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a real Yahoo mail brain teaser


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#1
mostlysane

mostlysane

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[just realized, this went to the wrong forum - sorry!!]

I know my way around a computer pretty well, but this one has turned into a challenge that makes no sense to me. Connections to websites all work normally, except to Yahoo. Connecting directly to mail.yahoo.com brings me to the login screen normally, but when I log in and try to manage the inbox, that's where the problem starts. First, I will describe the symptoms, then a very long list of things I've done.

I can receive mail and I can open a message to read it. I can also compose a new message. But I can not send a new message, and messages received can not be deleted, forwarded, or moved to another folder, either from within the message or from the list of inbox contents. Instead, I just get a very long working state, and then a blank screen. This is not a Yahoo problem, not entirely anyway, since I can go to a different computer on the same home network and the problem does not happen. The symptoms are the same in 3 different Yahoo email accounts on different servers. Pings and tracerts to www.yahoo.com and mail.yahoo.com all look normal. This is the 'classic' Yahoo mail, not the new one - I switched to the new one in 1 of the 3 accounts, just long enough to verify that the problem was still there in the new version, then switched back to classic. I've kept a close eye on Google for other people having this kind of problem but seen almost nothing, so I guess it must be me, not Yahoo, though I was seriously suspecting some kind of conflicts with the new version they're pushing.

The network consists of the computer that does not have the problem, with a wireless connection to a Netgear router, and the computer that does have the problem connected via ethernet to the same router. The problem happens in Firefox 3.6, IE8, and Opera 11.

Since the problem began, I have replaced a large hosts file with the barebones one that only defines local host. I have verified that the lmhosts file is still the generic one. I have used the add/remove control panel to remove Java, restarted, used 2 different registry cleaners to eliminate any references to Java, then reloaded the latest Java and verifed the install at Java.com in Firefox and IE8. I have flushed the DNS and ARP caches (and of course the browser caches), reset TCP, verified that Ipsec is not running, and verified that TCP filtering is off. I have verified that Javascript is enabled. I have run a deep virus and spyware scan with AVG 11, then removed AVG to see if it was interfering. I have run a deep scan with Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware. I have also tried restarting with Zone Alarm Pro turned off. I have checked the router for any kind of settings that looked unusual. I have tried different ports on the router. I have disabled all ad- and script-blocking software. There's probably some other things that I just don't remember because it was 2:30am one of the nights this last week. Some of these things would be pretty unlikely to contribute to part of a web page working and part of it not working, but sometimes you just do something to get a clue that might spark an idea, right?

My gut says it's a Java problem, I can't think of anything else that would come into the picture after clicking a button in the Yahoo screen and that would be involved no matter which browser is used. I am seeing very long delays and lots of packet loss, so I could buy that the browser is just timing out on moving a message to a folder or deleting one or sending one, but I can't see how that fits with the other computer on the same network having no problem, unless the time-out is happening on my computer, not the connection, which brings me back to the xp networking components. Can't think of any way to test if it's a time-out issue with just certain actions. It's true that I've seen unusual delays in a ping to local host, where it takes a few seconds to display anything received, maybe even as much as 6-8 real-time seconds (!), but then it always says all 4 replies were received in less than 1ms. I don't know what to make of the long delay before seeing the replies in the command screen. Just for the record, the network stack consists of file/printer sharing unchecked, QoS checked (unchecked made no difference), and TCP. IP and DNS are obtained automatically. The router has a static IP.

Bottom line, it's not critical at all - everything else seems to work ok, and this was enough motivation to finally migrate away from Yahoo mail, so it's purely an intellectual challenge to figure out what's going on. If anybody else likes to tackle brain-teasers, I thought I'd share this one :)

Edited by mostlysane, 08 May 2011 - 02:53 PM.

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#2
DonnaB

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Hi mostlysane,

Welcome to Geeks to go!

