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A friend has asked me to have a look at his Vista laptop, which "can't connect to the internet".

I have found that I can connect to a wireless network, and from a command prompt can ping websites successfully, so there is internet access. However, both IE (8) and Firefox (3.5) never manage to load a webpage (just hangs forever). I can't run windows update either - doesn't download anything.

Any ideas where to start troubleshooting? It looks like Norton was installed at some point and has been uninstalled, but Windows Security Centre still thinks it is there and out of date. I've reset IE settings, turned Windows firewall on and off, but to no avail.

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Do other methods of connecting to remote servers work? Can you telnet, does FTP work? Do other browsers work? – Phoshi Sep 9 '09 at 12:02
thanks everyone for suggestions. I ended up doing a System Restore to before AVG AntiVirus was uninstalled and IE8 was installed and that got things going again. – Mark Heath Sep 9 '09 at 21:12

Have you checked to see if there's a proxy setup in IE and Firefox? If there is clear it and try again.

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It sounds like something is blocking port 80 try connecting to an ftp site and see if that works. If it does it will probably be some sort of firewall or protection software blocking it.

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As a troubleshooting step, you can try making a manual HTTP request using telnet.

From the command prompt, do:

telnet 80

Then in the open telnet window, type:


You won't see what you type, but after you hit enter you should get a (302) response from google.

If it fails, it's probably some kind of firewall trouble. If it succeeds, it's definitely a problem with IE and FF settings.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

System Restore fixed it. I guess I will never know what exactly the problem was. My suspicions are that it had just had too many different Anti-Virus packages installed and uninstalled.

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