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Old 10-22-2007, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

In a Nutshell.
I've been getting all kinds of weird errors when browsing the internet and using networked applications. I've been having these problems for months (ever since I built this computer), and they've been getting progressively worse. There seems ot be something going on with the way Windows is handing network communications, which is resulting in all kinds of errors in my networked apps - non-networked apps are completely unaffected. The most noticable (and frustrating) manifestation is in frequent browser errors and page load failures. These errors and failures get increasingly worse from the time I boot up the system until after several hours they're so bad I can't accomplish anything and I have to reboot to alleviate it.

It should be noted, that sometimes I need to reboot twice ina row before things start working better. Clearing the browser cache seems to result in a very brief period of increased probability of success, but after a while that's completely ineffective as well. Using the 'Repair' option on my wireless network has a similar effect, though slightly longer lasting than clearing the browser cache. By 'repairing' my wireless connection, then rebooting, 'repairing' it again, and clearing the browser cache, I can get relatively good performance again... for a short time, from half an hour ro a few hours.

The other computers on my home network are NOT affected as far as I can tell. These include two Gateway 400-series laptops with Wireless and one Gateway desktop with an Ethernet connection. One of the laptops has a virtually identical software configuration, including all of the same antivirus, firewall, browsers, plugins. The only real difference is the wireless card and that the laptop runs XP Home with Service Pack 1.

I have posted about this problem here before, and stopped after a resolution was suggested which generated temporary results. The computer relapsed within a day, however, and I haven't had time until now to address it again. That thread is here: Strange & Debilitating Firefox behavior

System Specifications
MSI P6N SLI Platinum Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, overclocked to 3.2 GHz
2GB of G.Skill DDR2 800, underclocked to FSB.
EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 320 GPU
4x WD Caviar 250GB SE16 HDDs, RAID0+1 with onboard nVIDIA nRAID
D-Link Wireless WDA-1320 WiFi adapter
Microsoft MN-500 Wireless base Station
Westell Wirespeed DSL Modem
Verizon ADSL
Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Corporate Edition, Service Pack 2.
Avast! Antivirus
Kerio Personal Firewall
Main browser: Mozilla Firefox 2
Secondary browsers: IE7, Opera 9, Safari

Application-Specific Symptoms

Mozilla Firefox
Since I use Firefox the most, I see the most errors in this browser. I get a lot of failed page loads, partial page loads, and cases where the CSS fails to load. I also get several errors which are easy to reproduce simply by visiting pages repeatedly (once it starts getting bad, as many as 3 in 4 page loads will result in one of these errors), and also a few errors which are less common and more difficult to reproduce.

The difficult errors to reproduce are ones where the browser delivers only a single element in place of the page. Elements I have seen displayed (often as they would appear in notepad) include the session cookie, the page's .css stylesheet, the page request data (as if it was bounced back at me rather than delivered to the server), a specific image (sometimes rendered as gibberish text, as if opened in notepad instead of an image viewer), or the 'domain icon' that normally appears on the corner of the active tab.
here's one with what looks like a misdirected and bounced back request:

Notice the domain mismatch - I was trying to access deviantart, and instead it was specifying slashdot. Often it will specify a domain I haven't attempted to visit in several hours, or even since the last reboot.

I also get rendering errors where images are mixed around on the page - i.e., on an imageboard, one image maight be broken, and every image below it is displayed in the image container for the image after, often distorted due to a difference in dimensions. Sometimes reloading the page will fix this, sometimes only clearing the cache will.

The more common errors are below:

404. In the cases of some servers, the 404 will return information regarding which resource was not found, and it often is a resource that my browser should not be asking for (i.e., the /mail/ directory from a forum domain, or /images/avatars/name.jpg from my mail domain (mail.google.com))


400.


Strange file handling errors. The latter is more common, and I run into it all the time, where attempting to load a page will instead trigger the download handler, identifying the page as an "Application/octet-stream" and asking me where to save it.

Internet Explorer 7
IE tends to just fail to load and then send me generic error pages (404, 400, dropped connection) It also takes a really long time to load anything, and has a higher failure rate than firefox.

Safari
A lot of the same errors as Firefox, just look different.

Here's one on wikipedia, where the CSS failed to load:

Quickly followed by one on Slashdot, where it tried to load a CSS instead of the page:


and here it is trying to get my gmail from slashdot instead of the article I asked for:


Opera
so far I haven't used opera a lot, though I'm using it now since firefox is too far gone to even post this without an aneurysm until I reboot. I'm getting a lot of connection dropped, domain not found, and assorted 404/400 errors from imageshack while uploading the screenshots, and more than half the time pages are failing to load.
and another weird snafu like I've been getting in the other browsers:
link

EDIT: I've gotten about 20 more assorted errors now in opera just in the process of trying to submit this post... /EDIT

Other Apps

Other affected apps include Trillian, which crashes about 1/3 of the time on startup, Battlefield 2142, which tends to fail and sometimes crash when attempting to establish a connection with a server, gmail notifier, which frequently tells me it can't connect to the inbox, various updaters which fail at random (QuickTime does this the most), and eMule, which gives me a LowID for no apparent reason a lot of the time.