I'll take a whack at this! I LOVE a challenge! :)

Since you have tried everything under the sun, I'd like to put my money on a corrupt User Acct.! If you are logged in on the Admin. Acct. try the Guest Acct. (or vice-a-versa) to access Yahoo on that computer.

Let me know if it works. If it does...then Yahooie!!!! :unsure: And all those other folks on the net having similar issues will have a possible solution as well!

If not, oh well, at least we eliminated that possibility.

Donna

Edited by DonnaB, 10 May 2011 - 12:10 PM.

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#3
mostlysane

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Hi mostlysane,

Welcome to Geeks to go!

I'll take a whack at this! I LOVE a challenge! :)

Since you have tried everything under the sun, I'd like to put my money on a corrupt User Acct.! If you are logged in on the Admin. Acct. try the Guest Acct. (or vice-a-versa) to access Yahoo on that computer.

Let me know if it works. If it does...then Yahooie!!!! :unsure: And all those other folks on the net having similar issues will have a possible solution as well!

If not, oh well, at least we eliminated that possibility.

Donna

Hi Donna -
Thanks, that was an idea that hadn't crossed my mind. I was indeed in an admin account, the only account on the system. So I enabled a limited account and the guest account both, and tried them. Unfortunately, things were not any better that way either. In addition, I've found that there are certain other sites that I have similar problems with - for example, I can sign into nytimes.com, but when I try to change my email address on the profile, it asks me to re-enter my password, and then just hangs when I try to submit the form. At 1st I was suspecting something up with how https is handled, but I got into my Bank of America account with no problem at all.
I look at the list of all the pieces of this puzzle - Windows, network stack, firewall, net card, ram, hard drive, ethernet cable, router, browser, Java, registry, DNS, various caches, various services, is there anything whatsoever, hard or soft (besides the local power company's infrastructure), that I'm leaving out? - and I can see how almost any of them could cause some of the symptoms, but not consistently the same symptoms with only some parts of only some websites.
It would give me great satisfaction to take this computer on a little walk with a stick of dynamite hiding in my back pocket.
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#4
DonnaB

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Hi mostlysane,

Bummer! Looks like I lost that bet! :unsure:

Don't nuke that computer just yet. There is an answer that we haven't found yet. Below is something that I found and I'd like to see if this makes a difference.

Today, all browsers have JavaScript installed and enabled by default. If you wish to verify that JavaScript is enabled or wish to JavaScript follow the below steps for the Internet browser you're using. Keep in mind that JavaScript and Java are two completely different features of a browser, this document is for enabling / disabling JavaScript not Java.

If at any time you need to test if JavaScript is enabled or disabled see the JavaScript definition for a working example of a JavaScript that will work if enabled or display JavaScript is disabled when disabled.

Finally, keep in mind many features and portions of webpage's rely on JavaScript, if disabled you may encounter various errors when surfing the Internet.

Internet Explorer

1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Click Tools.
3. Click Internet Options.
4. Within Internet Options click the Security tab.
5. In the Security tab click the Custom Level button.
6. Scroll down the list (close to the bottom) and locate "Active Scripting" and select "Disable", "Enable", or "Prompt" depending on if you want to enable or disable JavaScript.

Mozilla / Mozilla Firefox / Netscape

1. Open the browser.
2. Click Tools and then Options.
3. Click the Content button.
4. Within the Content section check the "Enable JavaScript" option to enable JavaScript or uncheck the JavaScript option to disable JavaScript.

Opera

1. Open Opera
2. Click Tools and click Quick Preferences or press F12
3. In the Quick Preferences check "Enable JavaScript" to enable JavaScript or uncheck it to disable JavaScript.


If no joy, try downloading JavaRa to get rid of all the residual files that Java has left behind then re-install the latest Java 6 update 25 which is the latest version. How often do you clear out your Java cache? This may make a difference as well.

If the above does not help, click on Help to the far right in Yahoo Mail and choose Contact Us in the bottom of the list. If you follow through with contacting them please keep me informed as to what they have to say.

:) Donna

Edited by DonnaB, 15 May 2011 - 11:32 AM.

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