Hope me! I Have no https access. i have done all obvious things
December 30, 2012 1:08 AM   Subscribe

I Have no https access. i have done all obvious things. I have run virus scans, cleaner, system restore and all procedures recommends by Microsoft to no avail. problem is.on both IE and Firefox so not a browser issue. I spent two hours with tech.support. nothing. I can bypass and access through some proxy servers. have run checkdisc etc. There was no change made to my hardware or new software but it did happen just after Windowsupdates were installed. I do not have a windows disk. I am using Vista. Excuse my mistakes, I am typing on my phone. any suggestions? I am thinking it has something to do with SSL Certificates.
posted by alltomorrowsparties to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Tried using a different wifi network? Just curious.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:23 AM on December 30, 2012

What do you mean by "no https access"? Does it connect but give a validation error? Does it give an SSL protocol error? Does it not connect? Do the connections timeout? Do you get any error messages in any browsers at all?

Firefox and IE use different SSL certificate code entirely. IE uses the code and root certificates provided by Windows. Firefox uses its own, homegrown code and root certificates. So if it is a problem with "SSL Certificates", it's unusually thorough. But I doubt it.

Sounds to me like some firewall or virus is blocking the HTTPS port (443). Turn off the Windows firewall. Turn off your virus scanner firewall (if it has one). Check your Programs list in the Control Panel to make sure no other firewalls might be installed.
posted by sbutler at 1:44 AM on December 30, 2012

Does this occur with other computers/phones/tablets on the same wireless access point? If it's only that computer there it is a problem with the settings on that computer. If it happens on all devices connected to the access point then it's a problem with the access point.
posted by sbutler at 1:47 AM on December 30, 2012

Yeah, so, to be clear: you're saying that http:// URLs work for you but https:// ones don't? So this link to http://ask.metafilter.com does work from your computer but this one to the login page https://login.metafilter.com/ gives you an error or something of the sort? And as sbutler asks, what do the errors say?
posted by XMLicious at 1:50 AM on December 30, 2012

Just in case- is your computer time and date correct?
posted by KateViolet at 3:50 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, http askmetafilter works but https login does not. other computers on the wireless network are fine. i get a connection timed out error when I try any https urls. I have shut off firewall. I used to be able to access my neighbours' network (with permission and password) but cannot any more since I tried when the problem started. I have been searching for an answer on the internet or over a week with no result.

posted by alltomorrowsparties at 3:54 AM on December 30, 2012

Yes I confirmed.that days and time were correct.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 3:55 AM on December 30, 2012

I had a different problem after the most recent Windows update... after googling, I found advice to revert back to the previous version of Windows. That is, go back to how it was the day before the problems started. See if that will help.
posted by infini at 4:58 AM on December 30, 2012

How do I restore Windows back to an earlier copy?

When I did this, it offered me different dates to restore back to, based on the different updates. I also switched off Auto Update so that I can control this from now on.
posted by infini at 5:00 AM on December 30, 2012

Do you get a timeout on this page?
That's an https link on a non-standard port. (The point of examining this is to see whether it's actually all https protocol links that aren't working for you or just ones on the standard https port 443.)
posted by XMLicious at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Stab in the dark, but are you using Smoothwall as your firewall? This happened to me, the default Smoothwall settings won't allow you to access https pages. You have to add the IP addresses of machines on your subnet as an exception. Could be that you are using DHCP and for some reason you have a different IP address from before and are not "excepted" anymore.

Other than that, I have seen this behaviour before, and the solution was always to reinstall Windows :-(
posted by humpy at 4:44 PM on December 30, 2012

I am really starting to think it is a problem with the port 443
Can I specify another port bit https?
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 8:38 PM on December 30, 2012

So, does that mean that you are able to view the login page at that last link I put up ending in :8443?

Unfortunately, it's each web server which decides which port you must contact it on, so you can't just flip a switch on your own computer to change it.

A proxy server could be specifically set so that you connect to it on a different port number and it redirects to 443 when it connects to web servers for you, and thereby let you get around whatever is blocking direct connections, but it probably would be best to figure out what the underlying problem is and solve it if that's possible.
posted by XMLicious at 9:22 PM on December 30, 2012

Okay. I'm on an actual computer now (not my own, though). Yes, XMLicious, I could link to the login page you posted. This problem is driving me mental, though. One day everything was fine, the next, this problem. To be honest, my laptop has seen better days, it's about three years old and starting to have issues (flickering screen, missing keys, battery will no longer hold a charge) but I'm a student at present and just don't have the money to replace it right now. I may get a bursary in the spring, which would enable me to get a new one, but as a student I really NEED my computer. I can't access my student account to check my classes, find out my required texts, etc. Any help or advice would be so very greatly appreciated. A list of things I have tried: chdsk, scandsk, ccleaner, system restore, time and date settings, changing browsers, changing networks (see above), running in safe mode, registry check, checking network TCP settings, clearing cache, etc.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 12:18 AM on December 31, 2012

Well I must say, this is an extremely strange problem if neither shutting off the firewall nor booting in Safe Mode makes any difference.

I hesitate to suggest this because it may be a long and complicated process if you haven't done this sort of thing before but you could try making a Live CD; if you have a CD or CD/DVD drive, this would allow you to boot the computer into Linux temporarily.

You wouldn't be able to access any of your files or usual programs while Linux is running but it might let you open a web browser and log into the sites you need to use. Then you'd take the CD out and re-start the laptop and it would be back to running Windows as normal.

To make one you'd need to be able to burn CDs yourself or have someone else who can help you do that. I'd recommend using Puppy Linux. From this page you would download the file "precise-5.4.3.iso" and use the CD burning program to put it onto a blank CD.

If you get that far, if you're lucky just re-starting the laptop with that CD in the drive will get you going in Linux. Or, it might be more complicated.

Another thought is, maybe see if you can find an old-but-working computer somewhere like Freecycle? Believe it or not, I'm writing this on a seven-year-old laptop partly held together with a large binder paperclip. :•)
posted by XMLicious at 3:04 AM on December 31, 2012

I wiped the drive and reinstalled from the recovery partition. Everything works again, and I did save my documents. Thanks all for the suggestions and advice.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 11:02 PM on January 28, 2013

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