The scariest I've had to date, however, was with Filezilla. I had been updating my website and uploading HTML pages via FTP. When I checked the site after uploading, I discovered that it had injected my gmail session cookie information at the top of the page, and I had to take it down again immediately. I confirmed that it was actually in the .htm and not a browser error.

Things I've Tried...
I've tried re-installing my network card drivers - result: performance improved for about 10 hours, then relapsed.
I've tried replacing my network card; I bought a Linksys card to replace the D-Link, uninstalled all the old drivers, installed the linksys - result: performance improved for almost 15 hours, then relapsed.
I've virus scanned, updated all of my drivers, updated windows, etc - no change.

So...
From my limited knowledge about networking, my best guess would put the problem with Windows or some driver screwing up the packet handling... it would seem my computer is sending and recieving all the right packets, just at the wrong times and to the wrong places.

I've looked everywhere for answers to these issues, but as near as I can tell nobody else has had any problems like this before... figures.

my friends tell me that I always manage to get the weirdest errors, like Murphy hates me or something, and that's been for far longer than this one has been going on. :/

So can anyone help me fix this? Having to reboot my computer 3 times a day and spending more time struggling with my browser than accmplishing any work is really starting to wear me down.

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Old 10-22-2007, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

Lets start here..

I would uninstall all of your browsers

Go into msconfig>startup, click disable all but recheck your antivirus. Dont reboot yet.


Download and run ccleaner and cleanup below:

CCleaner - Download

Make sure you rub the reg cleaner tool in ccleaner

www.stevengould.org - CleanUp! 4.5.2 Download

After you run both of these, reboot

Now is the time to reinstall your browsers.

Download details: Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP2

Mozilla.org - Home of the Mozilla Project

Opera browser: Home page

Apple - Safari 3 Public Beta


If you dont need all of these browsers, just pick one or two at the most.

What are the results?
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

I'll give that a try tomorrow night if I still have time. It doesn't sound to me like it's going to do anything other than refresh all of the browser data, and I seriously doubt that's related to the issue, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm not sure if I can uninstall IE7. MS Makes it pretty hard to get rid of it, and it came bundled with XP in that version.

And if I can get rid of it, I don't know if I can get it back. WGA decided to revoke my license sometime after I upgraded my system.

I only use Firefox normally. I only installed the other two browsers a couple days ago as a control group to see if I got the same errors in them as I did FF and IE.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

No improvement. :/
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

Get Vista the netowrking is much better in there. Wait you dont like Vista. Well then suffer with the lackluster XP networkign till you can transfer over to Vista.

Are all your drivers up to date? Is all the apps up to date? I thought Kerio went under. It could be that your firewal is outdated and not workign properly.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

Well considering the wireless LAN where I'm moving in a month still does NOT allow Vista computers to connect, I'd say no, Vista does not have better networking, and it's out of the question.

Kerio got bought out by Sunbelt Software. It's now Sunbelt Kerio.

Yes, ALL of my apps, drivers, and OS software is current and up to date. I have all of the latest patches and security. It's still not working.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

All i have to say is that plenty of studies have been done and Vista's networking IS better than XP's. Just cause everyone hates Vista you dont have to believe the talk that eveyrone says about it.

Vista networking much faster than XP

Also the Vista netowrking stack is totally redone comapred to Vista's. I bet you the reason you cant connect with Vista is cause you netowrk is setup with the name MSHome which is the default of XP. Vista's default name is Workgroup.

If everything is up to date then your only option is to give up. Cause you are sol.

Naw really. What about your router? Do you have one? Is that setup correctly? Is your router's firewall blocking you? Does your router/firewall prevent flash, animation. I know that Zone Alarm has done that before.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

I'm not moving to Vista. Period. Stop suggesting it.

Since it is common knowledge that Vista has MORE issues than XP, and considering the number of issues I get from XP, can you really blame me for not moving to Vista?

Seriously....
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

Seriously how do you know you will have those issues in Vista??? Do you know for sure you will?? Just thinking you will and actually having them are 2 different things. Maybe upgrading to Vista will solve some problems. Gee that would be a shocker.

Well since you ahve so many issue just format and get over it already. Since you can solve this issue or your mouse issue. Format, re-install.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Internet Issues/Errors, Networked Apps Failing

OK, I have not yet found a favorable resolution to the issue, however I have a very strong lead on the source of the problem, and therefore can start with workarounds.

The problem is the hardware firewall built in to the nVIDIA nForce 4 chipset on my motherboard's southbridge.
Known software directly related to the issue: nVIDIA ForceWare Network Access Manager (NAM) Driver
Suspected software in conflict with NAM: Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall

I tried uninstalling the ForceWare drivers related to the NAM. We will see if this makes a difference.

Another potential workaround is to exit or completely remove Kerio and then reinitialize the network adapter and force a flush of the DNS, then browser cache.

I am disliking nForce more by the day.
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