Dial-up forum: As of yesterday, SOME web pages will not load

by: jpekelsma April 4, 2009 5:07 PM PDT

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As of yesterday, SOME web pages will not load

by jpekelsma - 4/4/09 5:07 PM

If anybody has any clue to what's going on here - I'm desperate.

I have a Dell laptop running Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3.

For the past 3 months I have used a Sprint Mobile Broadband (Pantech) air card to connect to the internet. Everything has always worked perfectly, until yesterday.

I noticed the following problem at about 3pm Friday, April 3:

Some web pages will not load at all. No error messages - just a blank white screen. I have tried to open these pages using 5 different browsers, all with the same result: IE6, Firefox, Chrome, Netscape and Opera. (Note: I keep IE6 on my machine for testing purposes; my small company does web design and many of our clients still use IE6, unfortunately)

Here are some of the sites that will not open:
www.paypal.com
(status bar stops at www.paypalobjects.com; I am able to get to paypal's "sandbox" site, and I can open the mobile version of paypal)

http://www.smartfloorplan.com/orders/bin/player07.pl?file=public_html/il/v290692/v290692.xml&map=yes
(nothing that starts with "www.smartfloorplan.com/orders..." will open for me, although www.smartfloorplan.com by itself WILL open)

http://realestate.yahoo.com
(nothing whatsoever happens, just keeps trying to load)

While any one of these pages tries to load, I can "view source" and see all the code for the page.

What I've done so far to "fix" this problem:

> Ran several tools to detect Conficker and other worms (nothing found)

> Completely eradicated McAfee from my computer (which required downloading and running "McRem2"; I currently have no anti-virus or anti-spyware software running)

> Turned off Windows Firewall (even though I had no "blocked" sites listed)

> Checked for latest updates from Microsoft (my computer has had automatic updates turned on, forever)

> Uninstalled all versions of Flash Player, using Adobe's uninstall tool, and re-installed

> Verified that Java is running latest version

> Verified that Javascript is enabled

> Verified that my HOSTS file does not contain any entry other than the one expected line

> Downloaded and ran HijackThis and saved the log file

> Downloaded and ran RegClean which "fixed" 988 problems for $19.95

> Downloaded and ran WinsockxpFix

> Downloaded and ran "a-squared free" to search for trojans, etc. (found and quarantined a bunch of low-risk tracking cookies)

> Deleted all temporary internet files and cookies

> Cleared the cache in all browsers

> Reset internet security to "medium-low" setting

> Restarted my computer about 43 times

I am completely baffled and, as you can see, my desperation level is growing.

Is there a setting somewhere on my machine I should check? My air card is listed as a "dial-up" connection, so could this have anything to do with TCP settings (whatever those are)? I downloaded "DRTCP021.exe" but I have no idea what I'm looking at.

I'm not convinced taking my computer to Geek Squad will help, as I have read a few too many reports about computers coming back in worse shape than when they were dropped off. I still have another year on my on-site repair warranty from Dell, but I'm not sure if this problem qualifies as a warranty repair.

I have also read dozens and dozens of posts on various forums about this problem. Even those who have resorted to re-installing Windows have the same problem afterward. Ugh!!!

Anyone with ant insight - PLEASE pass it along. I'm willing to try just about anything at this point!

Thanks in advance...

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