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Both Firefox and IE freeze at the same time

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by maddox33, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. maddox33

    maddox33 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    whenever I go online, regardless of which browser I use, after about 20 minutes the page / pages I'm currently viewing stop responding. If I try to refresh, open a new page, or switch browsers, i get the message "the connection has timed out". At that point IE, FF, and also IE and FF download managers will not work again unless I restart my computer.

    I thought it might be a problem with the wireless modem but the connection strength displays "excellent", the settings indicate that its connected, I am able to connect to other computers in my workgroup (via wireless modem) and other applications (some but not all) are still able to download files from the internet.

    My guess is that it might be related to an http protocol problem, and for some reason after about twenty minutes all software using an http protocol stops working. I couldn't begin to guess why and I don't have much understanding of that area...

    all scans for malware / adware / spyware come up negative.
    I've run CMD => CHKDSK and had no errors
    I've run CMD => SFC /SCANNOW and had no errors

    If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!

    My Information:
    Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    Microsoft.NET Framework v2.0.50727
    Internet Explorer v7.00 (7.00.6000.16544)
    Firefox 2.0.0.8
    Linksys Wireless-G USB Wireless WUSB54Gv4

    Windows Firewall - disabled
    ZoneAlarm Antivirus and Firewall - running

    Windows Defender
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal
    AVG Anti-Spyware
    Spywareblaster

    CCleaner
    Cleanup
    -------------------
     
  2. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Try this.....open up a DOS prompt and try two things. One, try a traceroute by typing tracert www.google.com. See how many hops you get and the latency of them. You'll want low latency naturally. Also, you can try other sites too, not just Google.

    Secondly, in the command prompt, type ping www.google.com along with other sites too. You shouldn't get any packet loss. If one or both these tests time out or if the latency is real high, try disconnecting your router and repeating them and see if you get the same results. Also, try it with your router connected, but disable ZoneAlarm and see what happens.

    If this always seems to happen after 20 minutes or close to that every time, then try it with and without the router. Of course when you're trying it with the router, disable ZA, but when you're not using the router, turn it back on or better yet, keep ZA disabled but re-enable Windows Firewall.
     
  3. maddox33

    maddox33 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    cmd => tracert www.google.com

    Before problem occurs:

    Tracing route to www.l.google.com [74.125.19.99]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.1.1
    2 7 ms 7 ms 7 ms 10.116.64.1
    3 8 ms 7 ms 11 ms wcsdca1-gsr1-ge14-0-6.san.rr.com [24.25.193.105]

    4 8 ms 7 ms 8 ms wcsdca1-gsr3-ge5-0-0.san.rr.com [24.25.192.14]
    5 8 ms 11 ms 8 ms so-0-1-0.gar1.SanDiego1.Level3.net [4.79.36.13]

    6 9 ms 28 ms 8 ms ge-7-0-0.mp1.SanDiego1.Level3.net [4.68.113.93]

    7 19 ms 30 ms 20 ms as-1-0.bbr1.SanJose1.Level3.net [209.247.9.114]

    8 19 ms 21 ms 19 ms ae-22-79.car2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.68.18.68]
    9 77 ms 75 ms 74 ms GOOGLE-INC.car2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.79.43.146]
    10 80 ms 83 ms 89 ms 209.85.251.98
    11 80 ms 73 ms 75 ms cf-in-f99.google.com [74.125.19.99]

    Trace complete.


    After problem occurs and browser doesn't work:

    Tracing route to www.l.google.com [74.125.19.104]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.1.1
    2 14 ms 13 ms 7 ms 10.116.64.1
    3 16 ms 13 ms 7 ms wcsdca1-gsr1-ge14-0-6.san.rr.com [24.25.193.105]

    4 15 ms 11 ms 7 ms wcsdca1-gsr3-ge5-0-0.san.rr.com [24.25.192.14]
    5 16 ms 8 ms 11 ms so-0-0-0.gar1.SanDiego1.Level3.net [209.0.8.1]
    6 9 ms 12 ms 20 ms ge-7-0-0.mp1.SanDiego1.Level3.net [4.68.113.93]

    7 20 ms 23 ms 26 ms as-2-0.bbr2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.68.128.157]
    8 23 ms 24 ms 24 ms ae-32-89.car2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.68.18.132]

    9 78 ms 73 ms 75 ms GOOGLE-INC.car2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.79.43.146]
    10 81 ms 75 ms 85 ms 209.85.251.98
    11 80 ms 79 ms 73 ms cf-in-f104.google.com [74.125.19.104]

    Trace complete.

