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can't access some web sites

by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 2:44 AM PDT

Hi there,

I have a Dell Dimension, with Windows XP 2nd edition (upgraded via internet), with AVG anti-virus and for some reason in the past few weeks, none of my three browsers - IE, Netscape, or Firefox - are able to access certain web sites (ex., a Christmas music site). I get "the page cannot be found" or similar errors. However, when I go to work and attempt to access the same sites they load fine. I noticed Windows Firewall was turned ON on my home puter and I've since turned it off....but still those same sites won't load.
Why is this happening?

thanx in advance

Lynda Happy

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2nd Edition?
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 3:03 AM PDT

When you say Windows XP 2nd Edition, do you mean SP2? And which version of XP do you have, Home or Pro?

How long have these certain sites been not loading? Are ANY sites loading at all? Did this start happening after updating something? Have you tried doing a System Restore back to when you know those sites were loading? The answers to these questions can tell us a lot.

I'm thinking you may have to check your security settings in Internet Options to see what that's set at.

You should have a firewall on your computer, but anything is better than Windows Firewall and there are plenty of decent and free ones to choose from.

Let us know how you're doing.

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requested info
by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 5:39 AM PDT
In reply to: 2nd Edition?

Hi there!

I have Win XP SP 2. Recently I upgraded Firefox and the update didn't go right the first time, as I ended up losing all my bookmarks. I had to then do it again and it installed right that time.

I'm able to access most sites, as far as I can tell there's only 2 that I visit that I'm getting the "page not found" errors with.

I also turned off System Restore because my puter is older and the hard drive is about 80% full.

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Different Browser
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 6:16 AM PDT
In reply to: requested info

You should try a different browser than what you have to see if it happens still. You said you use IE, Netscape and Firefox in your first post, but in your last post you seemed to point the fault more towards Firefox and the latest update for that.

I use Avant Browser and I think that would be a good one for you to try. If the pages don't load then you know it's something to do with more than the browsers, but if the pages load, then it must be those other browser or some shared connection between them that's causing the problem.

The reason I suggest a whole new browser is because all of the ones you have now were present on your computer when the problem started, so installing a whole new browser "might" help to better diagnose what's going on. Not saying it will, but it's worth a try.

I don't know why you would have lost all your bookmarks when Firefox update messed up, but if they were synchronized with IE, then they still should be on your computer in your Favorites folder. Have you checked there?

Just curious, how big is your hard drive and how old is the computer?

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about browsers
by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 9:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Different Browser

Well based on the results I've had, I don't want to try yet another browser just yet. I can access the sites thru a CGI-Proxy which is frustrating but at least a temporary workaround.

Yep, I checked the Favorites folder after the mess-up with the latest Firefox update and the Firefox bookmarks were wiped out....the IE ones were not.

The computer is about 5 years old. I'm not sure what year I bought it, I think it was 2002. The hard drive is only 80GB.

I did have to restore the puter a while back due to a virus...had to reinstall Windows and such, as well as re-install the SP2 Update package. But the sites I wanted to visit were accessible. It's only been like 2 or 3 weeks.

I just noticed System Restore was turned on so I may try to restore the puter. Will keep everyone posted. Happy

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That's good.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 3:39 PM PDT
In reply to: about browsers

I read all three of your latest posts and ecided to reply to this one. I'm glad you got it fixed and hope it stays that way and I'm glad you got a Firewall to help keep the baddies off your computer.

I think you'll like Avant Browser once you use it for awhile. One of the nice things about it has built-in popup blocker, ad blocker and any other blocker and they are easy to enable or disable. The Autofill I love as it saves all of your usernames and passwords and it's easy to access them if you need to edit or delete any, and it works better than Windows Autocomplete.

You can import all of your IE Favorites into Avant Browser's Bookmarks. What's nice is they will stay synced, so if you bookmark a page with Avant, it will be saved in your IE Favorites at the same time. If something happens with Avant or even if you uninstall Avant, you won't lose any favorites made with Avant.

I know I'm going on and on about Avant, but I really do like this browser...hehe Probably the most useful feature in Avant is, like Firefox and IE7, it's a tabbed browser and like Firefox, you can have more than one home page load when you start Avant.

The nice thing is, if you close Avant or it crashes or whatever, when you restart Avant, every page you had opened when it crashed or was closed will reopen. Actually if Avant crashes and you restart it, it will show a list of the pages that were open and you can uncheck any you don't want to reopen before actually loading anything, just in case one of those opened pages was the cause of the crash you can uncheck that page so that one doesn't reopen.

