DNS only works in safe mode w/ networking
August 31, 2017 6:03 AM   Subscribe

This problem is driving me crazy. I have Windows 7. Yesterday I noticed that some web sites were having DNS issues, and after checking with Spectrum to make sure that they were fine, I ran MalwareBytes, Windows Defender, and rebooted my computer. No viruses found, no malware found, nothing. If I boot in safe mode with networking, DNS works fine. If I boot in normal Windows, I can get to Metafilter but not, say, YouTube or Google. Which is a classic virus/malware behavior, right? So I run all the things again after updating definitions, and still nothing.

The obvious answer is that I've got a proxy or a firewall issue, but I've got no proxies or VPNs set up and I haven't touched my firewall at all. I've installed no new software recently. I've flushed DNS, reset my router, that sort of thing. Normally I'm quite good at fixing this sort of thing; I've even written batch files in the past to allow me to edit the registry when a virus was preventing me from running regedit. But I'm a bit stumped this time.
posted by xyzzy to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is the behaviour the same with different browsers?
Can you ping the problem sites from a command line?
Have you looked at your hosts file? ( C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts )

(Just realised these things don't account for the safe mode deal, but might help you eliminate some things anyway.)
posted by quinndexter at 6:21 AM on August 31, 2017

It is the same with all browsers.

I can ping (google) but I can't, say, traceroute or ping to www.youtube.com.

The hosts file is clean.
posted by xyzzy at 6:27 AM on August 31, 2017

from command line, when you do an nslookup on youtube:

nslookup youtube.com

what are you getting back?
posted by deezil at 6:28 AM on August 31, 2017

Server: UnKnown

DNS request timed out. timeout was 2 seconds.
posted by xyzzy at 6:30 AM on August 31, 2017

Force the DNS over to Google's on your local network adapter and see if things work?
posted by deezil at 6:37 AM on August 31, 2017

If setting your DNS to Google's doesn't work (you've said you pinged it, not set as DNS), I'd recommended making sure your IPv6 and IPv4 settings are set to be obtained automatically (generally in Manage network settings or similar). This sounds weirdly like a problem specifically with sites trying to use IPv6 since Youtube and Google were at the forefront of v6 back in 2012.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:45 AM on August 31, 2017

OK, it's fixed now. I set Google to the DNS server, which fixed nothing. Flushed, disabled, re-enabled. Nothing. Then I reset it back to "get automagically" and disabled and re-enabled my connection. Now it works.

Thanks everyone.
posted by xyzzy at 6:51 AM on August 31, 2017

For the benefit of future visitors to this question: even though almost all of the inbuilt Windows troubleshooters are useless piles of fail, I have actually seen the Windows 7 network troubleshooter fix this very issue.
posted by flabdablet at 9:00 PM on August 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

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