    --------------------------

    cmd => ping www.google.com

    Results before problem occurs:

    Pinging www.l.google.com [74.125.19.99] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 74.125.19.99: bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.99: bytes=32 time=73ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.99: bytes=32 time=73ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.99: bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=241

    Ping statistics for 74.125.19.99:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 73ms, Maximum = 75ms, Average = 74ms


    Results after problem occurs and browser doesn't work:

    Pinging www.l.google.com [74.125.19.104] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 74.125.19.104: bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.104: bytes=32 time=78ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.104: bytes=32 time=78ms TTL=241
    Reply from 74.125.19.104: bytes=32 time=81ms TTL=241

    Ping statistics for 74.125.19.104:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 72ms, Maximum = 81ms, Average = 77ms

    -------------------------------

    Completely disabling Zonealarm and turning on Windows Firewall had no effect.
    The problem still occurred

    -------------------------------

    More specifics about my connection since I was not entirely clear before
    and I probably misspoke at some point:

    My roommate has a cable modem. He then feeds the connection through
    a wireless router to other computers in the house. My computer is
    located in a different room and I connect to his wireless router with
    my wireless adapter. Without the adapter I have no connection. Previous
    to my post, he tried restarting the router with no effect,and I also
    tried to change my IP address but for some reason the Linksys
    configuration won't allow me to do so, even after trying various
    restarting and auto-detecting methods... I don't have the specifics of
    his cable / wireless router connection setup, but I can get it for you
    if needed. Sorry for the confusion
     
  4. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    OK, well unfortunately the Traceroute and Ping doesn't tell me anything. It looks fine before and after. Sure there are small differences, but not enough to show there's a problem with the connection using those tests.

    Is it possible to move your computer so that you can the cable modem directly to it? I know this is a bit of a pain, but I don't see another realistic option right now. At least if you could get a direct connection, you could rule out the router. Also make sure you try disabling ZA and reenabling Windows Firewall. ZA is a good software firewall, but we need to rule it out as well for sure and rule out the router.

    If it's still doing this with the cable modem connected to your PC, then it's obviously not the router or ZA if you've disabled it. It is odd that it won't let you change your IP, so right now it's looking like it's either the router or like you mentioned before, perhaps it's your protocols and they've gotten corrupted. Both FF and IE wouldn't exhibit the same symptoms if it was a simple browser corruption.

    I just had one more thought and I seriously doubt it would work, but you could try and d/l the Safari browser. I say Safari because it doesn't have anything to do with IE like Opera does and nothing to do with Mozilla like FF does. It's a shot in the dark, but if it works then....well we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Try that and see.

    Now, if the cable modem still shows the same problem without the router or ZA, it's got to be the computer for sure. The last thing I can think of is System Restore.....if you have it enabled. A last ditch effort, and this is the last thing you'd want to try is first to reinstall windows, or if you're gonna go that route, format and reinstall. You'd want to make sure you've got your files backed up for reinstall (just in case) or a reformat....obviously. If you do this though, make sure you've tried everything else because it would be a shame to do this if you didn't have to.
     
  5. maddox33

    maddox33 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    Unfortunately the problem still persisted when linked directly to the cable modem. So its definitely a problem with the OS. Apple's Safari browser encountered the same problem, and system restore didn't work either. I guess my only option left is to reinstall windows. I guess I'll do that on Sunday when I have the time... If you should think of anything else I could try in the meantime please let me know. Thanks for your help in this matter.
     
  6. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Sure, NP, sorry I couldn't help you further. I'm sure there's probably a way to fix it and I know a fair amount, but it's beyond me. Perhaps someone who knows might chime in, but if not then I guess a reformat is in order.

    Actually, you don't have to do a reformat. You could probably just do a reinstall and that would keep all your installed programs and documents in order. The only programs that you might have to reinstall are those that startup automatically. Still, the cleanest way is to do a full format and reinstall, but a reinstall should work too.
     
