Sunday, March 14, 2010

IE or Firefox won't display pages?

Emma's HP DV2000 notebook (running Vista crapware) had an interesting problem. For some reason, none of her browsers - Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, or Google's Chrome - would connect to the Internet. But she did have an actively working net connection because other TCP/IP tools worked OK, such as ping, iTunes, and even Windows update. After a few system restores, IE resets, startup service troubleshooting, futile safe mode boots, Vista and IE updates, Firefox uninstall/reinstalls, I ran across some discussions about Norton's security products causing similar sounding problems, especially on HP computers where, unfortunately, it seems to be a standard part of the software distribution. So I found the Norton removal tool here, put it on a USB stick, then stuck it into Emma's notebook. After removing Norton and rebooting the notebook, all browsers connected OK. Ugh. What a waste of eight hours. Of course, there was nothing at all in the Windows system event logs to indicate what the problem was. Issues like this, I think, are Apple's bread and butter.

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