Have an XP system under SP2. using FireFox 8.0 Everything works perfectly, including access to the Internet. No recent changes to software. As of very recently, last day or two, I cannot access google, yahoo or bing search capabilities. I can access yahoo in the URL address box but cannot do any kind of search within yahoo. Bing does not work either. I also have IE 7.0 on this computer and can't do a search with it, either. So, the problem must be within Windows. Where do I look?
I am sending this email from a different computer. Email address: email@example.com
no, and this computer has been used without this problem for almost ten years. Something has changed in the last week and it has to be something associated with Search arguments in the Firefox (or IE) search dialog box or in the search dialog box in Yahoo. Everything else works fine, including full Internet access, except when searching.
Okay, have you tried logging into that pc as a different user to see if that resolves the problem?
You should try both a different existing user and also creating a new user to see if it is a user profile issue.
Same result on a second user. The problem seems to be that XP (under either Firefox or IE) is not able to link to any of the following: www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, or www.bing.com as part of a search or directly in the URL address line. There must be a file or a parameter somewhere that is telling XP that these addresses are not allowed. I have checked everywhere I know to check including the firewall, issues having to do with disallowing cookies, and various Internet options in the control area. The same message occurs for any of the three: browser "cannot find the server for www.xxx.com." Every other URL works fine, including others in the search box at the top of the page (Ask.com, ebay.com, etc.). Is there a cache file that may cause this; is there a .DLL file that is affecting this?
Very interesting scenario today. I have not used the XP computer for three days and, in fact, it was off entirely. Today, after turning it on, and for no apparent reason and with absolutely no change to anything, I was able to conduct a search, normally, from the search argument field in the menu, to all of the previously unattainable websites (Google, Yahoo, and BING) Huh??
You could still try a Windows Restore from Start/programs/accessories/System Tools/System Restore to a time when everything worked correctly.
Running ping yahoo.com from a command prompt will let you know if you are able to access yahoo.com. you will get a reply message in the DOS screen.
You have been very patient and helpful. I am not sure I have solved the problem but it seems to be working now, although I have no idea why or what caused it in the first place. Thank you very much.
During the evening last night, the search function disable again. Yet, this morning, with a simple Restart, it started working again. Somehow, some form of linkage to the search capability for certain websites (previously mentioned) seems to break and then re-establish. We have never lost the search capability for ASK.com, for instance. So, we will continue as is until something more obvious occurs.
For the record, I have Viper and Malwarebytes.com active on the system at all times and have not received any hits that have been picked up by either system.
I have discovered that a Restart seems to cure the problem for awhile, but something must trigger its re-occurence because it happens sometime during the day. So, I will continue to seek a permanent solution.
Install and run Microsoft Security Essentials and do a full-scan.
Uninstall and Reinstall Internet Explorer.
Or use Windows System Restore
If that doesn't work, I would recommend reinstalling windows.
Those are basically your only options.