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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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This happened once before and it was necessary to reset my Internet settings in my browser (meaning all passwords etc were lost, so it's a pain). I'll look for the old posts and no doubt can solve the issue again, but I'm curious as to why this is happening on this site and no others ... exactly the same symptoms as last time. I can access the site with no issues from my laptop, but my desktop (on the same network and Internet connection) crashes the connection every time now. Any computer wizzes want to take a shot at this one? Season's Greetings to all and Happy Picture Taking in 2007.

Cheers, Mike
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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Are you using a Mac or PC and what browser?

I have never had that problem with this site on multiple computers.

Tom
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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Sorry should have specified that ... PC running Internet Explorer 7, but when it happened before I was using IE6. I can, however, access the site fine from Mozilla on the same computer, so it appears to be a IE issue. Laptop also PC and IE7 and works fine. As I said this is second time, and both time only with this site. I have up to date virus, malware etc and scan regularly too. Cheers, Mike
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 11:01 AM   #4
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I dunno Mike. It could be almost anything, and if the laptop works via the same internet connection, then it shouldn't be ISP related (although it does appear that you've connected using a variety of IP addresses, so it could be a specific one that's bad in a dialup bank from your ISP that you've happened to hit with the desktop and missed with the laptop).

It could be something unique to your configuration.

It could even be related to your Virus and Firewall software (or even malware running on the PC). It's not an exact science, and figuring out where an issue is coming from can require a lot of trial and error to narrow down the cause.

You may want to make sure you don't have any "nasties" running on it causing an issue. It never ceases to amaze me how much malware is floating around when I try to clean up friends' PCs for them (with a lot of of it masquerading as legitimate products to remove spyware and viruses). Unsuspecting people click on popups for products promising to "speed up their PC, optimize their registry, get rid of spyware and more" and end up with very hard to remove malware from scumbags using this trick. lol

I spent the better part of two days cleaning up a friend's PC for them recently, and lost count of the amount of malware that was running on it (and he was running a fully updated Norton Internet Security Suite). lol

He even had a nasty trojan that AVG found that was missed by it, and the amount of spyware installed was amazing (including one product that was masquerading as a legimate product to remove spyware, that had really messed it up).

He had misplaced some CDs for a home remodling software package. Otherwise, I'd have just reformatted it and installed XP from scratch (which is a safer way to approach it). lol I've got him setup in a dual boot configuration now with XP and SimplyMEPIS 6.0 (a Linux distro), so that he doesn't need to use Windows for anything much.

I'd suggest these products as a starting point to try and find common malware that could be running causing issues. But, they're not going to find everything if you've got malware that's good at hiding itself, unless you boot into a known clean operating system to perform the scans, and only then if the malware is recognizable by them.

These products are all free for home use. Make sure to download the latest definitions for them, too.

AVG Free Antivirus

Spybot S&D

Adaware SE Personal

Then, make sure you've got a good firewall to fend off others trying to access your PC while connected to the internet. This one is free for home use:

Free version of Zone Alarm


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Old Dec 20, 2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for the detailed reply Jim. I regularly run all three of the programs that you have suggested ... I don't use Zone Alarm any more as I had some problems with it in the past (although I don't recall the details). Fortunately, my computer programmer son is home on Friday for the holidays and will be requested to do some on-site trouble shooting. Cheers, Mike
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 11:24 AM   #6
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It could be almost anything. But, as common as malware is, that was the first thing that came to mind. lol

Whenever someone claims "I've been running Windows for x years and I've never gotten a virus and don't use any virus protection because I'm smart enough not to click on e-mail attachments), I chuckle (since you can be infected simply by visiting a web site with carefully crafted code if you don't have the latest updates and protection installed).

Heck, I can remember my wife's laptop having a bad problem some years back, just from being connected to the internet (from malware exploiting a vulnerability that MS later released a patch for). The scumbags are getting pretty smart at finding and exploiting vulnerabilities. So, it's a never ending battle to try and keep a PC free from malware.

Personally, I would not even think about connecting to the Internet with Windows unless I had Software Firewall like Zone Alarm running if I didn't have a good hardware firewall, too.

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Old Dec 20, 2006, 4:41 PM   #7
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I'm sorry but I have to disagree with one part of your suggestion, JimC - I hate software firewalls and refuse to use them at home. At work, they are required (currently Zone Labs) and it's never protected us from anything, just caused problems - usually by silently blocking things or users clicking No when they should click Yes.

As long as you're behind some sort of a router, it's impossible for a hacker to get at your PC unless you are already infected and are advertising a backdoor. The only possible value is selectively blocking internet connection if you really don't want certain things getting internet access - and I prefer to do that via program settings and maybe the occasional registry (like taking hidden updaters out of the "Run" key.)

The concept behind software firewalls is OK. It's just that they cause more programs than they solve.

A router is a must, though - they're so incredibly cheap that there's really no excuse to not have one. Turn off wireless if you're not using wireless, and turn on encryption, preferably WPA, if you are, though! They're certainly easier to live with than a dedicated computer running NAT, which is what I used for years before finally breaking down and buying a dedicated cable router.

Other obvious things are don't run IE or Outlook Express, and don't run email attachments that you're not sure about. Make sure your antivirus is running and current (lately I've been enjoying the free version of AVG) and you should be set. I've been on the internet for over 10 years now and on a cable modem as long as they've been available and have never gotten infected with any spyware or viruses.

Back on topic, I would guess that some sort of spyware is the problem - perhaps some piece of ActiveX is going in and changing all the settings. Also update your network drivers, possibly there's some bug with the current one that's causing your problems.

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