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Cannot access Internet for first 90 seconds upon startup

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 21, 2011 12:23:04 AM

Ever since I reinstalled Windows XP from switching out the motherboards and the such, I've been unable to access the Internet for anything within the first 90 seconds of starting up (based on when I press the power button on my case). My system boots up in about 40 seconds and I'm stuck having to wait for another 50 seconds before I can do anything on the Internet. I can start other programs just fine otherwise, just nothing transfers on the Internet.

One clue that I may have is that, whenever the waiting is just about over with (a half second remains), I see a message popping up stating that my firewall has been turned off. It's only present for a half second. Currently, I'm stuck with the Windows Firewall. I had Zonealarm, but they started doing things that screwed things up so I had to abandon them. Zonealarm caused XP to freeze at startup, was constantly writing 2 MB to the hard drive every 2 seconds, and constantly deleted system restore. I had no choice but to remove Zonealarm to get my system back to being stable again.

Looking at Windows Task Manager, I don't see much in the way of activity during this wait, unless I intentionally do something to cause it (such as starting up a program like VC++ or Wordpad).

I have yet to try pinging something or using traceroute right upon starting up.

Any ideas what might be going on?
August 21, 2011 1:08:52 AM

you didn't mention whether you got a wired connection or wireless.

that said, have you got the latest drivers for the network card?

windows firewall being off message popping up right before you being able to access the internet is not normal behavior.

After you mention you got rid of zone alarm, was that before or after you reinstalled XP?

and what security software are you using now instead of zonealarm?

it might be just as well some new security prog preventing any internet access during boot up time.
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August 21, 2011 2:12:22 AM

I have a wired connection. I'm using the drivers that come on the CD that came with my motherboard (I'm using onboard networking). Whether or not they are the latest, that I don't know. I got rid of Zonealarm about a year before the very recent reinstall. I'm using NOD32 for my antivirus/antispyware. For the firewall, it's the Windows firewall. The only thing different with my system that I'm knowingly aware of is that of the new motherboard, CPU, and RAM and with the new motherboard comes new drivers. Before the reinstall, there was no waiting time no "no firewall" message ever appearing.
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August 21, 2011 11:39:30 PM

I took a screenshot of this behavior and what I'm seeing. At 1920x1440, it's way too big to post here and thus, I'll just provide a link to it:

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallOffProblem.p...

Windows Task Manager and Winamp have been added to my startup so they always run. The first Firefox window loads just fine because it's a file stored on my hard drive. The other Firefox window points to this site and, for a while, I see "waiting for ..." for the site. Just as the "firewall turned off" message appeared, the downloading finally began. Stranger yet, my antivirus program is able to update itself during startup as well which requires downloading. This only occurs on startup. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a Firefox problem (I've used Firefox since version 1.0.5 was the latest, now I'm using Firefox 6) or something to do with my antivirus program that I've never had before. Still, the "no firewall" thing appearing is highly unusual.
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August 22, 2011 1:44:36 PM

can you upload the screenshot to somewhere like photobucket or imageshack.us? Thanks

Hmm, yes the no firewall is strange, at the startup can you check in windows security center if the firewall is enabled and after that 1.5 mins has passed and the internet connection resumes if it's still enabled.

I'm not familiar with NOD32, do some checking in advanced settings, it might be preventing any internet access on startup (since as you say it seems to be the only application that is able to access the internet) If you cant find anything, do a few googles, you might find people talking about the same issue.

If you hadn't had an issue with this before, I don't think firewall/internet issues would be caused by hardware, so it's most likely a software issue.

Has anything changed since before the reinstall or, better yet, what was the reason you did a reinstall?
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a b V Motherboard
August 22, 2011 2:21:32 PM

You said you changed motherboards, but you didn't list what you are currently using. Some older nvidia chipsets come with a lan driver and a lan manager. The lan manager is rubbish, don't install it or it will corrupt downloads and have other strange effects like the one you stated.
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August 23, 2011 2:41:39 AM

I have a few more details to provide as well. I can ping just fine during this waiting period. I've also noticed a lot of activity suddenly kicking in in Windows Task Manager just before the "no firewall" notice appears. I'll see about getting a screenshot of a few pings during this no transfer session. The issue seems to point toward Firefox 6.0 as being the sole culprit for the no connectivity troubles. The firewall case is likely to be separate though.

Question: why would I upload the screenshot to an image hosting service when I have my own webhost that can otherwise do the same? I clicked the link and it works just fine.

I did a complete reinstall because, every time I changed motherboards or processors in the past, Windows would constantly reboot until I did I full uninstall and reinstall. From this past experience, I was expecting a full format and reinstall of everything.

I'm using the GA-Z68P-DS3 motherboard. The only known Nvidia item I have is my video card, the GeForce 7600 GT (dated yes, but I don't play video games on my computer (console games via TV tuner don't otherwise count)).
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August 23, 2011 3:26:45 AM

I've done some investigating. Both Firefox 6 and Internet Explorer 8 are having this problem. Ping, strangely, still works fine during all this. Here are 2 screenshots showing more details.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems02.p...

This screenshot shows Windows Task Manager in the background and various ping cases, showing that pinging works fine. Hotmail won't ping even long after the 90-second startup case.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems03.p...

This screenshot shows the case with Internet Explorer. It seems like it's loading here, but it, too, had to wait until the "no firewall" message appeared before any downloading started. I'll edit this message to let you know how the status of the firewall is upon this 90-second window, providing a screenshot showing this, if it's unusual.

Edit: wrong URL for images - fixed.

Edit #2: more details, as mentioned. This problem is even stranger than I expected. Now I have no idea what it might be.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems04.p...

First, before I even took this screenshot, the control panel itself took a good 20 seconds to appear. When it did, I quickly went at double-clicking the "Windows Firewall" option. Before the 90-second case is up, I get this weird error.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems05.p...

When attempting to bring up the control panel as quickly as possible, the window for Winamp (one of the programs I've added to startup) doesn't appear in Windows Task Manager but I can still alt+tab to select between the 2 programs just fine. Normally, as soon as you see the program appear on screen, the window for it should appear in the task bar immediately. Here, it takes so much time that I can find the song I want to play from Winamp and still have Winamp play it (without any problems) for quite some time. I noticed this before I got screenshot 4.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems06.p...

Now for something even weirder. Once the control panel comes up, instead of rushing to the Windows Firewall, I open up the security center. The security center info only comes up just as the downloading in browsers would actually start. Just as it appears, this is what I see - the antivirus is turned off.

http://www.ulillillia.us/temporary/FirewallProblems07.p...

A half second after the antivirus turned off notice appears, it switches to the firewall being off, triggering the notice. For about 50 milliseconds between the cases of screenshots 6 and 7 (blink and you'll miss it), everything is actually turned on but with the placement of the antivirus and firewall being switched. The Windows updates thing never changes though. The durations in which the firewall and antivirus are turned off varies between about 300 and 750 milliseconds to the best of my knowledge, giving little time to react. Of course, I could record a video with my camcorder and post it on YouTube, if all else. Normally, I'd use screen capture software for this (Virtual Dub in my case), but this takes a bit to set up and I don't have enough time and the very earliest stuff couldn't be captured anyway.

Given this, I'm beginning to wonder if the Windows installation is somehow messed up. Hopefully all these screenshots will help.
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August 23, 2011 12:16:22 PM

I asked for alternate location for ss because not all of us are surfing the web from home in the middle of the day (read corporate filters on game websites)
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