  7. maddox33

    maddox33 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    I was playing around with it last night and found that the time it takes for the problem to occur may be related to how much information I look at. When I had just my download manager open and downloading files (without the browser open) it lasted for roughly an hour before dying. When I intentionally went from page to page of large thumbnail galleries the problem took only five minutes to occur. Since I usually look at pages of mostly text it would make sense that it usually takes an average of twenty minutes if I don't intentionally try to force it to occur... Does this give you any different ideas?
     
  8. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
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  9. maddox33

    maddox33 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    You won't believe this. I tried each of your suggestions and none of them fixed the problem so I reformatted the drive and reinstalled windows yesterday. Today it happened again after I barely had everything up and running. It doesn't make any sense. There must be something I'm doing to cause this. Something weird happened before it happened again though which may give you some kind of insight. The computer was running perfectly through all of the installs and updates and goings online until this happened...

    I had stored all of my files on another computer in the workgroup, which I access through wireless. After the computer was up and running I accessed the other computer, pulled one folder from it and copied it to my desktop (very small file with txt documents in it). After it copied to the desktop I tried to close the window I used to get the folder and the whole computer froze. Nothing responded at all. The mouse could move around but nothing would allow me to click on it. I was able to pull up the task manager though and I logged off. As the computer was logging off, a message popped up saying windows explorer not responding. I waited for it to close itself but it didn't and I had no other choice but to end it. When I logged back on I went online and thats when it happened again.

    Here's the really not good part. That computer belongs to my wife and it turns out she's been having the same problem with her computer for about a year now and never told me about it. I'm thinking that maybe my file picked up a nasty from her computer somehow. But if that is the case what caused it to happen the first time? I remembered that I transferred a video file to her computer and when her player couldn't play it, I pulled the video back to my desktop so she could watch it on my computer. this happened right about the time my problem started. I'm thinking nasties are indeed the problem but nothing I have can detect any kind of virus, worm, or trojan. Any ideas?...
     
  10. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
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    Wow, that is strange. So it's a either a virus or it could be a program or a driver that's caused this. I myself had a problem with only two games....BF2 and BF2142. I hadn't played either of them in a couple months and just wanted to check it out again with a short game. Well to my surprise when I went to bring up a list of servers, only around 3 came up. I checked the server filters, graphics driver.....everything came up clean. I even posted my problem here as well as a few other really good tech support forums such as Extremetech and MaximumPC forums and no one knew what the problem was.

    To make a long story short, I ended up formatting and reinstalling Vista and I checked the game and it was OK, so I downloaded half the updates and it was still OK. Then I d/led the rest of them and it stopped working again. To make matters worse, when I'd leave either game and returned to the desktop, my Internet connection was disabled! Anyway, come to find out, it was a LAN driver from MS that borked it up. It wasn't actually MS's fault because I found out that Asus had the same driver on their site as well, so MS got it from them. I uninstalled the driver and all is well again.

    So, it could be a driver or it could be a virus like you said. Try going here and doing a free scan: http://usa.kaspersky.com/products_services/free-virus-scanner.php
    Kaspersky is one of the very best Antivirus programs. If it comes up clean, you could try d/ling a trial copy of Kaspersky or NOD32 like I mentioned before. If you find an infection and it can't get rid of it, try going here and d/ling the specific cleaning tool: http://www.eset.com/

    Something else you can do is download HijackThis and post it in the 'Malware Removal and Hijack This Logs. The people there specialize in reading Hijack This logs and can tell you if there's something there that does not belong. http://forums.techguy.org/54-malware-removal-hijackthis-logs/

    Go here to download Hijack This: http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/programs.php#hijackthis

    Now when you run Hijack This, only scan it and then save it to your desktop. Then go to the specialized forum and paste your results and explain what's been happening and what you've done. I apologize because I should have thought of this earlier before you reformatted, because if it is a virus, they can almost certainly help you. Let me know what they say and give me a link to the thread there. I can't respond in that forum though since you have to have special access to respond. The thread starter can respond though.

    At the very least, they can tell you if it's a virus or not. In addition to that, I'd post at the same places I spoke of earlier....that is the Extremetech forums and the MaximumPC forums. Oh and the Anandtech forums as well. Out of all these forums, this one is probably the best though and I'm sure someone will help you get to the bottom of it. Make sure you PM or something to let me know what it is because I'm stumped and I'd like to know for future reference.
     
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