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Windows 7: Some apps unable to access the Internet

16 Sep 2014   #11
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Hi Martin,

Read your posts again and you said that when this problem started you noticed that Comodo didn't give you any alerts. And Comodo was one of the first apps you installed. That might indicate a corrupt and non fully functional installation of Comodo. And obviously the uninstall wasn't successful either. I think left overs by Comodo is most likely the problem here. You could check with Autoruns if you find any Comodo stuff left.

I know you have tried with Windows Firewall disabled, but I had already written this when I saw that so I'll keep this info as it might be good to know:
A default Windows Firewall configuration doesn't block any outbound connections. It allows ALL. Only if you have changed the configuration for outbound connections from "Allow (default)" to "Block" would I suspect Windows Firewall in this case.

To view the log you go to Control Panel, Windows Firewall, Advanced settings, click on Monitoring in the left pane, then click on the log link under Logging Settings.

There's a way to get better logs than that described above. Run this in an elevated command prompt:
auditpol.exe /set /subcategory:{0CCE9226-69AE-11D9-BED3-505054503030} /failure:enable /success:disable

The GUID is for Filtering Platform Connection, source: 2.2.1.2 Subcategory and SubcategoryGUID
Then use Event Viewer \ Windows Logs \ Security to view details of all blocked connections. It'll show what program was blocked too.

I would focus on making sure Comodo is fully removed. I found this but I can't say I recommend it because I don't know the full effects of what this cleaning method actually does:
How to Remove Comodo Firewall | eHow

PS. If you combine Windows Firewall with a program called Windows Firewall Control (WFC) you get alerts for outbound connections (for registered users). WFC is an excellent GUI so you'll never have to go into advanced settings in Windows Firewall again. See link in my signature below.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Sep 2014   #12
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

@Martin - I've had serious issues using CCleaner in the past, although others reported it as a useful program, I stopped using it as I don't want to take any chances to use it on any computers at work based on my own experience. Have you done a sfc /scannow and disk check?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #13
dma5m561

Win 7 Professional 32-bit SP1
 
 

Hello again Ray and Tookeri, thanks for the further information and advice.

Ray - I've used CCleaner for quite a few years on a variety of machines running O/S's from (I think!) Win98SE onwards and never had any problems with it; I realise it's not a universal panacea but I find it a useful tool for cleaning out browser caches and cookies, and doing what are admittedly probably fairly superficial registry scans and cleansing. I work on the principal that a little bit of preventative maintenance regularly should help to minimise the need to do major surgery later.

I did an sfc /verifyonly a couple of days ago and it came up clean so I haven't yet bothered doing a /scannow, I might give that a go shortly. I'll also run a disk scan just to check that it's OK.

Tookeri - many thanks for the various suggestions; I haven't yet got round to trying everything you've suggested but will give them a go. I did follow your guidance about where to find the firewall logfile and managed to open it successfully - I'd previously tried to open it by locating it with Windows Explorer and then using Notepad to open it, which didn't work.

Thanks for the link to how to remove the Comodo firewall - I went to that and then found some more links to various Comodo forum postings; one of these included a link to a removal tool that was written for earlier versions of the firewall but I ran it anyway on the basis that even if something got screwed up I was probably going to have to rebuild the system anyway! The tool seemed to get rid of a load of files and registry entries, and I've subsequently gone through the registry with 'regedit' and deleted pretty much every reference and key to Comodo, so the registry is now (almost) a Comodo-free zone, although there are some entries I can't get rid of because their associated files no longer exist.

I've also deleted all the Comodo files and folders from C:\Program Files and also from the user files area (C:\Users\<username>\AppData\. Fortunately nothing I've deleted from the registry or elsewhere seems to have had any adverse effect on anything else - that's always a worry when manually making changes to the registry and filesystems!

After doing the registry and filesystem cleaning, Comodo no longer appears in the list of installed apps shown by the CCleaner uninstaller tool, so that's one minor success. Also, Task Manager shows that there are no Comodo-related processes or services running.

