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There can be many causes for being unable to reach a website that are unrelated to security.
- It could be a network problem. The Internet Traffic Report will give an indication of widespread problems. Call your Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) support desk for information on local problems.
- The website you are trying to reach may be out-of-service.
- Another computer user may have altered the computer's settings.
- Click here if you suspect you have a virus or trojan.

This FAQ will only look at security-related causes. For non-security causes, start by checking part 5 of the BBR Main FAQ


1.0 If you are unable to access some Internet sites, or requests to one Internet site are redirected elsewhere, but you can access other Internet sites, your problem may be "Hosts File Hijacking."

Click here to recover from Hosts file hijacking.

This is the simplest problem you can have, unless whatever did the hijacking is still on your system. So once you have fixed the Hosts file, it is important to follow the steps here: Click here if you suspect you have a virus or trojan.


2.0 If you are unable to access some Internet sites, or mistyped URLs take you to an unusual site, but you can access other Internet sites, your problem may be "search or browser hijacking."

Click here to recover from search or browser hijacking.


3.0 If you are unable to access any Internet sites, it is possible that the computer's winsock has been corrupted or damaged.

This can happen when spyware and trackingware is removed, or it can happen when buggy software is installed.

The type of software involved is called Layered Service Provider (LSP). Different layers (modules) are connected together like links in a chain to provide services for Windows' TCP/IP processor. Each link leads to the next link. If one link is removed and the remaining links are not reconnected, the chain is broken.

Here are utilities that try to repair that.

Important Note: These utilities are ONLY for Windows versions XP SP1 and below. Do NOT use on XP SP2 or above

After running these utilities, and testing that your connection is again working, you should reapply any tweaks that you made to your connection (for example, tweaks made with DrTCP).

Winsock XP Fix for Windows XP.

Winsock 2 Fix w2fix.exe only use on Windows 98, 98SE and Windows Millennium.

LSPfix Repairs Winsock 2 settings, caused by buggy or improperly-removed Internet software, that result in loss of Internet access. (Windows XP SP1 or below)

XP SP2, SP3 and Vista Refer to the following MS KB knowledgebase articles

How to determine and to recover from Winsock2 corruption in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows Vista
»support.microsoft.com/kb/811259/

How to reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP
»support.microsoft.com/default.as···/?sd=RMV

For more on troubleshooting the Winsock and LSP, please check the BBR Microsoft Application FAQ: Winsock Troubleshooting and Repair.


4. Other possible causes and their cures:

- Your current security settings prohibit running ActiveX controls.





Edit 30 July 2008 by CalamityJane: Removed references and links to Lavasoft LSP explorer (no longer available). Added warning to not use these utilities on XP SP2 or above (includes Vista). Added links to KB articles for winsock repair on XP SP2 and above.

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by keith2468 See Profile edited by CalamityJane See Profile
last modified: 2008-07-30 15:41:53