When opening Internet Explorer I get the cannot find server page. When I then type in another url, I get a error box appear saying "Internet Explorer could not open the start page"

I could have caused the problem myself by uninstalling something important. I got some spy/ad ware that I uninstalled (something like sidebar or 180search (can't really remember!)) and have had the problem ever since.

I've gone through the process or resetting my web settings (as advised in the XP help pages)
I've tried using another browser, and get the same thing.
I can connect to my isp (through dial up), so I guess its not a problem there.

I'm running Windows XP home (emachines 2230)
I'm always running Adaware and spybot search and destroy.

Can anyone help?


I thought that maybe adaware may have had something to do with it, so I restored the ad's that were quarantined on the day I had the problem.

Then tried to connect and all is back to normal

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheesy:

so I restored the ad's that were quarantined on the day I had the problem... and all is back to normal

Um, let's ponder this for a moment: you "fixed" your connectivity problem by reinstalling the malicious or infected files??

Isn't that sort of like a doctor removing a diseased liver from a patient, but then putting it back because he discovered that the patient couldn't function without a liver? :eek: :p

Some malicious programs do integrate themselves into the chain of your networking software in such a way that removing them "breaks" the chain of network communication. The solution, however, is not to reinstall the offending programs, but to use one of the utilities such as LSPFix or WinsockXPfix to repair the damage.

By restoring the quarrantined objects, you've almost certainly reintroduced malicious code into your system.

:) A Doctor wouldn't remove a diseased liver until a donor became avaliable. The old one stays as a temporary solution! lol :)

No, Seriously,
This fix is only temporary, if theres a way of fixing the problem for good the I'll try it!
What are the programs you mentioned (LSPFix & WinsockXPfix), never heard of them before, what do they do, where can I get hold of them?

Glad to hear the "solution" was only temporary! :mrgreen:

Seriously though, here's a bit more of an explanation of what I said earlier:

The programs I mentioned fix damage done by malicious programs to your LSP stack:

LSP = Layered Service Provider. Very basically, this is a Microsoft networking software component which is an extention/addition to the core TCP/IP software (TCP/IP stack). The word "layered" refers to the fact that many different individual networking components can be layered/stacked/chained together such that they act as a single "pipeline" for network communication. Unfortunately, malicious programs can insert themselves into this chain to alter that communication; think of it as a parasitic biological organism grafting itself into the ladder structure of DNA.
When the offending program is removed, it leaves a broken link in the chain, which needs to be repaired.

The two programs I mentioned (links below) can do just that, but they should not be used unless you know what you're doing or have received instructions from an expert. Having the programs "fix" the wrong thing can break your networking software even further.


What you should do:

1. Run Ad Aware and SpyBot again, having them fix everything they find.

2. Download and run the HijackThis utility; among other things, it can detect the presence of a broken LSP stack. In our Security forum you will find many threads containing instruction on just how to use HijackThis; follow those instructions carefully and post the contents of the log file that HijackThis generates in a new thread in the Security forum, not in this forum. Our security experts will analyse your log and guide you through the proper repairs.

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