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Can't access HTTP, Can access HTTPS--What's wrong here?

By planetearth ·
Hello, all! I sure hope someone can help with this.

One of my client's PCs started having a problem last week. Long story short, the user can't acces HTTP sites using IE 7 or Chrome after the PC has been on for 5 minutes, but she CAN access HTTPS sites as well as use FTP, e-mail and other Internet-related apps. If she reboots, she can access HTTP sites again, but only for a few minutes. Then she gets the "Page cannot be displayed" error.

I connect to the PC via TeamViewer, LogMeIn and/or GoToMeeting, which work fine. The client has no XP installation CD or backup, so I'm limited as to what I can try. I also can't run the Windows System File Checker because she has no disc.

There is no proxy server showing in IE 7 on her Windows XP SP3 PC. I suspect it's a proxy server issue, but even if I force IE to use a proxy server, she can't access HTTP sites. Nothing is selected/ticked/checked in IE for proxy server use or "automatically detect settings", and enabling any of that stuff doesn't help. I'm assuming there could be a file or Registry corruption, though I can't confirm it since I can't run SFC.

This was probably caused by virus/Trojan infections (Trojan.Tracur, specifically), but I've removed all traces of the virus with AVG Internet Security and Malwarebytes.

I've done everything I could try, including:
-Reset IE 7/Disable add-ons
-Windows XP Network Diagnostics returned Error 12029
-Reset TCP/IP stack
-Reset Winsock
-Remove/re-install Intel NIC in Device Manager; Update NIC driver
-Reset Windows Firewall

I've reset everything I can except for the core Windows system files because she doesn't have her XP disc or a backup. There are no System Restore points before the virus infection date (even though System Restore is enabled), so I can't revert to that.

She's going to try "Safe Mode with Networking" to see if she can access HTTP sites for longer than 5 minutes; I'll let you know how that goes.

Does anyone have any idea what else I can do here?

Thanks in advance!

Steve

UPDATE: The PC works just fine in Safe Mode. The user has no problems accessing HTTP sites for as long as she wants to in Safe Mode. I found no entries in the Registry as to what might be running on startup. CHKDSK found some 1408 index-related disk errors and fixed them, but nothing serious. Fixing those errors didn't help.

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Try looking at the status bar

by databaseben In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

If you can use a browser like firefox and enable the status bar at the bottom, it will show give you a read out of what is being transferred to and from the browser.

so for example, you enter a url like www.msn.com but see in the status bar other websites that are not www.msn.com, then it implies your browser has been hijacked.

although a freeware called hijackthis is helpful, it is not always proficient in eliminating the rogue hijack. meaning that there are cookies and temp files linked to the hijack that are also interfering with the browser.

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Reponse To Answer

by planetearth In reply to Try looking at the status ...

When HTTP fails, you can see Chrome trying to access the proxy server. It doesn't mention which one, and a search through the Registry didn't find any. But each time Chrome starts, Fiddler shows it trying to connect to randomly named hosts. These may be connected, but I can't seem to force Windows to use a "clean" proxy server.

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Reponse To Answer

by planetearth In reply to Try looking at the status ...

Also, HijackThis didn't find anything out of the ordinary. ComboFix said it fixed everything it found (and it found a few infections).

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Reponse To Answer

by databaseben In reply to Try looking at the status ...

@planetearth - since you mentioned "hosts", then you might want to either run spybot "or" rename the "hosts" file (temporarily that is) and see if it helps. also, since you mentioned time in your initial post, try looking at the modem properties and ensure that it is not powering down automatically by the system.

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sounds like a blocked port to me

by dano2004 In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

sounds more like a service is starting that blocks port 80 if you can use all the other services. I've seen this happen with the proxy setting on IE but you said you checked that. I would double check any firewall software she has installed.

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Reponse To Answer

by planetearth In reply to sounds like a blocked por ...

The only firewall is Windows Firewall. I've even reset it (per Microsoft's instructions). There's nothing in there that shouldn't be there.

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backup and avg rescue media

by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

re: no backup.
you can upload the data to ms skydrive, dropbox and other online backup solutions.

you can try to the boot versions of some programs to scan the system "offline" so to speak: Use avg boot cd/usb (free), malware bytes (paid) , windowss defender (also free) to have the os checked before it really boots into windows.

other then that, do the backup, and have the media shipped (or better a more update date windows version if the hardware supports it) and (re)install.

success,

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No answer, but ...

by jstuart8 In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

I find it interesting. Just this past week I was looking at an old PCWorld article telling you to use HTTPS always. I didn't remember the details, so I looked online to see if there was a setting in IE & Chrome. I don't think it answers your question, though maybe you should look at it in case I missed something in my brief perusal. While searching for it, I found a lot of places encouraging you to use HTTPS always, and I've included 2 sample links to those articles.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/226791/how_to_use_an_httpsencrypted_connection_when_browsing.html
http://www.ghacks.net/2010/10/31/how-to-force-https-connections/
https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere

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.EXE execution vector

by oldbaritone In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

I just cleaned a virus off a client's mother-in-law's computer. Once the virus was removed, no EXE files would run. The virus had inserted itself as the handler for .EXE in the registry, and once it was deleted the system would not run .EXE files any more.

I know that's not your symptom, but maybe it would be worth an in-depth check of the registry to see if any of the TCP, UDP or IP handlers are being re-directed. Like your problem, my client's system ran fine in safe mode.

The fix was easy; just merge a .REG file to patch the registry back the way it should be. It was a readily-available download, free.

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its really easy to solve this issue within 5 minutes

by panhwerwaseem In reply to Can't access HTTP, Can ac ...

First you will check you internet option -> Connection tab -> Lan Setting make sure proxy check box is unchecked if it is unchecked means you have some big problem and i have write full solution of this problem on this article check this out
http://thinkbeyondwindow.com/2013/02/cant-access-http-websites-access-https-websites-solve-it/

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