inability to surf with IE or FF after 10-40 minutes yet still connected. . .

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by rollingwood, Jan 19, 2009.

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  1. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    I didn't know where else to put this post; move it if I posted it incorrectly (and please tell me by email). I've got a problem that literally hundreds of folks online are describing as well, but nobody seems to have a clue as to the solution or even the cause for that matter. After I surf for a while, my browser(s) stop loading pages. I have only local connectivity when this happens; internet connectivity disappears. All of my drivers and .dat updates and versions of everything I run are current. I use Vista (fool that I was), ZA free (with Defender disabled), Avast! free, FF (most recent), Spyware Blaster, Lavasoft Adware, Spybot S&D, and Hijack This! (ok, maybe I'm paranoid). I have Verizon FIOS running at 10/2 (downstream/upstream, verified by Toast) and an ActionTec Wireless Router that absolutely bores through two walls to connect strongly with my daughter's machine. Oh, and I have two older machines both running XP (one wireless with a D-Link card--my daughter's--and directly connected which we all use). Both of these connect and stay connected with no problems)

    I've changed and changed back again virtually every setting I can think of with my Network and Sharing settings; did clean installs on everything but Vista (which I will do only as a last resort).

    Not Microsoft (no surprise there), ZA nor Avast! seem concerned about the issue, which started happening around the beginning of December if I remember correctly. And as usual, Microsoft's network diagnostic tells me nothing is wrong (as I sit there unable to surf but--and here's the rub--with a strong signal supposedly coming from the router to the computer).

    Help?!?!?!?
     
  2. BuzzStone

    BuzzStone Registered Member

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    I don't know if this is related to your problem or not, but just over the last 5 days my computer was acting "weird". Pages were slow to load or when doing a Google search a search engine I never heard of would pop up. Also, when using my favourites a completely different site would pop up. Also, my AV would not update nor would my AS. I run Vista (which I am very pleased with), and I did similar things you did, uninstall/reinstall AV etc. I was stumped. Nothing I seemed to do would rectify the problem. Finally I decided to try HijackThis and I found some "Host" files to some of my favourites that would no longer load properly so I checked them off and hit fix selected and believe it or not everything returned to normal. I couldn't believe how simple it was to fix (after stumbling upon it, lol). No scan I did picked up anything, except HijackThis! I was thinking of a reformat prior to running HijackThis. I hope this is similar to your problem.
     
  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I'd remove ZA first and just use the router for inbound, and see if that changes anything.
     
  4. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Kerodo, if the report was of loss of internet after hibernation, standby, or long inactivity, then flawed ZA settings could be implicated (most likely missing DNS servers and DHCP server in the list of trusted IPs). So, while a good idea to turn off ZA for diagnostics, I suspect some other culprit is in the picture.
    Event log might show loss of IP, or the verizon router can't handle more than n-connections, or some buffers got filled to capacity :)
     
  5. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    ZA shutdown did nothing to help; I even shut off Avast! simultaneously as well for a bit. The loss of internet connectivity still occured eventually. It does seem to happen more quickly with FF than with ie7. Being connected to Facebook seems to speed up considerably the loss of connection.

    If the problem happened regularly, or happened on ALL of our computers, or could be replicated on command, it would be easier to figure out. But it never happens on the two units with XP (one wireless with DLink card and one ethernet direct). Just the laptop with Vista. Maybe Vista, or the Intel wireless card, doesn't like the ActionTec (Verizon, FIOS) Router.
     
  6. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    rollingwood, first, welcome to Wilders! I'll assume you have FF 3.0.5; try this: Go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Network tab, under Connections click the Settings button and check the Auto-detect Proxy Settings for this Network box. Click OK twice. Restart Firefox. See if that helps. Re: Network tab.
     
  7. DevilFrank

    DevilFrank Registered Member

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    Sounds for me you don´t get the Lease correctly.
     

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  8. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    Hi JR and DevilFrank. I'll be honest DF, I don't quite understand your advice regarding the lease. The lease is not 'expired' at any time I check it; there is always a 24 hour window of time displayed in which I am at the beginning.

    JR, thank you for the welcome. Unfortunately, your suggestion did not change anything. I still lose contact eventually and with both browsers. One oddity though that may make some sense to the more knowledgable; this when I hover over my "network icon" (the one next to my clock, sound adjustment, firewall and antivirus icons).

    When I first boot up, the icon shows that I have both local and internet connectivity. Soon enough though, the icon shows that I have only local connectivity (yet for a while I still can surf). But when I notice this change in status, I can go to the "Network and Sharing Center" and see a large red X positioned between the icon for the web on the right of the (miniature graphic of the world) and the representation of the network I am connected to (the X is not there before the status moves to "local only"). In other words, before my connectivity fails, the graphic looks like this:

    My Computer-------------------Network Icon and Name--------X---------------WWW Icon

    A window's diagnostic tells me that "nothing is wrong" but cheerfully invites me to notify Microsoft of this fact. Restarting the network card does nothing to solve the problem either. I don't know whether this information makes any sense or not.
     