Anyway, it's a reall nice browser and I didn't mean to get carried away, so sorry about that. Ok, I will shut up now...hehe

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by PKsteven / October 22, 2007 3:34 AM PDT

can be a box load of reasons here. <<First of all, I hope you have "some" sort of firewall going, you need a firewall>>
First thing to do is scan for viruses, spyware, etc...Download Hijack this and run a scan as well. You may have an infection preventing you from browsing.

Once that is "hopefully" clear, make sure your browsers are not blocking the content, eg..pop up blockers and such, try holding down the Ctrl key when loading the site. It could be the host file needs clearing, or on other occasions, an MTU issue.

There are many things but since no browsers will view, it seems a deeper PC issue than browser issue. I would say it's the hosts file but here is an article on it and how to do a clean up.
Note this will do you no good if PC is infected and should be cleaned up first.


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by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 8:59 AM PDT
In reply to: There...

Here's what I've done so far, and observed:

I don't have a firewall installed yet but will probably do it at some point after this is resolved.

I do have Hijack This, which I've run and fixed the selected items. Still cannot access certain legitimate sites.
However....I tried to access those same sites using a CGI-Proxy site...and they came thru! I don't normally connect thru a Proxy server but I tried the CGI-Proxy site and amazingly had good results. Only problem is the CGI Proxy sites change constantly due to their being blocked by Network filters (none of which I have that I know of). I hope I can get this fixed before the latest site I'm using gets blocked.

Haven't had the chance to scan the puter for infections. Did check MSCONFIG file, didn't see anything added there but that doesn't mean anything.

Lastly, I accessed the Hosts file and the ONLY entry listed is "# Temporary HOSTS file". It wouldn't let me save the file or create a backup, giving me the "Cannot create the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\host file. Make sure the path and filename are correct."

Sounds more and more like a virus or a hack job to me, but maybe I'm wrong....?

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problem solved (I hope)
by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 11:11 AM PDT
In reply to: OK

I think I finally found the problem. It might have been a Layered Service Provider Problem.

How did I discover this? I did a search for "Corrupt Windows HOST file" found an article with some useful info:

I scrolled down and read about editing the HOST file, which as I mentioned I was unable to do.

Ran a virus check and system check. No problems.

I decided to install Avant Browser to see if the sites would load. They didn't.

I then decided to try repairing the Layered Service Provider and DLed & ran Winsockxpfix from the link provided. The program fixed the problem and the sites I was previously unable to access are now accessible via all 4 of my browsers without use of a proxy.

I will now be adding ZoneAlarm to my PC for firewall protection.

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by PKsteven / October 22, 2007 4:05 PM PDT

you got it going.


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to Comicfan and BradZachary
by Lvanett / October 23, 2007 9:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Glad

Forgot to do so earlier....thank you for pointing me in the right direction! I was able to find the problem a lot quicker thanx to your suggestions. Happy

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You're welcome.
by BrianZachary / October 24, 2007 6:54 AM PDT

Glad you got it fixed and hope it stays fixed I forgive you for spelling my name wrong...hehe

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by Lvanett / October 24, 2007 9:17 PM PDT
In reply to: You're welcome.

I apologize!! I meant to say BRIAN Zachary. LOL

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It's ok.
by BrianZachary / October 25, 2007 4:58 AM PDT
In reply to: oops!

Didn't really bother me. Don't worry about it, I've been called worse.

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(NT) NP you are very welcome.
by PKsteven / October 24, 2007 1:07 PM PDT
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by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 8:46 PM PDT
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Never heard of AVG anti-virus
by ssdtanay / October 22, 2007 6:30 AM PDT

I have never heard of this AVG anti-virus. What is it? Who made this? It it really good like Norton Antivirus?

AVG Anti-Virus[1] is a range of antivirus software for the Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms.History

AVG is produced by Grisoft, a privately held Czech company formed in 1991 by Jan Gritzbach. In early September 2005, a large stake in the company was bought by Intel Corporation.[2] On April 19, 2006, ewido Networks became a part of the Grisoft group.[3] On November 6, 2006, Microsoft announced that AVG Security products would be available directly from the Windows Security Center in Windows Vista.[4] Since June 7, 2006, the AVG software has also been used as an optional component of GFI Mail Security, produced by GFI Software.[5]

[edit] Versions for Windows clients

Grisoft provides a number of products from the AVG range, suitable for Windows 98 onwards. In addition to this, Grisoft also provides a Linux version of the software.

