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Windows 7: Sudden loss of functionality with youtube

21 Aug 2011   #1
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 
Sudden loss of functionality with youtube

My daughter's Windows 7 laptop just started having problems this week with youtube.

The "spotlight" or "suggestion" videos on the right of the page show up just as white rectangles (that is there is no image in the thumbnail).

Even when logged in, she can't comment on a video or "like" it.

Here are several things that it's not:
  • javascript (it's enabled)
  • flash player (I uninstalled, then reinstalled it from scratch)
  • cookies (I cleared the youtube cookies)
  • cache (I cleared the browser cache)
  • browser (same problem happens in latest version of firefox, ie, chrome)
  • user account (problem replicates whether from my admin account, or her non-admin account, on the machine)

So what's going on? I can usually troubleshoot this stuff great, and this one has me stumped.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Aug 2011   #2
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Maybe the following will be helpful.

If you right-click on the "spotlight" or "suggestion" thumbnails in youtube when it's working, you can view the associated image, which will be something like http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/lJnEp7u19oM/default.jpg (standard thumbnail for a video).

However, if you do the same thing on my daughter's computer, the associated image is always http://s.ytimg.com/yt/img/pixel-vfl3z5WfW.gif regardless of the video. This is a 1x1 pixel blank or white image.

If I google that http://s.ytimg.com/yt/img/pixel-vfl3z5WfW.gif url, I get suggestions of malware at work. Troubling. Remember, this behavior is the same on the computer regardless of the account used to log into Windows, or regardless of the browser being used, or whether logged into youtube or not.

Another concerning thing - see http://www.sevenforums.com/backup-re...urned-off.html - is that the computer's system restore got mysteriously turned off, which is another SOP for malware.

However, I did scans of the computer in safe mode using AVG and SuperAntiSpyware, and it came up clean, and the daily AVG scans come up clean as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #3
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Download and scan with MalwareBytes, it is just the best antimalware program available today. You might also want to start a new thread in the Security forum, and mention this thread, as it seems likely this is now a security issue. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Aug 2011   #4
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Maybe the usual SFC /SCANNOW is in order, first?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #5
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Download and scan with MalwareBytes, it is just the best antimalware program available today. You might also want to start a new thread in the Security forum, and mention this thread, as it seems likely this is now a security issue. A Guy
I guess this is good news, but in this context, bad news would be better news.

First, the SFC /SCANNOW command found nothing wrong. A good thing, but again, something is wrong.

I have also run Stinger and MalwareBytes, both the latest copies, MalwareBytes totally updates, and both were run in safe mode. Neither found anything wrong.

Right now I'm running SuperAntiSpyware (again in safe mode) and it's only found some "not to worry" tracking cookies. I had run this program twice yesterday in normal Windows 7 mode and it found nothing (except the cookies).

YouTube not loading/fucntioning properly; Incld.: the buttons: username dropdown, "Add Too", Search & majority of thumbnails | Firefox Support Forum | Firefox Help describes EXACTLY what is going on with the laptop, and googling the symptoms brings up others who've had this problem (including, curiously, on a Mac). One of the suggestions on there, involving adding a line to the hosts file, I've read about. I tried that, but it did not work.

Remember, this is a computer-wide problem for me - not something that goes away with a different browser.

Other than the system restore being turned off (and there's a slight chance I'd done it or the computer came that way), I have seen no other sign of malware on the computer. Yet anyway.

Keep the ideas coming, please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #6
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

have to do some work right now, but as a test, try youtube through a web proxy, and see if the problem remains. A long shot, but easy to try. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #7
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
have to do some work right now, but as a test, try youtube through a web proxy, and see if the problem remains. A long shot, but easy to try. A Guy
No go, no improvement.

I tried turning off the Windows firewall too, and that changed nothing (as far as how youtube appears).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #8
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The most disconcerting thing, to me, is that your system restore was turned off. Have you checked that, lately?

A Guy was correct in wanting you to scan, but, sometimes, a simple error in system files can make one think they have malware and you already presented you've done various scans.

