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Windows 7: Certain programs fail to connect online while everything else works

01 Sep 2019   #1
SteelRodent

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Certain programs fail to connect online while everything else works

So I've got this weird issue which currently only affect 2 programs, which basically act like they're unable to access the Internet at all.

At the start of June, suddenly from one day to the next Tera Online wouldn't launch (after I've played it on and off for years) and gave the error code "Termination code 273: SLS error". I've been back and forth with GameForge (who first claimed it was something I did) and tried everything they suggested, as well as a few things they didn't suggest, and basically GameForge has given up and handed my ticket over to the devs (still waiting, but don't really expect a resolution), but I still cannot get that game to work again. Now Tera has always had a habit of breaking one way or another after an update, so the fact that it's now completely unable to run is not a big surprise.

Today I bought CorelDraw Home & Student Suite 2019 (to replace the old and incredibly buggy X5), but after installing it, it basically does the same as Tera: Claims there's no internet connection (literally right after the installer downloaded the program) and will not launch because I guess the online registration has to be completed before it will run, though I've got no idea exactly what causes it to not run since it's not telling me anything, other than the registration form goes "Sign in to Internet" and the programs only complete the splash logo before they disappear - never even show up in task manager.

Every other program I have that goes online for one reason or another works just fine and shows no sign of connectivity issue. But since this apparently isn't an issue that's isolated to Tera (like I thought) I'm weary that it may spread, though it appears (from what I can tell) to have something to do with the IE web components.

Stuff I've tried so far (first part of this was suggested by GameForge support) which has not helped:
- Reset IE security settings
- Added Tera's ports to the Windows firewall.
- Added Tera servers to the hosts file.
- Disabled IE's SSL/TSL
- Reinstalled Tera several times.
- Flushed the DNS
- Checked proxies are disabled for IE
- Run NSlookups and traceroutes to Tera servers.
and additionally:
- Reinstalled network drivers
- Removed every single VC runtime from the computer (which broke fewer programs than I expected) and allowed programs to reinstall their own versions as needed.
- Flushed the DNS repeatedly.
- Rebooted and reset the router.
- Talked to my ISP and had the connection tested and verified.
- Made sure Firefox also had proxies disabled.
- Removed Malwarebytes, just in case it was blocking stuff.
- And today (after advice from Corel) cleared out the hosts file.

My internet is a 1000/1000 Mbit fibre, but more importantly it runs exclusively on IPv6, so I have a dynamic IPv4 in order for "old-fashioned" things like online games to work. The LAN is also both IPv6 and IPv4, with locked IP for my desktop so it's easier to find it on the network.

I run Apache and MySQL on here so I can make stuff in PHP and I thought maybe the problem was to do with that responding instead of the real servers, but shutting down the servers makes no difference.

Windows event log is also completely clean. It genuinely looks like these two programs just cannot see that there is internet access, though I am dumbfounded as to why. Also, although I do not use IE ever, I tested and found that it will not connect to anything with SSL/TSL disabled, so turned them back on and then IE works. But still Corel 19 and Tera do not work.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2019   #2
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The problem could very well lie in IE's settings and I know there is a setting there for SSL/TLS. Thiis may be the problem with programs or whatever using a certificate for an encrypted connection.

Is IE updated to the latest?

This is related to another software, but do you have these settings on? Flight1.com - Flight Simulator Add-ons for FSX and Prepar3D

And it's TLS, not TSL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2019   #3
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Note that the IE Internet settings are an integral part for some programs to work. That's why IE should never be removed from Windows even though one may not use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Sep 2019   #4
SteelRodent

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Was about 2 am when I wrote the OP, but yes it's TLS :)

All TLS is enabled in the options and it says it's IE 11. Windows Update has no updates for IE, so I assume it's up to date. Will download and reinstall it just to make sure it is fully updated.

The Windows Update logs tell me that the last system updates before Tera broke were all for .net, but Tera doesn't use .net in any capacity.

Beyond that I have nothing to go by, which means I have no idea where to even start looking for anything wrong.

