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#1
magusbuckley

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Hello:

I'm working on a computer for a lady and fear I may have to drive to her house to resolve this issue.

What's Going On?
She can open the browser and connect to any site by typing the address in the address bar, but surfing the web by clicking link after link ends in a "Page Can Not Be Displayed" error after only four or five clicks.

What We've Done.
The onboard NIC on this computer died a year or so ago so they bought a device that converts Cat 5 to USB. All was fine again until the other day when the symptom described above started happening. When I first spoke with her on the phone, she explained that she already had another guy who "knows how to fix computers" look at it. His best idea was to reinstall the OS. He had also configured IE to connect via a dial-up connection and there were no drivers installed for the converter. I deleted the dial-up connection, reconfigured IE, and installed the latest drivers for the converter. At my house, I was then able to surf the web with no problems. When the lady came out, I still had the PC hooked up so I could demonstrate it to her. She was so excited. I loaded the box in her car and she was on her way. She called about an hour later letting me know that it still wasn't working at her house. She was having the same problem. She called the ISP who confirmed, via phone, that the modem was functioning properly and said they could see activity on her line. I asked her to reboot the modem and PC while I waited with her on the phone. It still isn't working.

Now What?
Well, we know she doesn't have a virus becuase she had a fresh install of Windows XP and until she got it to my house, the PC had not been online. I disabled the Windows Firewall and uninstalled her Norton Internet Security 2005 edition as it was only a trial version and was severely outdated. Since the PC was OK at my house, I have to assume it's the modem. She isn't using a router so we can rule that out. Any ideas?

Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Magus
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#2
Neil Jones

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This is classic behaviour of what happens with an Operating System repair under Windows XP.
If the machine had IE7 or IE8 on before the repair, the repair will revert back to IE6 but it will not work properly.
Therefore the solution is to reapply IE7 or upgrade to IE8.
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#3
magusbuckley

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Neil:

Thanks for the reply.

The only catch with your theory is that the PC was having this problem BEFORE the guy reinstalled the OS. In addition, IE6 is able to surf the web at my house just fine. It's only when the PC is at her house that the problem occurs. This, then, points me to the modem.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Magus
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#4
Neil Jones

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The only catch with your theory is that the PC was having this problem BEFORE the guy reinstalled the OS. In addition, IE6 is able to surf the web at my house just fine. It's only when the PC is at her house that the problem occurs. This, then, points me to the modem.


The USB to LAN adaptor is most likely the problem. In hindsight a better solution would have been a separate network card to replace the onboard one. While USB to LAN adaptors are very good, I really would not rely on one long term. Much like I do not advocate using USB broadband modems, since they cause no end of connection issues, and they're totally unreliable, realistically USB becomes more and more unreliable the more data it has squirted through it. Plus the port design is really fickle, easily broken and can short an entire board out in the long run.

A better solution may be to not use USB anything. A router configured with appropriate details and a network cable complete with separate network PCI card. If the lady is on an ADSL broadband setup the modem is part of the router, as you may be aware. A DSL broadband connection will require use of the provider's modem, or an alternative one. What you need I cannot say as I know nothing about the lady's situation.
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