I can't access any Google site. Can you help?
April 5, 2008 5:59 AM   Subscribe

I suddenly can't access any Google sites from my computer. Any ideas how to fix?

I am on a PC running Firefox. In the last day or two I have not been able to access any Google site (Google, gmail, maps, reader, etc).

Here's what I've tried so far:
- Restart firefox
- Restart computer
- Restart modem and router
- Empty cache and cookies
- Run spybot and AdAware
- Tried Google from Internet Explorer
- Checked router security settings to see any domains have been blocked

Any suggestions of other steps to try?

posted by kdern to Computers & Internet (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you ping google?
posted by k8t at 6:04 AM on April 5, 2008

maybe flush the DNS?

On your local machine, click Start and select Run
Type command and click Ok
Within the prompt, type "ipconfig /flushdns"
(remove quotations)
posted by sharkfu at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2008

I don't know how to ping google. Can you explain?

I ran the command to flush the DNS, restarted Firefox. No difference. I can get on any site except Google sites.

Any other ideas?
posted by kdern at 6:25 AM on April 5, 2008

At a command prompt, try running "nslookup www.google.com" and see what it resolves to. To ping a server, do "ping hostname" from the command prompt.

As a bit of information, who is your ISP? Additional things to try to attempt to narrow it down: Are there any other computers that you can put on the same net connection? Is it possible to move the computer to another net connection?
posted by skynxnex at 6:37 AM on April 5, 2008

Try using OpenDNS (there are guides for reconfiguring either your computer or router); if that fixes it then the problem is with the DNS servers.
posted by malevolent at 6:40 AM on April 5, 2008

are you using google anon? because that's not working. http://www.imilly.com/google-cookie.htm#blocking
posted by rmd1023 at 7:12 AM on April 5, 2008

I don't know if you're regularly monitoring, but I'll post here and check back.

1. Click Start
2. Click Run
3. Type "cmd" and press enter. Do not type the quote marks.
4. A black window opens. This is a DOS window. Type (without quotes) "ping www.google.com" and press enter.

You will get a few lines in response. The ones I'm most interested in are the ones that start:

"Reply from"
"Request timed out"

Post back the results please...
posted by tcv at 7:26 AM on April 5, 2008

what exactly is happening when you try to "access any Google sites"? working out what's wrong (and then how to fix it) is easier if you provide the actual error messages that you're getting... is firefox giving you an error dialog box? if so, what does it say? are you getting some error page showing up inside the browser window instead of the google page you're expecting? if so, what does it say?
posted by russm at 7:31 AM on April 5, 2008

I could have sworn I saw this just the other day on here, but now I can't find the spot.

If I'm remembering correctly, if you block/delete cookies from Google in Firefox, you're going to have to re-enable them before Google will let you get back on any of the sites you might have signed in to.

Try going into your FF preferences and setting a rule to make sure that Google is allowed to set its cookie, even if it's just for the session.
posted by pupdog at 9:02 AM on April 5, 2008

When you say that one of the things you did is "Tried Google from Internet Explorer," are we correct to interpret that as meaning that IE wouldn't bring up Google sites either? Because if that's the case, then it's likely not a Firefox cookie.

(By the way, I suspect this is what you're thinking of, pupdog.)
posted by mumkin at 10:35 AM on April 5, 2008

For what it's worth, Google has been unusually sketchy for me as well the past few days. I just give it a while.

Try a proxy server if you really need to access to check your e-mail or something.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 10:59 AM on April 5, 2008

Y'know what? The same thing's happening here. I guess the question I have for both of you, kdern and hungrysquirrels, is what service provider you have. I have Charter cable in St. Louis...
posted by limeonaire at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2008

Oh wow. Checked profile, and yeah, kdern's from St. Louis. If you have Charter, kdern, then we probably have our answer—Charter screwed something up (again). Dunno about you, hungrysquirrels.
posted by limeonaire at 11:02 AM on April 5, 2008

tcv, tried pinging Google, got four timeouts, all four packets lost.

Heh. I knew that if I went to AskMe today and looked for a question about this, there'd be some other poor soul with the same problem...
posted by limeonaire at 11:05 AM on April 5, 2008

And yeah, mumkin, I also tried Google from Internet Explorer, and it's not coming up on that browser, either. Not a cookie thing, that I can tell.
posted by limeonaire at 11:07 AM on April 5, 2008

For me it's just been slow on and off. Like it's being routed via Japan or something. Other sites are fine. Couldn't be bothered to investigate. Seems ok right now.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 11:13 AM on April 5, 2008

Just another data point, that I am also in st. louis and am also having trouble with google. Couldn't get google maps to load.
posted by andoatnp at 11:41 AM on April 5, 2008

Oh, and is there any way that someone can post directions of how to ping google on a macbook...
posted by andoatnp at 11:52 AM on April 5, 2008

andoatnp....Applications > Utilities > Network Utility > Ping
posted by Thorzdad at 12:09 PM on April 5, 2008

Oh, and, fwiw, Muncie, IN here. Google coming in loud and clear.
Well...most of Google. Maps no longer work on this old version of Safari, and the StreetView doesn't work on FF 2 for me.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:13 PM on April 5, 2008

Here is what I just got, on a macbook from st. louis:

Ping has started ...
PING www.google.com ( 56 data bytes
--- www.google.com ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss
posted by andoatnp at 12:31 PM on April 5, 2008

I've been having this problem intermittently for the last four or five months. For periods ranging from 20 mins to 3 hours, Google and iGoogle don't work, Gmail is off and on, and most subsidiary or subdomained Google sites (Google Pages, Google News, though I've always been able to get to Google Images) have been flaky. I've always assumed the ISP was having a DNS problem. Comcast in St. Petersburg, Florida if you're interested in the data point.
posted by recoveringsophist at 1:03 PM on April 5, 2008

Yes, I'm on Charter in St. Louis (unfortunately).

I've connected to my wireless network now with another computer - a macbook - and I can't access any Google sites on the macbook either.

I'm not sure how to ping google from the mac.
posted by kdern at 2:44 PM on April 5, 2008

I just tried my Sprint broadband card on my Mac and connected to Google with no problem. So maybe it is Charter.
posted by kdern at 2:46 PM on April 5, 2008

Just asked a friend in Clayton, MO to try... he's also on Charter and can't get on google either.
posted by kdern at 2:48 PM on April 5, 2008

Heh. Now I'm wondering if AT&T's heard about this—they had a couple sales guys out knocking on doors today around my neighborhood.
posted by limeonaire at 2:53 PM on April 5, 2008

Oh wow—and Google's back up. Yay!
posted by limeonaire at 2:54 PM on April 5, 2008

It's not working here.
posted by kdern at 3:04 PM on April 5, 2008

kdern: did you try using OpenDNS' DNS servers? Follow their instructions for your OS and see if that makes a difference.
posted by mumkin at 7:23 PM on April 5, 2008

Just a followup - it seems that this was a problem with Charter, our cable company in St. Louis. Our access to google just came back - after about 24 hours.
posted by kdern at 9:05 PM on April 5, 2008

Another followup - it's the third day and google is still not working, though gmail is ok.

Anyone else having this problem and still reading this question?
posted by kdern at 6:05 AM on April 6, 2008

*sigh* Yeah, still having the problem. It was only back temporarily.
posted by limeonaire at 10:25 AM on April 6, 2008

A quick question, kdern, if you're still reading (or if anyone else is)—have you called Charter to ask about it? And if so, what'd they tell you?
posted by limeonaire at 10:28 AM on April 6, 2008

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