View Full Version : Inability to browse - downloads, messenger still working

26th November 2004, 12:29 AM
Computer in question is a 1 1/2 year old Emachines using WinXP Home. EZfirewall, AVG, AdawareSE Personal, Spybot S&D, Popup Blocker, IE browser and Mozilla Firefox. Has had all updates including all the fixes to SP2. Broadband

This is a similar problem to one we had with it 6 months ago ending in reformatting the hard drive (factory restore).

Over the past few days while on a web site suddenly the page shows "cannot be displayed" as if you're not connected to the internet. Yet the connection is still there. Could download, use messenger and several other internet options. With every reboot, the problem has worsened. If on standby for awhile then you'd lose the ability to browse. Pinging shows computer still receiving connection. Lack of browsing ability is found in Both IE and Mozilla.

Now, after trying several fixes (winsock etc.) downloading ability is degrading also. Simply put, it's going downhill. All fixes say nothing is wrong. Nothing on virus scan, nothing on Adaware, nothing on Spybot - everything shows a clean computer of virus,trojan,malware,spyware etc. Have deleted temp files , cookies etc. Cannot stay logged into a web site long enough to run a scan through pcpitstop or any other place.

Fortunately we have two computers, so can access this forum. Was sending links to other computer through msn messenger in attempt to fix problem.

There are many files which are not going to be easily backed up or burned:( Frankly, I don't think reformatting every 6 months is much of a solution. HELP!!


7th December 2004, 07:03 PM
i think this might be a problem with your broadband heartbeat...
i'll try explain

Some Broadband providers use an authentication system which has been nicknamed “the heartbeat” which is similar in concept to a “ping”. Every five minutes or so, a message is sent to your computer to see if you're still there.
Several applications like firewalls, Win98/ME ICS and VPNs block this message, causing the connection to drop out regularly.

it's believed it works according to the following scenario

Phase1: Authentication. (TCP)

Client calls Heartbeat Server: "Hi, this is user:username pass:encryptedpassword and if you want to talk to me use port : portnumber".

Heartbeat Server responds: "G'day username, OK, I will send heartbeat messages to port : number, please respond to port : number"


Phase2: Heartbeat (at ~5 minute intervals). (UDP)

Heartbeat Server to client: (UDP) "Hey, you still there?".

Client to Heartbeat Server: (UDP) "Yep, of course I am, shutup and quit hasslin' me."


okay, that's my explination...i would suggest giving a ring to you providers and asking them if this is the cause...
usually you can resolve this by locating the IP address of the heartbeat yourself but i recommend first getting in touch with your ISP before we go there

i hope that helped