* AVG Free Edition, a freeware program which allows home users free use and updates. It is not legal to use these commercially - they are for personal, home use only.
* AVG Anti-Virus Professional Edition, this is the standalone Anti-Virus product designed primarily for home desktops or for small organizations using peer-to-peer networks. With Version 7.5, the SoHo edition has been discontinued per se, but has been replaced with the option of multiple licences for the Professional Edition. Available are 1, 2, 3, and 5 licences.
* AVG Plus Firewall Edition, adds a firewall to the Professional version. Is available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 licences.
* AVG Anti-Spyware Edition, protects against spyware. Based upon the ewido engine. Is available in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 75 and 100 licenses.
* AVG Anti-Malware Edition, has both anti-virus and anti-spyware facilities. Is available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 licences.
* AVG Internet Security Edition, contains anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware and anti-spam facilities. Is available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 licences.
* AVG Network Editions - With the release of AVG 7.5, there are now several Network Editions of AVG. These are AVG Anti-Virus Network Edition, AVG Anti-Malware Network Edition and AVG Internet Security Network Edition. The Network Editions allow for centralized deployment and management of the AVG products.
* AVG Rescue CD - a bootable variant of AVG Anti-Malware that can be run in Windows PE. This allows you to scan and remove viruses and spyware that may be stopping a PC from booting. Other tools include a registry editor, network mapping, ping testing and IP configurator.
* AVG Anti-Rootkit (Free) - a specific tool allowing to scan for and remove rootkits, but does not include realtime protection.

All commercial versions of AVG are compatible with the 64-bit edition of Windows. AVG Free is not compatible with Windows 64 bit. All editions run on Windows Vista. All standard versions of the AVG software are available on a trial basis. Each trial allows all users (including businesses and institutions) a 30-day trial period. After this time a fee is required, which yields a key that unlocks the program for continued use.

[edit] Versions for servers

Grisoft also sells AVG antivirus solutions for computer servers running both Linux and Windows:

* AVG Email Server Edition - Protects both server and mailboxes against viruses and spyware, and is licenced per mailbox.

* AVG File Server Edition - Protects the server against viruses, is licenced per connection to the server. This also covers web servers.
* AVG Linux Email Server Edition - Protects both server and mailboxes against viruses and spam. Licensed per mailbox or per server.
* AVG File Server Edition for Linux/FreeBSD - Protects the server againts viruses, is licensed per connection or per server.

The AVG Network Editions can also be licensed to protect File Servers.

* AVG Anti-Malware SBS Edition - a new licensing package, featuring a combination of the Anti-Malware Network Edition and the E-mail Server Edition.
* AVG Internet Security SBS Edition - a new licensing package, featuring a combination of the Internet Security Network Edition and the E-mail Server Edition.

[edit] AVG for Linux/FreeBSD

With Version 7.5, Grisoft is providing a solution for FreeBSD for the first time. Grisoft has incorporated spam detection in addition to virus detection for Linux/FreeBSD software.

[edit] Features

AVG features most of the common functions available in modern antivirus programs, including periodic scans, scans of sent and received emails (including adding footers to the emails indicating this), the ability to "heal" some virus-infected files, and a "virus vault" in which infected files are held.

AVGADMIN, a remote administration tool, allows software to be managed centrally on networks.

[edit] AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

AVG Free Edition has spearheaded the company's growth. According to Grisoft, over 40 million users have AVG Anti-Virus protection, including users of the Free Edition.

The AVG Free Edition is similar to the Anti-Virus Professional product, but does not have all the features. It lacks the fine-grained control over how scans are conducted, and it receives lower priority (than the paid-for products) when downloading updates from Grisoft's servers. The language interface cannot be customised, and English is the only available language.

Technical Support is not available for the Free Edition, whereas support is available to users of the Professional, paid-for products.

