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Strange networking problem - HELP!

Last response: in Networking
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December 22, 2008 4:28:23 PM

OK network gurus, here's an unusual problem that's I've been working on for 3 days. I have an eMachine running Windows XP Home Edition. This system has been functioning in my current configuration for several years. The current symptoms are that it will connect via my browser (IE7) to the internet after booting and browser works OK for a few minutes, then it will just stop communicating. No error messages are reported, it just fails to receive any information from any webpage. If rebooted, it will reproduce the problem repeatedly.

Configuration: Connected via integrated Intel Pro/100 VE network adapter to Linksys router with cable internet connection via Surfboard modem
(Note: several other computers in household share same router and work fine)

Background: Problem originated after uninstalling CA Internet Security Suite, uninstall was messy as it did not uninstall cleanly and had to be removed with 3rd party tools. This originally broke all network connectivity, but I was able to restore the connectivity I currently have by uninstalling and reinstalling the network adapter, then resetting Windows firewall setting to default. I was then able to connect to the internet long enough to use CA's online removal tool that is supposed to remove all traces of the Security Suite and clean up the registry. I also made sure that I have all current Windows Updates, scanned for viruses, malware, and spyware.

Current state: As mentioned previously, I can connect via my browser to websites briefly each time I reboot (about 2-3 minutes) and it works normally, then just stops being able to receive any new website data. Strangely, I use Skype and it's connectivity continues to work. I have run the Network Diagnostics and referenced all related material on Microsoft's website for resolving networking/TCP IP issues. Network Diagnostics and manual ping tests reveal the following:

loopback ping test to 127.0.0.1 succeeds
ping test to local host (192.168.1.100) succeeds
ping test to default gateway (192.168.1.1) fails (timeout)
ping test to remote hosts fails (timeout)

Remedies tried thus far:
Updated network adapter driver with latest version, then rolled it back to previous version once it had no impact
Reset TCP/IP using netsh command
Reset firewall to default settings (Windows firewall is currently off)
Tried different ethernet cable
Manually loaded default gateway and DNS servers into TCP IP properties
Tried all steps outlined in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314067/

Does anybody have any additional remedies to try?

Thanks.
December 23, 2008 5:07:17 PM

OK, here's an update after 2 more days of working on this problem. I worked with CA's tech support and they provided a script to completely remove all traces of CA Internet Security Suite. However, I now have no Browser connectivity (neither IE7 nor Firefox) will return a webpage (timeouts). Network diagnostics now completes with no errors. Ping works to local and remote hosts. Skype works. Windows Messenger is able to sign in successfully. Just no browser access. The CA guy says it is no longer a CA problem (even though I'm pretty sure that the failed removal process caused the problem). He feels like it is a DNS issue, although flushing the DNS did not help.

I'm still looking for HELP !! I'm focusing now a DNS resolutions.

Thanks for any advice.
December 23, 2008 10:24:13 PM

Additional update:
I have also reset Winsock using netsh command, and have run WinsockxpFix.exe. DNS has been flushed and restarted. Still no internet connectivity.
Related resources
Anonymous
December 24, 2008 12:03:45 AM

By any chance, did you try to install SP3 and it failed? Had a computer do the same thing with a failed SP3 update.

Grumpy
December 24, 2008 1:45:16 AM

Grumpy,

No, I've been running SP3 for several months and had no problems with the install.
December 24, 2008 4:21:51 PM

More information on my difficult problem

I have also downloaded and run ComboFix.exe this morning - no luck.

Additionally, I have booted up a copy of UBUNTU and the internet works fine, so that pretty well eliminates any hardware problem.

Still frustrated and running out of ideas.
Anonymous
December 24, 2008 6:14:41 PM

Just backup your data and use the recovery partition to reload Windows.

Grumpy
December 24, 2008 7:49:21 PM

Grumpy,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I know I can do a complete reload, but from what I understand I'll still have to reload all the applications and configurations. The instructions say it will copy all your data, but does a clean install then you basically have to start reloading and updating from scratch. Then if I don't get my wife's machine back the way she had it, I'll be in trouble...

I'm holding off on that until I reach the end of my patience.

I'm currently trying to get my hands on a Windows XP Home Edition CD to see if I can do a repair install.

Thanks, Terry
December 24, 2008 11:31:54 PM

Another update.

I also just downloaded Windows XP Service Pack 3 and burned it to a CD then reinstalled it on the problem PC. STILL no internet connectivity !!

I'm still looking for a Windows XP Home Edition CD to try a repair install, but I'm becoming more doubtful about it being able to help. I'm still thinking something is messed up in the registry that the updates and repairs are not fixing.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd welcome them. I'll probably give up and reload Windows from scratch soon. But I hate to because then I won't have learned anything...

Terry
Anonymous
December 25, 2008 12:38:53 PM

As someone who works on computers 10 hours a day, sometimes it's just easier to reinstall Windows then try to fix it. If you have a spare hard drive, reinstall Windows on it and then slave the original hard drive to copy files. You will have to reinstall all updates and applications.

Grumpy
December 27, 2008 4:26:42 PM

OK Grumpy.

I finally ran out of patience and gave up trying to repair my problem today and reloaded Windows XP. Thanks for your help.

Terry
!