  9. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I have seen the same thing at times on my Vista x64, however, I have not seen it lately, and at the time, I chalked it up to my ISP and some issues they were having. I hesitate to say that Vista is flakey, but it might be in this regard. Sorry, I have no solution or anything helpful, just that I have seen the same situation here a few times, but it resolved itself without any effort on my part as soon as the ISP fixed their problems.
     
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    rollingwood, I don't run Vista so I'm out of my element here, but in researching your connection troubles, I came across an article from Apr 2007:

    Strange problem with my internet connection in Vista - Solved! and a June 2008 Microsoft article:

    Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers, essentially stating the same thing as the first article.

    I'm wondering whether this procedure might help you but be aware that the Registry needs to be modified and if you are not sure, it's best not to attempt it.

    I also found a Microsoft Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool (I have never used it) for whatever it's worth. Maybe someone else who has used it, will chime in soon.
     
  11. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    Thank you both for such quick responses. I'll read those articles JR and implement anything therein that sounds reasonable and within my limited abilities. There literally are hundreds of articles out there on variations of this problem, and in not one have I seen a solution. This didn't begin happening to me until December '08, so I suspect a MS update maybe doesn't agree with the ActionTek router (which does need a firmware update I verified, but Verizon has to push that into the unit) or with the Intel wireless card in my laptop, or maybe some combination of all three things.

    Puget Computing has built all of my computers over the past half decade, and I'm going to them next for some feedback. They're very quick to respond and have my build information on hand and whatnot, and I can give them diagnostics from HijackThis! and SIW to review).

    If I stumble upon a solution I'll post it here (and keep checking back in the meantime to see if someone has a Eureka moment and solves this).
     
  12. FiOS Dan

    FiOS Dan Registered Member

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    Stab in the dark, Rollingwood, but is there any chance that you could try a different router, just to rule out a hardware issue? Also, I can't see if you indicated whether your problem Vista PC has a wired or wireless connection to the router. If the latter, can you try wiring the connection to see if the problem persists?
     
  13. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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  14. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    Thanks act8192. I shut off IPv6 too about 2 weeks ago; it didn't work for me. Still pulling hair. If we didn't have three machines, two w/XP, I'd be checking into anger-management rehab by now (if there is such a thing).
     
  15. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    This may not be the best solution, but if I were you I would save my personal data to DVD or USB drive, and reinstall Vista making sure that any application you install thereafter is checked against this problem. It's a bit empirical and time consuming, but it could give you some real facts to report eventually to a tech. I would also avoid reinstalling wireless. I also share Kerodo's hint about the firewall being responsible (Vista has a good firewall of its own).
     
  16. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yeah, I hate to suggest it, but when you're out of ideas and banging your head against the wall, sometimes a reformat cures all, and actually saves time in the long run.
     
  17. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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    Hi Rollingwood :)

    1/ Go Into.. Power Options - Advanced
    And make sure your Wireless is set to - Maximum Performance

    2/ Next Time You Lose Your Internet Connection...
    Click That - X
    Vista should reconnect you :D

    Very rarely it will fail o_O
    But if for some reason it does fail - And doesn't reconnect you...
    Don't go along with any of it's trouble shooting suggestions.
    Just Click - Cancel
    And try again ;)

    99.99% of the time...
    Just Click - X ... Wait a few seconds .. Connected!
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  18. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    Thank you Zeena. That has been my wireless power setting all along. I still think this is some sort of an update incompatability with Vista and/or my wireless card (Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG) or some combination thereof.

    I may call Verizon about their router (and at least get them to update mine, even if they don't want to update everyone else's), but it's such a crap shoot as to who you will get as a tech when you call.
     
  19. rollingwood

    rollingwood Registered Member

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    Success!! First of all, thank to you everyone who tried to help me with this problem. I modified my registry as suggested in a Microsoft publication (<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928233>) and it solved the problem--no more connectivity loss. I tried all day to crash the connection with no success, thankfully. I also seem to be connecting more quickly to the web as well.

    The fix in the two articles JRViego suggested above worked. Apparently Microsoft responded to this a while back (I wish they had better advertised this fix, as there are quite a few folks out there who have this problem). Anyway, I thought I'd post again and convey to whomever reads this thread that the registry change worked for at least one system. I also re-posted the link to the MS article.

    Thanks again for the support!
     
  20. dave88

    dave88 Registered Member

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    A lot of people are having crash and lockup problems with the latest versions of Firefox (3.05, 3.06). If you are having problems with the latest Firefox I would recommend trying the latest beta (3.1 beta 2) it appears to have cleared up many peoples issues.

    Firefox 3.1 beta 2
     
  21. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    rollingwood, glad to hear that your issue is fixed; thanks for posting back! Take care.
     
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