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Suddenly cannot access websites ending in .gov anymore


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#1
Denali

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Hi,

I need help and I hope there's someone here who can point me in the right direction :)

For the last few years, I have been regularly accessing several official sites, mainly www.uscis.gov

A couple of days ago, I started having problems.....at first I could still access the homepage, but when I tried to access further information on it, I would get the typical error message ("Internet explorer cannot display the website. Bla bla"). A day later, I could not even access the homepages anymore (uscis.gov, travel.state.gov, just to name a few). Since then, nothing has changed.
The weird thing is, that I can sometimes pull up the homepage ONCE after starting up the computer.....but when I close the page and try to open it again, I again receive the error message.

At first, I suspected a virus or spyware, but I have since tried it on all three of our computers (two laptops, one desktop), and it's the same on all three. No one else is having these problems (I asked several people), so it can't be a problem of the sites themselves.

I have Windows XP on the desktop and on one of the laptops, Vista on the other laptop. The laptops have a wireless connection through a linksys router. Our internet service provider is MTA.

I usually use Internet Explorer, but have tried it with Firefox as well, just to make sure (had the same problem, though).

Can anybody here help me.....?? :) Please....? :)

I counsel immigrants (legal ones, from Germany :) ) in my spare time, and I really need to be able to access those websites in order to give them the correct answers.

I would REALLY appreciate some support :)

Many thanks in advance,

Denali
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#2
ePost

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I know nothing about the various Traceroute programs that one can use to locate the blockage. Wikipedia is only partially of help: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Traceroute

Edited by ePost, 11 January 2009 - 03:27 PM.

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#3
Broni

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Try here: http://ask-leo.com/i...bsites_why.html
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#4
Denali

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Thanks for your replies :)

The first solutions on the ask-leo website haven't worked, but there are some more suggestions in the comments which I'm going to try :)
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#5
Broni

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Let me know...
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#6
Denali

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Ok, update:

All that advice with the MTU etc. didn't help.

Then I once again tried the simple trick of unplugging router and modem, turning off the power supply to everything, and starting everything up again.

Right after I restarted, everything worked (on desktop and laptop).

But: Now, an hour later, when I tried again, the uscis.gov website again can't be accessed, but another .gov website will open (one that wouldn't before) :)

I'm really not that computer-savvy, and I'm getting pretty frustrated :)

Any other ideas?

Can you tell me where the problem seems to be (e.g. in the router? Would getting a new router make a difference? You can tell I'm getting desperate :) )

Thanks,
Denali
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#7
Broni

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Reset modem again, and connect computer straight to the modem, bypassing router.
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#8
Denali

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I'm really sorry, and I feel pretty stupid, too, but.....I had already tried that and I couldn't get the internet to work at all then :)

I tried it again just now, it said "no connection" and I received the following error messages:

"Problem occurred because the network did not assign a network address to the computer. To restart connection and try to establish full connectivity, click repair"

So I clicked repair and got
"Windows could not finish repairing the problem because the following action cannot be completed: Renewing your IP address."

So I reconnected everything as it was before, with the router and all, rebooted and was able to go online again.

I'm so sorry for making this more complicated but I really have only limited understanding of the computer and I have no idea what all this is about or what to do :)

Are these two separate problems or do they have anything to do with each other....? :)

Thanks so much for your patience and your help :)
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#9
Broni

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Go Start>Run (Start search in Vista), type in:
cmd
Click OK (in Vista, while holding CTRL, and SHIFT, press Enter).

In Command Prompt window, type in following commands, and hit Enter after each one:
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew


Restart computer.

If that doesn't work...
Go Start>Run (Start search in Vista), type in:
cmd
Click OK (in Vista, while holding CTRL, and SHIFT, press Enter).

At Command Prompt, type in:
netsh int ip reset reset.log
Hit Enter.
Type in:
netsh winsock reset catalog
Hit Enter.

Restart computer.


If that doesn't work...
Download, install, and run WinSockFix: http://www.softpedia...inSockFix.shtml
Restart computer, and check again.

Edited by Broni, 12 January 2009 - 05:26 PM.

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#10
Denali

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Thanks so much for your answer and for taking the time to help.

I did all three things on both the desktop and one of the laptops.....didn't help.

In between, the uscis website worked once, but as soon as I closed it and tried to re-open it, it wouldn't work again....and some other official sites (including the one which worked a few hours ago) wouldn't work at all. :)
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#11
Broni

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You have three computers. All three are having same problem?
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#12
Denali

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Yes, it's the same thing on all three.
I usually use the desktop and one of the laptops, but I tried my husband's laptop as well, and the same thing happened :)
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#13
Broni

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You said, that connecting straight to the modem, shuts down internet connection totally, and that the problem exist on all three computers.
I'd call ISP about new modem.
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#14
Denali

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Oh....I never thought it could be the modem :)

I'll give it a try.....it might take a while until I can get a new one, though, I'll have to pick it up the next time I go grocery shopping in the next bigger town (we live in a little community in Alaska :) )

But I'll be back to update afterwards :)

Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.
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#15
Denali

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Unexpected update :)

There's a computer guy working at the same place my husband works, and he finally got hold of him today......and he talked me through:

Apparently our ISP uses "substandard DNS whatevers" and the problem was caused by that.

The solution:

In the control panel, in the internet connection/network area, I had to change the entry from "get ISP address automatically" to a certain set of numbers....same for the DNS thingy right below it. I did that, and now all the .gov sites are working again just fine :)

(sorry for not being able to describe it better, but he just told me what to pull up and the numbers to put in.....as I said, I'm not that computer savvy :) )

Just wanted to let you know that the problem is solved :)

Again thanks for all your help!

Denali

Edited by Denali, 13 January 2009 - 03:40 PM.

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