What version of Flash? Have you uninstalled Flash and then re-installed it? It's not clear (at least, to me) so far (maybe I missed something). Also, what version of Flash?

Toss out anything about the HOSTS file unless you're attempting to subvert registration of licensed software or something - really, otherwise the Win7 HOSTS file is fine ... unless you have malware that altered it.

Also, what version of FX? I have yet to see that posted. The only thing I really know at this point is you are running Win 7 Professional x64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2011   #9
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mikedl View Post
The most disconcerting thing, to me, is that your system restore was turned off. Have you checked that, lately?

A Guy was correct in wanting you to scan, but, sometimes, a simple error in system files can make one think they have malware and you already presented you've done various scans.

What version of Flash? Have you uninstalled Flash and then re-installed it? It's not clear (at least, to me) so far (maybe I missed something). Also, what version of Flash?

Toss out anything about the HOSTS file unless you're attempting to subvert registration of licensed software or something - really, otherwise the Win7 HOSTS file is fine ... unless you have malware that altered it.

Also, what version of FX? I have yet to see that posted. The only thing I really know at this point is you are running Win 7 Professional x64.
Let me individually tackle these good points:
  • System restore remains turned on. My educated guess is that it defacto shut off because the originally-configured computer (by the way, see bullet down below - this is not the "system specs" computer shown in my profile; it is an ASUS laptop) had a C and D partition; I used a freeware partition program to first merge everything into one big C, then I changed my mind and used the same tool to create a C/D partition. When I was configuring the system restore I saw that it referred to a "C (old)" (or something like that) and a "C" and would not let me set up a true system restore for "C" until I deleted from the system restore list the "C (old)" - I think my repartitionings confused system restore into turning itself off. And as I said, 48 hours later, system restore is turned on.
  • I have several times uninstalled Flash, then reinstalled. This has been done mostly from the Adobe site, but in one instance I used the Flash player from Download Flash Player 10 (Complete Standalone Installer) - free download of the full Flash Player installer which is something that several posters in other forums had said solved youtube problems. In each case, Flash worked (for example, if I go to Adobe or other Flash test pages, I can see the animation). In each case, videos played correctly on youtube. But in each case, the original problem - described upthread, but it's that the "suggested" videos on the right side show up with blank (white) thumbnails, and the javascripted functions like "liking" or "commenting" on a video don't work.
  • Flash player is the most current one - 10.3.183.5
  • I did revert the hosts file to what I'd previously had. I actually use the hosts file to block access to Facebook and other timewasters from my daughter's laptop. But I took out the single line I'd added in an attempt to solve this problem.
  • What is FX and how do I find the version?
  • Finally, I don't know how to get around this, but I ask Windows 7 questions on this forum in support of three computers - my own Windows 7 desktop (pretty stable, but that's the one spec-ed out in my displayed system specifications), a Sony VAIO laptop that one child uses, and the newest one, the ASUS laptop having this problem. Other than creating three user profiles, one for each computer, and logging in as a different user for each one, what am I to do to accurately reflect the specs of the machine I'm discussing?
Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #10
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

A couple quick but not-insignificant updates.

First, a friend of mine, pretty adept in IT matters, suggested to me that this could all be a Youtube problem, caused by, he speculated, "load balancing." I didn't ask for a detailed explanation, nor would I have understood it.

I didn't give much credence to this because I'd never seen this issue on anyone's computer but my daughter's ASUS.

But then, tonight, lo and behold, the functionality had come back from the dead!

Sudden loss of functionality with youtube-home-page.png

Those thumbnails down the right side of the youtube home page were all white for the past week. And now they've returned!

Not a complete victory though:

Sudden loss of functionality with youtube-jenna-marbles.png

As you can see, while watching a video, they're whited out again.

However, some functionality that she'd lost - like commenting on videos or liking them - has returned.

I realize that if this "youtube's fault" or "load balancing" thing is true, that's not a Windows 7 issue, so I'm going off topic. But any comments on the new developments?

If you're new to the thread, reading from the top should clarify more.

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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