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Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Hi there,

We recently had an ADSL line installed in our apartment and I've been able to connect and work away, issue free, on my own laptop. The problem is with my girlfriend's laptop. I can connect to the internet, but only through IE. If I try to browse through Firefox, I get a "Page cannot be displayed" error. A similar problem occurs with applications that require internet connectivity, such as Windows Automatic Updates and antivirus software - they experience connection errors when trying to update.

I've tried various things, such as turning off the firewall, checking the internet options making sure that IE settings match Firefox (i.e. to automatically detect proxy settings), no IP addresses or DNS are entered in the LAN settings, etc. but to no avail.

Does anyone know what the problem could be? There hasn't been any virus attacks on the laptop that we know of, although I did recently uninstall an outdated and resource-heavy Norton security program she had installed in favour of AVG. But the AVG virus database has failed to update now due to this connection issue.

I should note that I have tried using a 3G connection to the internet and connected her laptop to my work LAN, and both give me same problems, which indicate that the issues is not with our ADSL line/router but on the laptop itself.


RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

I'd do a CCleaner temp file cleanup and then a Registry cleanup (saving backups before making changes), but that's optional.

This is what I would do for sure.  Reset IP stack and then reboot.  See what happens.  You didn't list the operating system, but here's one article.

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Actually, thinking about it some more, if that computer CAN connect using IE, it's odd that others APPS cannot.

Wondering if you should do the following before my first advice:
1. Reset the router + reboot the laptop and try again
2. Run a malware scan with MalwareByte's Anti-Malware and maybe Combofix
3. Paste the results of IPCONFIG /ALL from a CMD prompt.


RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Sorry, the OS is Windows Vista (Home Premium) running on a Sony Vaio laptop.

- I reset/rebooted the router and laptop. Made no difference.
- I ran a malware scan with MalawareBytes Anti-Malware which picked up 6 issues (related to Adobe Reader) but made no difference to the internet issue after a reboot.
- I then tried Combofix but that gave me a blue screen error so didn't try again.

The ipconfig results are as follows:

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Higgins-PC
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-1C-BF-93-CD-35
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::b19c:644f:f3e3:c52%10(Preferred)
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 23 February 2012 00:34:34
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 23 February 2012 12:34:39
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
   DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 234888383
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
   NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

One other thing that might be relevant is that I can ping some websites through the CMD window, but not others.

For example, if I ping or the request times out. Most others are successful.

Thanks for your help

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

I'm still wondering if it could be malware.

Is your router address  I see the DNS server as and I would expect it to be but it doesn't have to be.

Also, does the Vista PC IPCONFIG info match the working PC IPCONFIG info pretty much? (except for IP address of course).

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

It sounds very much as if you the laptop is infected with something.

You said that if you connect it to a different wireless or wired connection the problem remains which rules out your new ADSL box. To be 100% certain, find another laptop, PC or smart phone and link it up to your wireless router. If everything is OK, then it's the laptop for sure.

I would head over to forum103: Embarcadero: JBuilder.html" target="_blank"> and request virus help there. I've found them to be excellent at removing really difficult viruses and the like.


RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

As stated, my spider sense says malware.

Why don't you run combofix from Safe Mode and tell us what the blue screen is if it happens.  Right click and RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR to start combofix.

You can also try GMER, Radix and TDSSkiller.   I would say run TDSSKiller first because it is quick.  Then combofix.  If combofix craps out, try GMER and RADIX.

Report back with results and a blue screen code (if any).

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

To Marc:
Thanks for your input. I have verified once again that my own laptop is working perfecty fine on the wireless network, but my girlfriend's still is not. I will check out the link you provided and see if they can be assistance.

To Goombawaho:
Yes, the router address is (I'm in South Africa so maybe router addresses here are different to what you're used to?) I've checked the ipconfig on my own laptop and the only difference is that on mine, the IP Address is (as opposed to above). I also don't have IPv6 on mine. The subnet mask, default gateway, DHCP and DNS servers are identical.

Anyway, I downloaded and scanned with TDSSKiller and one threat was found: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\sptd.sys  I copied this to quarantine.
I then tried ComboFix again (in normal mode) and it completed without the blue screen this time. It made two deletions:

There was quite a lot of other info in the log file - I don't know if any of it is relevant to this issue.

However, once ComboFix finished, my AVG kicked in and found a threat in C:\combofix\cf18496.3xe  I moved this to the vault as recommended by AVG, and restarted the laptop. When I logged back in I found that AVG had made the following updates in relation to the threat it found:
868 processes terminated
558 files deleted
59 registry keys deleted

After all this, Firefox and other apps are still not connecting to the internet though...... frustrating!

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Have you reset the IP stack after doing all of the above?  Try that and reboot.


RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Is AVG the paid or free version?
If its the paid full blown version look through firewall settings.
Most firewalls have a programs feature of any programs that are allowed through the firewall and if firefox is blocked in that list it will not be allowed to access the Internet.

RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE


The Norton removal tool worked. This was also suggested by a user on another forum.

Thanks for your help, everyone!


RE: Unable to connect to the internet, except through IE

Well, that's revolting.  Not solving the problem but Norton causing it.  Was it uninstalled properly at some point??

When I get rid of Norton off a machine I:
1. Uninstall the software
2. Reboot.  
3. Run CCleaner Registry repair
4. Reboot
5. Check to see if there are any remnants using Autoruns
6. If so, use the removal tool

The reason I don't use the removal tool by default - it hangs on some computers and it take a while on older computers.

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