Despite having pretty much purged the Comodo firewall from the machine, IE 11 and the Macrium Reflect updater still don't seem to be able to access the Internet - their behaviour is exactly as before - but interestingly the Adobe Acrobat Update Service (Task Manager shows the process as 'armsvc.exe') worked this morning - a notification that an update was available appeared in the system tray and the update downloaded and installed successfully.

--
Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Sep 2014   #14
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Hi Martin,

Ok, I guess we have to assume then that Comodo shouldn't be the problem anymore. I see you have tried Safe Mode, full IE reset, re-install of IE, verifying proxy settings, running SFC etc.
The fact that Safe Mode didn't work suggests a problem with Windows. Have you tried creating a new user account and see if that helps? I'm running out of other ideas..... well maybe checking the add-ons in IE and try and disabling them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #15
dma5m561

Win 7 Professional 32-bit SP1
 
 

Hi again Tookeri, thanks for the ongoing support. Here's the latest on what I've done today:

1. I ran 'sfc /scannow' and it came back with no errors at all, so the system files would all appear to be intact.

2. I tried again to update the Macrium Reflect backup/imaging app using its 'Check for updates' menu option and, just as before, it failed so I decided to uninstall the app and then re-install it to see if that would make the updater work. The uninstall worked successfully but when I started the same installer 'stub' that I'd originally used soon after I built the PC with Win7 Pro, nothing happened - I can't remember exactly what the message was but it was something along the lines of downloading the full installer.

3. Immediately after starting the Macrium installer, at approx 1148z today, I looked in the Win7 firewall log and here's the relevant extract:

2014-09-17 11:48:50 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 192.168.1.255 138 138 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:49:04 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 192.168.1.255 137 137 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:49:04 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 255.255.255.255 68 67 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:49:04 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 192.168.1.254 57016 53 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:49:05 ALLOW TCP 192.168.1.42 82.165.36.138 1038 80 0 - 0 0 0 - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:50:47 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 193.47.164.28 123 123 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:50:53 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 192.168.1.255 138 138 0 - - - - - - - SEND
2014-09-17 11:51:55 ALLOW UDP 192.168.1.42 193.47.164.28 123 123 0 - - - - - - - SEND


As you'll see, an outgoing TCP packet was sent from port 1038 on the Win7 PC's address (192.168.1.42) to (I think) port 80 on 82.165.36.138 but the firewall didn't log anything coming back in from that address, which resolves as a Macrium host (mail.macrium.com).

The address of 193.47.164.28 to which some outgoing UDP frames were sent, on port 123, resolves as an NTP server so this will be my NTP client doing its stuff.

The extract of the firewall log also shows some DNS and NETBIOS activity, ie. the UDP packets on ports 53, 137 and 138, which would seem to be routine stuff.

3. The puzzle is why nothing was returned from the Macrium server's address; in order to eliminate one possibility I've reassigned the PC a different static IP address, this is the one that I'd previously used for the WinXP machine that the Win7 machine has replaced. The Win7 machine's address is now 192.168.1.27 - unsurprisingly this hasn't made any difference.

4. I've looked at all the config options for my Billion 7800N router and can't see anything at all in there that might be affecting any inbound packets in response to the outgoing connection to the Macrium host, but I'll have another look to confirm this. If there was some filtering or whatever configured in the router then I would have expected it to affect the ability of Firefox, my NTP client and the puTTY telnet client I use for accessing another machine on my LAN and occasionally a remote host.

Unfortunately, having uninstalled the Macrium Reflect backup/imaging app and having been unable to re-install it because of the networking issues, the machine will no longer be able to do its scheduled regular backups to my NAS

I'll try creating a test user to see if this has any effect, I'll let you know what happens!

--
Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #16
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

I have Macrium too so I did the same update check and it logged the same IP for TCP, and similar but not identical ports for UDP, maybe because I have NetBIOS disabled. Anyway, the update check worked and it found a new version. So there's nothing wrong with the Macrium servers.
The only other different thing in my log was that my anti-virus did a cloud reputation check for the Macrium IP before allowing it. But I couldn't see any such log entries from your log. I mean if your anti-virus would wrongly not allow that IP?!

