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Author Topic: Google keeps hijiacking my browser  (Read 1025 times)
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Hansey
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« on: May 25, 2008, 07:00:52 PM »

Hey everyone.  I'm a bit of a lurker, but I wanted to delurk to see if anyone had any insight about a problem I've been having for some time.  I think it started right around the time I got a new PC with Vista on it, so for the time being, I blame Vista, but there must be a way to fix it.

Occassionally when I'm browsing the web (I use Opera generally), I will click a link or type a URL, and I get a Google page telling me the page can't be found on the server.  WHatever page I'm trying to view instead redirects to Google, but then can find the pages at Google.  Here is an example, showing that I was trying to get to a Wikipedia link, and Google took over.

This also happens in Firefox.  I haven't tried IE because I generally try to avoid IE like the plague.  Exiting the browser and restarting it generally cures the problem, that is, I can then get to the page I want.  I assume there's some weird DNS stuff going on, but I'm not quite clever enough to know what to look at or what to try.

On a potentially related note, I also occassionally try to load a page, and I get the normal "page can't be found" type error, but a refresh usually immediately loads the page.

We have Comcast cable internet, but my husband doesn't have any of these issues on his PC (and our PCs are basically the same) so I'm hoping there's just some settings somewhere I can look at.

Hopefully I've provided enough information.  Anyone have any thoughts?  Thank you!
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Windows95
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2008, 11:34:23 PM »

Do you have Google toolbar installed?  I'm pretty sure it will automatically redirect most 404 pages.  I know it comes bundled with Firefox, not sure about Opera.

Could also be your ISP.  I know Verizon's default settings redirect 404 errors to their own custom search engine.
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Hansey
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2008, 02:40:37 AM »

I don't have Google toolbar installed, no.  It's not actually a real 404 though; closing the browser and re-opening it allows the page to load normally.  It's just that initally, it directs the browser to Google, instead of the domain I'm trying to go to.  So if I typed "http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums" into the browser, it would instead try to load "http://www.google.com/forums" which gives me a Google 404 error... because "/forums" doesn't exist on the Google domain.  Even though my address bar still says "http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums" while displaying the Google 404.

I don't think it's Comcast, because my husband hasn't been afflicted with this problem at all.
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Hamsterball_Z
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 03:39:38 AM »

Go to Control Panel and choose Network Connections.  Right-click the active network connection (probably Local Area Connection unless you're on wireless) and choose Repair.  That will clear out the DNS cache and reset a few things.  If it's a DNS problem that will probably take care of it.

Have you scanned for spyware? 
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Hansey
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 02:21:41 PM »

I have scanned for spyware, using Ad-Aware, Spybot and also ran HiJack this.  Nothing suspicious in the least.  We've tried clearing out the DNS cache several times, using both the method above, as well as /flushdns at a command prompt, and that doesn't seem to help either.  It's hard to test it since it happens intermittently, but so far the problem has recurred at some point after everything we've tried.

I should also note that within the past few weeks we moved from Boston to Seattle, and the problem was occurring in Boston as well as here, in case that's relevant info.
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 05:09:13 PM »

What happens when you use winkey+R (run dialog box) and put in www.gamingtrend.com/forums ?

It may be the association in the registry are screwing up your prefs.

Create a new user profile and try browsing in it. If that does work, chances are the problem is either in the browser config in your profile, or in your part of the registry. (HKEY Current User\)
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Hansey
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2008, 05:15:04 PM »

Aha, that's a tactic I haven't tried.  Since the problem is intermittent, I'll have to wait until the issue crops up again to test that, but I will definitely try that next time it happens and see if it works.
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kronovan
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 05:23:15 PM »

I had a similar problem with IE 6 and I don't have the google toolbar installed. I got the occasional 404 redirect, but more often I saw a google URL occasionally showing up in the status bar of my browser when attempting to access a completely urelated site. Somehow my DNS settings on my NIC connection got set to my ISP's DNS severs. Setting it back to use DHCP via my router fixed the problem.
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