I guess I have to start with some background before I get bombarded with 'why' questions. I work at a large corporation which I will call a-company. They use domain servers and a proxy/firewall to control internet access. In reality I work directly for another company who contracts out to a-company, but I work on site at a-company and am allowed to access their network for email and internet. IT support for a-company is contracted out and under the contract they will only support a-company corporate assets. Because of my employment arrangement the computer I use is not an a-company asset so I do not have an asset number and cannot obtain support from them. Now, here's the actual question.

I have been using a Windows XP computer for several years and was always able to access the internet even without joining the domain. Recently I have upgraded to another computer that uses Windows 7 and now I cannot access the internet. I do still have complete internal network access, but the proxy is blocking me from accessing anything outside. Even google is blocked.

Here is what I know so far. My XP computer can still access the internet and I can access the internet by logging on at any of the domain computers. I tested two other computers with the following results. A different Windows XP machine could not connect. I joined it to the domain and it could connect. However, it cannot connect again when I am not logged in to the domain or if I remove the computer from the domain. A different Windows 7 machine could not connect. I joined it to the domain and it could connect. I removed it from the domain and it still retained access to the internet, like my original XP computer. On my new Windows 7 machine it can access the internet if I join the domain but cannot again as soon as I leave. So it's clear this has nothing to do with changing from XP to 7 or with my account access.

My goal is go make my main Windows 7 computer act like the test machine that can still connect to the internet without joining the domain. I use my own company's profile and don't want the domain profile loaded. The only thing I can think is this might have something to do with local security policies but I don't know where to look.

  • Maybe when you join the domain, they forcefully set (via group policy) a proxy on your machine that allows internet access? And when you leave the domain, those settings are wiped, and since you are attempting to go to internet without using the proxy, they blocked that request? – Darius Nov 12 '13 at 7:48
  • Yes there is a proxy setting. Actually, an automatic configuration script sets the proxy. But I always add that setting to Internet Options. – John Nov 14 '13 at 0:42

I finally found the solution. The problem was Windows Credential Manager. The thing that confused me was the message saying such and such a site was blocked. It turned out that my password for the proxy had expired in Credential Manager and hadn't gotten changed when I changed my domain password. Everything would have been so simple if it would have simply given me an 'enter password' box, or even a more relevant message like 'password expired' or just 'problem logging in to proxy'. I guess that's more a problem with the proxy server software than my local Windows environment.

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