EDIT: Downloaded IE 11, but it says newer version is installed. Have yet to find a working way to reinstall it since MS for whatever reason didn't give it a repair/reinstall option.

EDIT 2: Reset the Internet Explorer settings, which didn't seem to make any difference, but while looking through everything network related in the control panel I found a reset option for the firewall (which I guess deletes custom entries). For whatever reason this made Tera work again, but I still cannot get Corel to run. The odd part is that the only custom entries I've ever made in the firewall was to open ports, but I cannot rule out that something else has messed up the settings and blocked stuff that shouldn't be blocked.

EDIT 3: Ran repair on the Corel installation, and then the registration worked. And now the registration is completed I am able to launch the applications. As it turns out they do need to go online to activate the license, and for whatever reason couldn't.


It was definitely something in the Windows Firewall that kept these programs from going online, only I have no idea what. I don't have a habit of fiddling with the firewall settings, but that does of course not mean something hasn't messed with them.


Either way. It looks like this is resolved for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2019   #5
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I found that the built-in Windows firewall to be a great source of grief. Especially for a no thrills, basic firewall. So if you have a router or a modem with SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) which all routers have, then you really don't need the firewall on at all unless you want to block specific outbound connections.

The built-in firewall may be okay in its use if you use a laptop on a public WiFi hotspot. But I'd invest in a way better firewall for that purpose that can actually prevent ARP cache poisoning and all that rot. Then there are a whole lot of other factors like using a third-party DNS to prevent DNS cache poisoning, etc. Big thing at the hotels in Vegas during DEFCON. LOL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2019   #6
SteelRodent

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

My router has its own firewall as part of its system, but I don't know about the quality of it. I have the Windows firewall on mostly for outbound control, but I do agree it's a tad excessively clunky to work with for how basic it is.


I don't have a habit of using my computers in public places, but yeah, I'm not sure I'd trust it if I did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2019   #7
patroz

Windows 7, Windows 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SteelRodent View Post
Was about 2 am when I wrote the OP, but yes it's TLS :)

All TLS is enabled in the options and it says it's IE 11. Windows Update has no updates for IE, so I assume it's up to date. Will download and reinstall it just to make sure it is fully updated.

The Windows Update logs tell me that the last system updates before Tera broke were all for .net, but Tera doesn't use .net in any capacity.

Beyond that I have nothing to go by, which means I have no idea where to even start looking for anything wrong.

EDIT: Downloaded IE 11, but it says newer version is installed. Have yet to find a working way to reinstall it since MS for whatever reason didn't give it a repair/reinstall option.

EDIT 2: Reset the Internet Explorer settings, which didn't seem to make any difference, but while looking through everything network related in the control panel I found a reset option for the firewall (which I guess deletes custom entries). Once in a while, I receive Disk book failure error and issues with connecting windows wifi password. The solution to disk boot error wireless password recovery are this and this. and For whatever reason this made Tera work again, but I still cannot get Corel to run. The odd part is that the only custom entries I've ever made in the firewall was to open ports, but I cannot rule out that something else has messed up the settings and blocked stuff that shouldn't be blocked.

EDIT 3: Ran repair on the Corel installation, and then the registration worked. And now the registration is completed I am able to launch the applications. As it turns out they do need to go online to activate the license, and for whatever reason couldn't.


It was definitely something in the Windows Firewall that kept these programs from going online, only I have no idea what. I don't have a habit of fiddling with the firewall settings, but that does of course not mean something hasn't messed with them.


Either way. It looks like this is resolved for now.
Well, it looks like a hell of troubleshooting. I was going to suggest you a system restore to a point before Tera online showing issues, but you have updated yourself that the issue is resolved.

If something like this happens to my network, the first thing I check is the router firewall.

I will disable the router firewall and check whether the program is still blocked from using the Internet. A firmware update is the nest step I do.

If the router firmware is not the latest version, showing connectivity issues is common.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Certain programs fail to connect online while everything else works




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