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I recently got a new ASUS laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. It worked OK for a while but a couple of days ago, suddenly I couldn't access the Internet any more. After narrowing down the problem, I've reached the conclusion that what's happened is that 32 bit programs are suddenly not able to use the Internet, but 64 bit applications work just fine.

Examples of programs that DON'T work any more: Google chrome Firefox Internet Explorer 8 World of Warcraft

Examples of programs that DO work: Internet Explorer 8 (64 bit) ping (command line) nslookup (command line) ftp (command line)

I'm pretty sure that those command line apps are 64 bit native.

A re-install of Windows using the recovery partition on the laptop did fix the problem temporarily, but now it's back again. And I seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place getting someone to take the responsibility for this; the vendor says to talk to ASUS, ASUS says it's a software issue, and Microsoft doesn't give support on OEM licenses...

Does anyone know how to solve this issue?

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If the copy of Windows came with the computer then Asus has to support it. That's part of the OEM agreement with MS. – Chris S Nov 23 '10 at 14:10
this sounds like the behavior may be caused by an installed program. did you make any changes or install new software just prior to when the issue began? – Xantec Nov 23 '10 at 15:18

Quite an odd problem that you've run into!

I would start off by checking your Windows Firewall settings (or any third-party application you are using) to make sure that you haven't somehow blocked access to applications living in Program Files (x86) where your 32-bit apps are stored.

An easy way of checking whether it's your firewall is simply disabling it for a few minutes to check whether you regain internet access.

Tell us how the issue evolves!!

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Today I just found out the root of this problem. It doesn't come from 32bit or 64bit because all the browsers like Opera, Firefox, Chrome, even Internet Explorer 64bit really work fine except for Internet Explorer 32bit.

I think there's something wrong inside C:\Program Files(x86)\Internet Explorer. For me personally, to make sure it's really clean, temporarily, I moved the folder Internet Explorer to C:\temp from C:\Program Files(x86)\Internet Explorer and renamed it to Internet Explorer 32.

I did the same for the directory C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer, renamed it to Internet Explorer 64.

You can delete these two directories with administrator permissions but I wanted to keep them for the moment. Then, you have to uninstall Internet Explorer 9 by right-clicking it and selecting Uninstall from the View installed updates in Programs and Features.

After a reboot, you have to uninstall Internet Explorer 8 from Programs and Features » Turn Windows feature on and off » Untick the Internet Explorer 8 from the pop up window to uninstall (I use windows 7 64bit Ultimate, there is Internet Explorer 8 by default, it may be different on other Windows versions).

After reboot, there won't be any Internet Explorer at all, so first to reinstall Internet Explorer 8 before updating to 9 by doing the same way as above. After a reboot, open Internet Explorer 8 (32bit) to test.

For me it works well, after updating to 9, it still works fine for me so I deleted the 2 directories from the C:\temp because it recreates them at the right place when I reinstalled Internet Explorer.

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Try the following:

  1. Right-click on the command prompt icon and select "Run as administrator"
  2. Execute the command netsh winsock reset
  3. Reboot your system and try connecting to the internet
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