How do I get my browser to work?
February 18, 2008 10:39 AM   Subscribe

How do I get an Internet browser to work in Vista?

Trying to troubleshoot a Lenovo T61 laptop for somebody. Here are the facts:
- Running Vista Home Premium 32Bit, Lenovo T61, dual core 1.8Mgz, 2GB RAM
-IE7 and Firefox display their respective page cannot be displayed message
- User says, unprompted, "It just stopped working for no reason", and "I did not do anything to the machine"
-Would rather not reinstall the OS
-Both the wired and wireless network adapters give me the same problem
-I can pull an IP address from the DHCP servers
-I can ping the gateways
-I flushed the DNS
-I set up the DHCP addresses as statics
-Made sure the proxy setting was off
-Disabled AV, and Windows firewall
-I am able to use network resources
-I am able to use remote access software (remote desktop, VNC)
-AOL Instant Messenger does not work
-I have scoured forums without any luck
-This is the first time I have actually used Vista
-I have tried different networks at work and home

Have I missed something?
And just for my own knowledge, why do over 10 network adapters display when I do an ipconfig?
I have gotten the go ahead to install WinXP, but wanted to give AskMF a shot.
Lenovo tech support was not helpful, since it is a software issue. The offered OS support for $99, that might solve the issue.
posted by MrMulan to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
The one thing I can suggest from my playing with Vista is to try right-clicking the browser icon and choosing "Run as Administrator" to make sure it's not an account-level permissions issue.
posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on February 18, 2008

Are your sure AV is really dead? I saw a similar problem with Norton that was solved via the Norton Removal (aka Die! Norton! Die!) Tool
posted by mrbugsentry at 10:51 AM on February 18, 2008

So you can ping the gateways but not remote sites? For two different networks?
posted by demiurge at 11:03 AM on February 18, 2008

Can you ping sites like
posted by mphuie at 11:16 AM on February 18, 2008

If VNC works then I suspect a dns problem, make sure your dhcp server is giving you a working dns server or use
posted by Ferrari328 at 11:25 AM on February 18, 2008

Still no luck.

Tried running browser as admin, uninstalled AV, I am able to ping remote sites ai yahoo, msn, and google.
I have flushed the dns, have confirmed that I am getting a working DNS, and have tried setting it as part of a static address.
posted by MrMulan at 11:57 AM on February 18, 2008

Is there a proxy defined somewhere for the browser?
posted by Mr. Gunn at 12:29 PM on February 18, 2008

It might be worth checking for a restore point (control panel -> backup and restore center -> system restore) and see if there's anything just before everything went wonky- this is supposed to only mess with the windows folder, not the whole drive, so docs should be safe. I'm not sure if this is included in vista home or only pro, so it may not be there for you.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:02 PM on February 18, 2008

Thinkpads use a utility called "Access Connections" to manage the network settings. It allows you to set up profiles for different locations and then switch between them. Might be worth checking it out (or disabling/uninstalling completely)
posted by kaefer at 2:38 PM on February 18, 2008

Some things I would have checked:

In the Network and Sharing Center where there's three icons (the PC, the Network and the Globe) are there solid double lines connecting all of them, or is there an X over top of the one to the Internet (if so click on the X and it will try to diagnose)? Does it say you have *limited* connectivity?

I don't see you specifically say you tried pinging or Also, did you try pinging those sites by their IP addresses (written down from a ping from a PC that has good connection). If you said it or implied it and I missed it, sorry.

Did you look at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts for anything funky?
posted by forthright at 7:44 PM on February 18, 2008

So....any luck?

It sounds like you've ruled out lots of potential problems, so it could only be a handful of things at this point. I wouldn't imagine that it has anything to do with the OS though. If you haven't gone down that road yet, here's some things to try:

- Hook yourself up to a reliable wired network with a good cable
- Go to your Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Network Connections and right-click your network connection and choose Status. Then click Details. You should have DNS enabled, and see entries for IPv4 Address, Gateway, DHCP Server, DNS Server(s), and WINS server. You'll probably also have NetBIOS over TCP/IP enabled.
- If everything looks ok there, close Details and click Properties. Make sure there's a check mark by TCP/IPv4. Actually, if there's a checkmark missing anywhere in here, check it.
- You should have, at the bare minimum: Client for Microsoft Networks, QoS Packet Scheduler, and Internet Protocols 4 & 6. If you don't see these, you'll need to install them manually. Click Install and follow the prompts.
- If you still can't get on the internet, select the IPv4 protocol and click Properties. Try to set everything to obtain its information automatically.
- Still having problems? Under your connection properties, click the Configure button to see info on your NIC. Hopefully, your device status says that it is working properly. Go to the Driver tab and click Disable to disable the device. Then re-enable the device. Try connecting again.
- If this still doesn't work, I would recommend connecting to the same connection using a machine that is known to work. Go through the steps above and see if there are any discrepancies between the two machines. Finally, go the manufacturer of the bad machine's network card and find the newest driver, download it, and put it on the bad machine. Uninstall and reinstall the device according the manufacturer's instructions.
- If all of this does not solve your problem... install XP.

Hope this helps!
posted by tjvis at 2:25 PM on February 19, 2008

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