adware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and with HijackThis... they all found nothing...

Totally frustrated, I downloaded Norman AntiVirus and scanned with that and it found that "C:\WINDOWS\system32\wdmaud.sys" was infected with W32/Agent.LED. Norman deleted the file, and all was well after that.

As an example of the problem I created a pic with screen shots here: http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u81/stormyygirll/All-ConstitutionSearch2-5-09-1.jpg
It shows, side-by-side, my Blackle, Google, & Yahoo search results for "U.S. Constitution".

Collapse -
Yep, Previously Suggested In This Thread..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 6, 2009 11:04 AM PST
Collapse -
My Problem is Solved
by xelaw / February 7, 2009 7:31 PM PST

Since I started this thread, I feel obliged to state how MY Google problem was finally solved:
The cable company technician came today and replaced the modem with a new one, and now all Google sites seem to work. Still don't understand
how a faulty modem can discriminate against just Google, but it
happened.

Collapse -
I know this is old but...
by BemyNerd / November 15, 2010 2:19 AM PST
In reply to: My Problem is Solved

When I ran into this problem, the machine was running AVG. I simply uninstalled AVG and reinstalled AVG and the problem wen't away.

Collapse -
How to Make Chrome work on Windows XPS3
by miglenda / April 25, 2009 3:33 AM PDT

Hi..No doubt you have this resolved by now as it is April /09

If not..This will fix it..Thankfully, someone found out that it was Ctfmon.exe that was causing Chrome to always fail for some reason. So, all you need to do is to simply disable the process and Google Chrome would work just fine. The trick was how that can be done. Again, that merely requires you to check out the Microsoft's support site and the instructions are all spelled out there. In fact, it tells you how to remove Ctfmon.exe entirely.

But before removing it, you might want to check and see if you really need the process or not. Now according to Microsoft, ?Ctfmon.exe monitors the active windows and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies.? Sounds to me like something I don't need at all (thankfully!)

And apparently, all you need to do is to unregister a couple of dlls, reboot and you'll then be able to enjoy using Chrome! Yup. A very simple and painless fix indeed!


Run Regsvr32 /U on the Msimtf.dll and Msctf.dll Files
1. Click Start and then click Run.
2. In the Run dialog box, type the following command:
Regsvr32.exe /u msimtf.dll
3. Click OK.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the Msctf.dll file.
5. Reboot.

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

Tech explained

Do you know what an OLED TV is?

CNET explains how OLED technology differs from regular TVs, and what you need to know to make the right shopping decision.