Vista laptop will not go to most webpages via wireless, no problem wired

By Karmashock
Jul 20, 2009
  1. It's very strange. The laptop works perfectly wired but wirelessly it can't resolve most webpages. It's not a connectivity issue as it wont' work even next to the router and other computers work just fine elsewhere.

    Also it can ping all these websites and resolve their IP without problem from the command prompt. It is only when trying to view the page in firefox or IE that you can't see anything. Other programs also have a hard time. Thunderbird can't download email and several anti spyware programs can't download updates. But all sites are pingable from the command prompt... without error.

    I can also VNC into the system with UltraVNC single click without a problem.

    I have spybot search and destroy, Avast personal, and Malwarebytes installed. These were installed because the previous machine had a problem with spyware.

    It is Windows Vista Business 64bit.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Can we assume you have disconnected and reconnected your wireless, and uninstalled and reinstalled your wireless software?
  3. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

  4. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    No one has any thoughts on this? It's very frustrating. I think it might be some unknown/undetectable malware.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Very strange indeed.

    >> Certainly wise under the circumstance to check for malware. See here for Virus/Malware Removal Instructions
    >> Have you tried booting into Safe Mode w/Networking to see if that might work any different?
    >> And when talking of "disconnecting/reconnecting" wireless... more specifically, have you gone into device manager, found the network adapter and uninstall it (and very it no longer appears in Network Connections) before reconnecting the adapter and letting Windows re-installl driver?
  6. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    The malware check came up dry. The computer was actually new. I mean this hit damn near out of the box. And the really weird thing is that this computer was bought to replace an older computer that the same thing had happened to... it just made more sense to replace it because it was time anyway.

    In any event, the network is FINE if you connect it with a wired hardline. I don't know if wireless works in safemode?

    As to device drivers etc. The it connect to networks flawlessly. No problem. I can ping anything. I can even use VNC over the wireless without a problem. What doesn't work is websites and email. So I'm guessing that ports 80, 110, and 25 are inhibited. But even then it isn't total. I can go to google no problem as well as a handful of random websites that have no relation to each other. But 99 percent of the internet just won't load. it's very annoying.

    I can fix it with a system restore but the fix only lasts for a day. In the meantime nothing happens. I don't install anything, I don't update, I don't do anything... next day problem is back. Restore, rinse, repeat.

    I'm almost positive at this point that it's malware but it is adapter specific. It has ZERO effect on the Ethernet and ONLY effects the wifi. Which means the laptop has to remain tethered to work properly. Which rather defeats the point.

    I have an XP machine that has been exposed to all the same things and hasn't shown any signs of infection. It works perfectly no problem. But two vista laptops in a row have exhibited this same behavior. The last one eventually had it's harddrive crash... which was the tipping point for me getting a new computer... I just didn't see the point in carrying on.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Appears to be a hardware issue to me. I would reinstall everything wireless, then if still not working I would have it test for signal strength, and for steady output. Of course it could be the VISTA drivers for your particular system that are poorly written or corrupted.

    From what I remember, you did not post the laptop nor the configuration. So it is hard to know if the problem is known for your series of models.

    We don't see as many Wireless problems with Vista as we did with previous operating systems.
  8. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    I'll repeat that we had the same issue on two entirely different laptops.

    Both laptops functioned perfectly out of the box and would function again after a system restore... but only for a day.

    Both laptops could access the internet via command prompt or VNC but neither of them could open most websites or download email.

    I'll try what you suggested... but does that really sound like a hardware problem to you?
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Just a few thoughts...
    Were they both running Vista 64bit? As (just grabbing for thoughts that might help prove the common denominator) i think vista 64bit drivers have been more an issue then vista 32bit
    Have you tried running pathping at the command prompt to check any latency and response issues for different sites?

    >> Since your problem is adapter specific, you might want to try disabling your firewall temporarily to test web access when firewall is disabled
    >> You might try uninstalling / reinstalling the latest Java

    /* EDIT */
    Or simply looked/compared the response times for a simple ping itself? Any significance in the response times?
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You have already convinced us it is difficult. I can see where a poorly written driver, or a driver mistakenly written for X64 or Vista can be wrong... but it would not be VISTA, methinks, but the driver misapplied... so that things do not work in VISTA

    The problem, as you know, is how to get it working again... and the fact that the failure cannot be universal, or we would know about it.

    Do you then switch to WXP or do you find a fix that will work with VISTA...

    It is a hardware error, or a driver error due to the hardware, or a driver error due to being improperly written for VISTA...

    Or most likely is that they have given you a driver for 32bit vista, instead of one written for x64 VISTA...

    Do you return the laptop, or negotiate a repair or replacement...
  11. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    No, the first laptop was vista 32.
    They were different models/brands though. So no driver relation.

    there is no connectivity issue.

    Anything that doesn't run on ports 80, 110, and 25 generally works without a problem.

    Pings, VNC, etc are not effected.

    Websites generally won't load. Though specific websites will load without problem. Google for example will always load... and this isn't a cache issue... I can type in "happy hippo museum of cheese" and I'll get a relevant response back.

    None of the links from that site will work however. Email doesn't work at all. Mal ware programs can't update.

    But the issue only exists when connecting wirelessly. Connect with a cable and everything works perfectly. I've never heard of adapter specific malware. Typically when they screw things up it effects everything.

    Already did that... :(

    Tiny difference that you'd expect by going through any wifi system versus the ethernet... not really significant.

    It's not a connectivity issue...
    I'm installing XP... I can't deal with this nonsense any longer... I'm banning Vista from my life henceforth.

    I've seen no material improvement to vista anywhere. And for that bit of nothing we have all these problems with compatibility, bugs, etc... screw it. I'm so sick of this... >_<
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