An outbound connection won't log anything on the way back so to speak, so that's normal because it's an active connection just waiting for a response. Inbound connections are different.

I found this known search term. Maybe it holds some suggestions you haven't tried?
internet explorer cannot access internet but firefox can
https://www.google.com/#q=internet+e...ut+firefox+can
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #17
dma5m561

Win 7 Professional 32-bit SP1
 
 

Hi Tookeri, interesting that you also use Macrium and found that its update check used the same address as mine did (before I uninstalled the app!) and that it worked successfully. I've just fired up Macrium on another PC (the one on which I'm doing all this stuff), which is still running WinXP but is due to be replaced by a Win7 machine as soon as I get the troublesome one sorted out! As soon as Macrium started on the WinXP machine it announced that it had found an update which I've successfully downloaded and installed, so there doesn't appear to be anything in my router config that's blocking access to the Macrium host.

Re: the AV on the Win7 machine doing a cloud reputation check for the Macrium IP, I've currently got Microsoft Security Essentials installed - I took Avast! off the system a few days ago - and I have no idea whether or not MSE would do a reputation check.

Earlier this afternoon I created a separate user account called 'test' on the Win7 machine and tried running IE 11 and the Macrium updater from that account (before I uninstalled Macrium) - the effect was exactly the same as from the existing user account, ie. nothing happened. IE 11 still sat there waiting for a response and the updater just hung until I used Task Manager to kill the process.

I've just tried uninstalling the Meinberg NTP client that I use to ensure that the Win7 machine is accurately time-synced - I need this for a couple of the specialist apps I run on the PC - and the behaviour without the NTP client running was exactly as before, ie. IE 11 and the Macrium downloader/installer didn't work.

I've just installed the latest network drivers for the Intel chipset on the mobo in the Dell OptiPlex 780 - I thought I'd already done that when I first installed Win7 and then installed all the Dell system-specific drivers on the machine several weeks ago but perhaps I missed that one - but it hasn't made any difference.

I looked at the Google link you sent but there didn't seem to be anything there that I hadn't already tried, although I did do a 'netsh winsock reset catalog' just in case it would help, but it didn't.

So, I've pretty much run out of things to try so I reckon the time is rapidly approaching for a fresh, clean install of Win7 to see if that will cure the problem. If it doesn't then I'm going to be really, really stumped!!

--
Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #18
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Ok, you have tried a lot! I don't think I have any other suggestions either unfortunately. A clean install will solve this, I could almost bet money on it I still think the failed Comodo uninstall could be the reason, especially since you found that the firewall driver hadn't been removed. Maybe something else that's hard to find still remains. Maybe we'll never know......

Don't know about MSE and reputation checks.

Well, good luck and all the best Martin!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2014   #19
dma5m561

Win 7 Professional 32-bit SP1
 
 

Well, it never rains but it pours!!

Earlier today I decided to bite the bullet and prepare the Win7 PC for an O/S re-install but before starting the process I thought I'd reboot my ADSL router, a Billion 7800N, just to be sure that it wasn't doing something to block the access from some of the PC's installed apps (IE 11, Macrium updater) to the Internet.

I switched off the router, waited a few secs and then switched it on again and waited, and waited, and waited, for the ADSL light to come on, which it didn't. Looking at the router's status it was showing that the ADSL link was down and didn't show any signs of trying to obtain ADSL sync - no handshaking or anything at all.

Anyway, no matter what I tried the Billion router wouldn't achieve ADSL sync so I've now installed a spare router - a Draytek 2710N - and I now have Internet access again.

It looks like the Billion router, which had been switched on continuously and has worked rock-solidly since it was first installed about 9mths ago, didn't like being power-cycled so it'll have to go back to the manufacturer for replacement - I guess it'll be fun trying to organise that...

The re-install of Win7 on the troublesome PC has been postponed for a short time...

--
Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2014   #20
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the update. Just to confirm, is your issue resolved according from your statement here?
Quote:
Anyway, no matter what I tried the Billion router wouldn't achieve ADSL sync so I've now installed a spare router - a Draytek 2710N - and I now have Internet access again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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