Friday, March 25, 2011

After Hours of Troubleshooting...

I made the mistake of installing some new software...harmless right? Well, not so much. Turns out many 'computer optimization' programs can actually kill your computer. Well, not exactly kill. But it corrupts your internet settings, making any hooked-in computer all but worthless. Seriously, what good is a computer without Internet? In any case, after hours of troubleshooting, I have solved this issue. I decided I should tell you guys about how I fixed it, since there doesn't seem to be any documentation (that I could find) on the Internet already.
1) The issue begins when any program decides to modify your Services. 
Symptoms of this issue may only appear after rebooting, and often times sooner. 
However, they all share a common denominator... 
When you attempt to connect to the Internet through a browser, the page will idly try to load, often with a spinning buffer wheel, for a couple minutes until you get an "Cannot Connect to Internet" error page.
This is only the first symptom; your entire Internet dies at this point. 

Trying to reboot your modem, router, computer, TCP/IP Protocol, or killing your LAN connection and restarting it will do nothing.

2) When you look under START -> Control Panel -> Network Connections -> LAN (or whatever form of connection you are using), Right+Click the connection you use, and select STATUS. 
The connection has to be running to do this, so if it isn't running, Double Click to start it. 

In the Status window, you will have two tabs: General and Support. 
Under the General tab you will find the status (connected; not connected; connecting; error, etc), how long the connection has been running, and the (usually inaccurate) speed of the connection. 
Under that will be a graphical representation of all Packets sent and received. 
If you are experiencing problems, you may see sent packets and no received packets, or none across the board, or only received packets. 
Either way, there is an issue here that's obvious.
Now, go to the Support tab. You will see the Address Type, IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway. There is also a Repair and 'Details...' button. 
Click the Repair button, and let the operation run. 
If there are any errors, specifically a DNS Cannot Be Registered error, you have an issue.

Your IP may or may not appear as and the Type may or may not be "Invalid IP Address."
In any case, the issue is that your computer has lost the ability to interact with your modem/router.
You may also have some other symptoms... You may get a framedyn.dll error when running some programs, specifically WIN/DOS applications, and when trying to troubleshoot you may get an error message saying that the 'Help and Support service is not running...'.
This is the actual issue. Your Services have become tampered with, and they need to be corrected manually.

Click START -> RUN or press STR+R (the Windows key plus R) to open Run, and type services.msc into the box, then press Enter.
Find DHCP Client and Right+Click it, then click Properties. 
Set Startup Type to Automatic, click Apply, then click Start.
Reboot is optional, but may increase chances of success. In either case, go back to your Network Connections and reboot the connection. (Right+Click, Disable... Right+Click, Enable).
If this didn't work, return to the Services and find the DNS Client and repeat the same steps as with the DHCP Client.
Repeat for the Extensible Authentication Protocol Service if you have it.
Also repeat for Help and Support (do this anyway, in any case).
Note: ONLY modify the following Services if they are NOT already running. If they are running, do NOT modify them. Only if they are NOT RUNNING do you modify them. To see if a service is running, look under the Status column.
Repeat for HTTP SSL, Network Connections, Network Location Awareness (NLA), Network Provisioning Service, Plug and Play, Remote Procedure Call (RPC), Remote Procedure Call Locator, TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper, and you should be done.
Reboot is optional, but may increase chances of success. In either case, go back to your Network Connections and reboot the connection. (Right+Click, Disable... Right+Click, Enable).

If this didn't work, Google your issue. There are some other methods and fixes that are very different from these that may work. While rebooting your modem, router, and computer will not fix this specific issue right away, I recommend it just in case it's something else. Reboot once you get the Internet working again, and test it out.

Comment with results, issues, etc.

Sincerely, Psychy
Please repost to other sites to help get this fix to more people! :) Thanks

Editor's Note:
This post relates to legitimate programs which carelessly change your computer's settings. Viruses may have a similar effect, but are a much different issue. We will be posting a more refined version of this (and all our other posts, for the sake of consistency) within the next few days. Site operations will be stilted and buggy for awhile, so please be patient, and report any major errors you find, if you wish. Thanks!


  1. Ugh! I had a nasty "Anti-Virus" program install itself on my computer that literally shut down every program telling me that the program was dangerous and corrupted and it was just trying to protect me. It pretty much had over protective mother syndrome where it said it was just protecting me but was really just trying to keep me with it for its own selfish needs. The damn thing even killed off my virus scans, taskmanager, and command promt. It also wiped out my internet so I couldnt find out how to disable it. I had to open it in safemode and manually find the new files. And it even named the files after window documents so it wouldnt be found in scans and had self replicating abilities where if one file was left alive, it would download the rest of the information to replicate itself file by file.

    Nasty little bugger!

  2. Had a problem with this type of thing a while back. Such a silly thing.

  3. Actually, while these steps might help to remove or repair damages from a virus, this post is talking mainly about domestic programs. Programs that you may buy at a store or download online, and sometimes even well known programs of this nature that are trusted, can make changes to your computer in light of "optimization" that actually disable some important features your computer may rely on (and that most don't). This problem is obscure and is mostly caused by indie software, and isn't too common, but when it happens, it's annoying and frustrating.
    So, thanks for reading, and please repost. Others who have this problem might find it extremely helpful!