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Toms Hardware looks like text based site on my PC

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September 21, 2010 4:51:19 PM

I am having an issue one one of my PCs and I have been unable to figure it out. The issue is that on this one PC, Toms hardware comes up looking almost entirely like a text based site. This applies in both Firefox 3.6.x (all latest updates) and in Internet Explorer (all Windows updates done). Running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit with ATI 5770 x2 in Crossfire. The strangest thing is that this is ONLY on my main PC. I have a HTPC that also runs Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit, my work PC that I am on now that is Win 7 Pro 64 Bit, and my media PC which is Vista Ultimate 64 Bit. What is even more strange is that this applies to most of the Western ( Western meaning like US, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, etc.) versions of Toms Hardware, but also happens on the Chinese version as well. Strangely enough, the Russian, Hungary, and some of the others seem to be OK.

Does anyone have any idea what might be going on? Very strange! Trying to post a screenshot below...



http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/7718/72536151.jpg
September 21, 2010 10:12:46 PM

We actually had a moderator report the same thing has been happening to him lately. The issue resolved for him for the time being, but this may well have something to do with bandwidth, or IP re-routing. To be safe, I'm going to send this up the food chain to development and make sure.
September 21, 2010 10:23:23 PM

That would be great. It is very odd to me at home since I have the affected PC, my Vista box, and one other of my Win 7 boxes all connected over a 50 Mbit connection through the same router. Just for some reason that one machine is wonky lol. I look forward to a solution.
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September 22, 2010 1:24:26 AM

Well, this is strange. I just got home from work. Did not try going to Toms Hardware first, just followed link to this message thread through my email, and now the Toms Hardware website is showing up as normal. One of those cases of the computer "fixing itself".
September 22, 2010 1:58:46 AM

We have discovered the reason for this issue.: Trend Micro Internet Security anti-virus, etc. software is blocking my access to the formatting server.

We are working to address this issue and remedy the problem. In the interim, for those with Trend Micro, the fix is simple. Just set the Trend Micro software so that it does not block m.bestofmedia.com.
September 22, 2010 2:10:56 AM

Are you sure that is it? I have Trend Micro Internet Security on my Win 7 problem machine, my Win 7 machine that works fine, and my Vista machine that works fine. Only one out of three had the issue.

I am happy to make any change needed, just want to make sure that with it only happening for 1 out of 3 of my machines that we are certain that is the issue :) 
September 22, 2010 1:06:36 PM

Not entirely, but that's the workaround we have for now while this is being worked on.
September 22, 2010 3:02:28 PM

mauskau said:
Are you sure that is it? I have Trend Micro Internet Security on my Win 7 problem machine, my Win 7 machine that works fine, and my Vista machine that works fine. Only one out of three had the issue.

I am happy to make any change needed, just want to make sure that with it only happening for 1 out of 3 of my machines that we are certain that is the issue :) 


Hi, I am the moderator Joe mentioned having this same problem, the only difference being it was happening on all my hard wired machines no matter the operating system or browser, even though my fix may not work for your situation, it may very well be THGF where the problem actually is, I'm going to share what I discovered with you.

Factors could be:
Does your router have a hardware firewall? >Mine does
Do your computers all have internet security including software firewall? >Mine Does

************************************************************************************************

Previously all my computers were ethernet hard wired connecting to the ISP Modem by a ethernet switch, my wife wanted wireless connectivity for her laptop throughout the house, so we got a wireless router with a built in switch to replace the existing hardwired switch.

Here's the problem I was experiencing, the firewalled router was conflicting with the software firewalled operating systems.

My solution was to simply reinsert the ethernet switch between the ISP Modem and the firewalled wireless router, move my PC hardwired connections to the switch, and THGF once again displayed properly.

Simple for me since I already had the switch in my possession, and all my computers are fully protected running Eset internet security.

*************************************************************************************************

I'm not exactly sure why this only happened at THGF, there still has to be a problem there to be resolved, because I had no problem what so ever, connecting to any other website I visited only THGF.

*************************************************************************************************

One other suggestion, if your software Internet Security has Firewall capability, make sure the Windows Firewall is shut down, you only want one firewall up and running.

*************************************************************************************************

I hope this additional information helps you, because from one that also has experienced this issue, it is very frustrating!
September 22, 2010 6:29:04 PM

In the effort to help the troubleshooting process, I will state my connection setup...

Frontier (formerly Verizon) FiOS internet connection with their supplied internet modem with built in router / hardware firewall. Wireless disabled.

Vista Ultimate x64 box connected directly to the router. Intel q9550, ASUS p5q Pro MB, 4 GB RAM, ATI 4850 graphics. Running Trend Micro Internet Security but not running the software firewall portion of it. Windows firewall is enabled.