Grisoft announced that AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 7.1 ended in February 18, 2007. Users were required to upgrade to AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 7.5. Users are being encouraged to move to the commercial version of AVG, particularly the AVG Anti-Malware and AVG Internet Security products as they protect against spyware as well as viruses. In the last two years, the increase in infections has been spyware rather than viruses. AVG Anti-Virus Free (including the 7.5 edition) does not include a firewall, anti-spam nor detect spyware. However, Grisoft does provide a free version of AVG Anti-Spyware.[citation needed]

[edit] AVG Anti-Spyware
AVG Anti-Spyware Free Edition running on Windows XP
AVG Anti-Spyware Free Edition running on Windows XP

On April 19, 2006, it was announced that Grisoft had acquired the German Anti-Malware company ewido Networks. ewido Anti-Spyware was later renamed to AVG Anti-Spyware. A freeware version is available for private non-commercial use only and with lower speed updates.[6]

[edit] Memory footprint

One feature of AVG that makes it popular with its users is its conservative resource requirements and does not slow it down noticeably, unlike some other security software products. Resource use is low; the Professional Edition requires 16MB RAM and 20 MB of space on the hard drive. The Internet Security version requires 64 MB RAM. [2]

[edit] Certifications and awards

AVG Anti-Virus has won numerous awards. Certifications that the software holds include the Virus Bulletin VB100% Award - which is awarded to products, which manage to detect 100% of the viruses "In the Wild", without false alarming [3]. It is also 100% Detection Rate certified by independent ICSA Labs, West Coast Labs Checkmark Level 1 certification and T

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Wow, that was so unnecessary.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 7:28 AM PDT

ssdtanay, that's all fine and good and you are entitled to your opinion, but don't you think that was a bit drastic? It looks like you copied and pasted all of that from a webpage. It would have been easier to just post the URL.

That's fine if you don't want to use AVG Antivirus. That's your priveledge. I have been using AVG Antivirus for awhile now and have had no problems with it. I also use Spyware Doctor, but that's for spyware, adware and the like, not detecting or eliminating viruses. They are two totally different types of programs that have nothing to do with each other and there's no comparison between them.

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ssdtanay, FYI
by BrianZachary / October 23, 2007 7:39 AM PDT

I forgot to mention Spyware Doctor I have I got through Google Pack a while back. You are wrong about Spyware Doctor and Norton you get with Google Pack. They are not trial versions, but they are not the full versions either.

Spyware Doctor is a Starter Edition and there are some features that are unavailable unless you upgrade to the paid version. Norton is the Security Scan, but not the normal paid version, there are still some features unavailable until you upgrade. I had Norton from Google before but I didn't like it because it isn't as good as some of the free antivirus programs out there, like AVG.

I just wanted to give a better understanding of the programs you recommended.

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(NT) Um...the missing LINK?
by PKsteven / October 22, 2007 4:07 PM PDT
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well I have.
by Lvanett / October 22, 2007 8:45 PM PDT

I've used AVG anti-virus for years and I still find it does just as good of a job as it ever did. I haven't needed tech support for it, only support as to how to remove certain viruses like the nasty "ntos" one I got a few months back. (That's the one that required me to reinstall Windows XP and SP2 all over again.)

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So AVG worked.
by BrianZachary / October 23, 2007 7:25 AM PDT
In reply to: well I have.

I'm assuming that AVG detected that virus and that's how you knew you had it on your computer. Exactly what an antivirus program is for. It's too bad you had to reinstall Windows because of it, but at least it didn't damage your computer beyond repair.

Do you know how the virus ended up on your computer? I'm asking so that the rest of us will know to watch out for whatever gave it to you.

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info on ntos.exe virus
by Lvanett / October 23, 2007 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: So AVG worked.

I'm not sure how I got the ntos.exe virus....I believe I got it while trying to download a program, but I'm not sure.

I got the instructions on how to remove it here:

One of the reasons I had to reinstall Windows XP was because I had tried to remove the program and it wouldn't let me....because the virus infected some critical processes (Winlogon.exe and Svchost.exe) I couldn't remove them. Instead stupid me removed one of those files listed instead, which meant I couldn't get on the puter: It would boot up, then shut down. Also, because I didn't have Recovery Console installed at the time, I found the only way to install it would be to uninstall SP 2, reinstall Windows XP (luckily I had the Operating System disk), and somewhere between doing that and re-upgrading to SP 2 I installed Recovery Console. THEN I was able to remove the files it created (ntos.exe, and a couple of files associated with a Wnspoem folder it also created). After doing that I had to remove registry entries as well.

It may not seem like much of a virus, but if you're not careful it could cause some real problems.

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forgot to add
by Lvanett / October 23, 2007 9:42 AM PDT
In reply to: info on ntos.exe virus

part of the reason I had to reinstall Windows XP was because I accidentally deleted one of the critical files.

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