Windows 7 Pro x64 box ( this is the one that was connecting to THGF strangely ) connected directly to the router. Intel Core i5 750, 6 GB RAM, ASUS P7P55WS Supercomputer MB, ATI 5770 x2 Crossfire graphics. Running Trend Micro Internet Security but not running the software firewall portion of it. Windows firewall is enabled.

Windows 7 Pro x64 box connected to a 10/100 network switch in the living room. This switch then connects to the router that the others are connected to. Intel Celeron e3300, 4 GB RAM, FoxConn barebones mini PC, ATI 5450 graphics. Running Trend Micro Internet Security but not running the software firewall portion of it. Windows firewall is enabled.

That is at home. At work, setup is as follows...

Windows 7 Pro x64 box connected through corporate WAN. Intel e6850, EVGA 680i board, 4 GB RAM, Nvidia 8800 GT graphics. Running Symantec Endpoint Protection. Windows firewall enabled.

Don't know if that will help. Hope to never see it happen again, though :) 
September 22, 2010 8:42:40 PM

This seems like a firewall/connection issue, but just to be sure, I notice that you have AdBlockPlus installed (do you have an edited host file also? I do) that may be blocking it. Try uninstalling and reinstalling AdBlockPlus. Also try and clear your temp files. This kept happening to me with Firefox 4 alpha a while back on a different site, and clearing the temp files fixed it.
September 23, 2010 12:41:04 AM

First thing I did was to clear temp and cache files. Tried disabling adblock plus, and then even tried in internet explorer (no add ons), both with the same results on the affected PC. I did not check the host file but will check that. As for the firewall / connection, three of the PCs are connected through the same firewall / connection, so I don't think it is likely to be that. At least the hardware firewall. I can check the Windows firewall on all of the PCs, but I would expect that if it was the Windows firewall either I wouldn't have been able to get to the website at all or it would still be happening since I have changed nothing at all. One morning it worked when I checked before leaving from work. Once I got home from work it was not working. Was very strange. Then a couple days later I get home from work and it wasn't working again. Again, very odd.
September 23, 2010 1:06:17 AM

Check your internet speed?
September 25, 2010 1:51:21 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Check your internet speed?


No speed issues on the internet connection. 50 Mbps FiOS connection operating normally. In any case, the site is still coming up fine now, so I guess this issue remains a mystery...for now!
October 14, 2010 11:05:12 AM

I get this A LOT with the UK site. One day it works, the other I get the same response as the OP. I'm on an ADSL connection which is as stable as a stable thing. I also wondered about ABP but trying the site at the same time with:

Chrome
Opera
IE8

All give the same response. I've been off this week and using the site during the day and getting a much more consistent site. I do not believe this is bandwidth at my end as other sites at the same time (I'm a heavy tab user) work without any issue at all.

It looks to me like the CSS Style sheet is not loading for whatever reason. I'd love to see the load logs on the server for the times I try and get this.
October 14, 2010 11:06:50 AM

Also you can forget hosts files. I make no changes at all between working and non working sites. If somebody could give me a list of IP's I don't mind running some tracert to see what we get.
November 14, 2010 6:50:51 PM

I'll ping this thread back to life. This past week I have tried to access Toms most evenings and got the same crap, text with no formatting as per the OP. Today is the first time in a week I've managed to get on.

Again - if the devs want some testing then let me know what you want.
November 14, 2010 7:15:48 PM

I discovered I had a failing switch in my network, it was intermittently screwing up, and a bad ethernet cable, if there's any weakness in your networks connecting at all THGF will start that screwing up wire look.

It only happens with THGF, I think it may have something to do with the signal power the servers are outputting, other websites pop right in, I'm hoping this new software change that's coming will help, or resolve this issue.

After replacing the ethernet cable and switch, I haven't had any problems but I'm not saying it won't happen again, I had already thought it was resolved with my other post in this thread.

Oh Audiovoodoo, Hows things been with you man, besides this THGF connecting, sometimes I really miss the Other Section dude!
I hope you and your family are doing well man! Ry
January 10, 2011 1:52:57 PM

I also have this problem.

I dont have Trend AV.

Also happens in Chrome.

Wierd, sometimes (seldom) the problem goes away.

This has been happening for more than a month now.
January 13, 2011 2:43:30 PM

Ditto here... Been happening for a long time.

Also I notice I cannot access media.bestofmicro.com

Just typing that on my browser does not work either.

I can use IE, Chrome, and I even created a Ubunto VM Workstation install, fresh with no Anti Virus and tried and also has this problem.
!