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506 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#267924 18-Feb-2020 11:59
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Right, this one is starting to annoy me. My laptop running 10 Pro won't connect to Google's Recaptcha service - amongst others. So I can't, for example, log in to Geekzone from the laptop. For invisible reCaptcha, the Login button won't respond - other than that there's no indication.

Vanilla reCaptcha gives an error message of Google can't connect, please enable reCaptcha in your settings - meaning website settings because it leads you off to developers.google.com & the API key generator.

Google Search works fine but Image Search - whether using a URL image location or uploading an image - responds with "This page isn't working www.google.com didn't send any data" & ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE. This response takes ages to manifest, the uploading file spinner hangs in there for sometimes 5 minutes before failing.

I've got fresh updated Eset Smart Security, no problems found there & nothing in quarantine. Windows firewall is circumvented but no errors there anyway. Hosts is bare except for localhost set by Xampp.

Running sfc /scannow returns a story about finding errors & fixing them, details are in the logs - except there's no log file written. Re-running the command responds with no integrity violations. Reboot & re-run, no violations but no reCaptcha either.

My time/date is true. The connection problem is consistent across Chrome, Brave, Firefox - with & without extensions. I've tried resetting the browsers & sent a bunch of ipconfig commands too. My certificates are all good.

Other devices connected to the same network don't have this problem & my network connected devices all show up normally (Sonos, Android TV, Android Tab, iPad, iPhone, Android phone). Nor does a dirty old Win7 32-bit VM running inside the afflicted laptop, accessing the WiFi adapter directly - that one works without a problem.

I can sign in & out & back in to my Google account. Gmail is the same old Gmail. I can use Google to sign into 3rd party accounts. But I can't pass any reCaptcha authenticated pages at all.

All Windows updates are done & installed successfully first time round. Browsers are all fully updated.

Apart from that, no problems at all, box of birds really. Anyone been here before, researched more effectively than me & found the answer?





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645 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2423097 18-Feb-2020 12:05
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The only time I have seen this problem was because of an old out of date ad blocker, blocking things it shouldn't.

 

 


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  #2423330 18-Feb-2020 16:35
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Adblocker. Script blocker but since it happens in more than one browser have you consider a network-wide blocker (such as Pi-hole) or perhaps a VPN connection might be blocking it?





 

 

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  #2423345 18-Feb-2020 16:49
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I use Nord VPN, on PC & Android & iOS. The Google aberration is consistent on the laptop only both with & without VPN connection. *Sigh*




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  #2423347 18-Feb-2020 16:52
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Do you use any third-party DNS to go around geoblocks - and could possibly have a route that blocks some Google services to make Netflix US available?





 

 

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  #2423445 18-Feb-2020 19:43
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I might work for a TV station but I never watch the telly - movies, series, downloads, streaming - none of it. I've tried moving the VPN exit point - NZ, AUS, USA & booting without VPN starting up.




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Ultimate Geek

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  #2423840 19-Feb-2020 11:26
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This morning I put a SATA drive with Win 10 preinstalled in the laptop & booted from that. No problems at all. So the issue I have is definitely with the Win 10 install on my NVMe drives (2 x 1TB Class 50 RAID-0) but I just don't know where or what it is.

I've now spent too much time hunting for no result returned when the other solution to any Windows OS issue is to reinstall. I've got backups since time began but winding time back never really instills great confidence in me - today I'll wipe & install a fresh 1909 then spend an hour or so installing my favourite softs.

**The most disruptive occurrence caused by this problem - cannot login to Geekzone. Gonna solve that today.




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  #2423843 19-Feb-2020 11:31
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Are you sure there is nothing blocking these services in the \windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file either?





 

 

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  #2423878 19-Feb-2020 11:36
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Hosts is clear apart from localhost statement set by Xampp. I've tried removing that, rebooting & hitting GZ login again - nope, the button is not available. There's some online chatter about this issue but in general the official responses don't even understand the problem - the usual reply is point to developers.google.com




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  #2423883 19-Feb-2020 11:41
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I recommend you leave the line 127.0.0.1 localhost in there...





 

 

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  #2424435 20-Feb-2020 11:14
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Solved it. I’ll publish this here in case someone else has the same problem arise. If they read this then they’ll save lots of time & anguish. (If they read just the last paragraph, then they’ll save even more time.)

I’d found the problem but not the cause. Proxy settings had the Run Script option turned on & http://127.0.0.1:9090/proxy.pac in the script field. Deleting that url changed nothing, damn thing was persistent - I could remove it from the field but not save the settings. I could only access the proxy settings window via the link available within Chrome / Brave settings as the manual access applet (Control Panel / Internet Options) had the proxy page hidden because “some settings are controlled by your system administrator”. Hmmm, really? I’d like to talk to that administrator...

My localhost address was being used by VMWare Server to allow me to virtualise existing metal. Uninstalling that app changed nothing. Typing the full proxy.pac url resulted in a download of the file containing this 268 byte script:

”function FindProxyForURL(url, host) { if (shExpMatch(host, "cse.google.*")) return "PROXY 127.0.0.1:8081"; if (shExpMatch(host, "www.google.*")) return "PROXY 127.0.0.1:8081"; if (shExpMatch(host, "*search.yahoo.com")) return "PROXY 127.0.0.1:8081"; return "DIRECT";}“

I stumbled across a temporary workaround in Firefox, which has it’s own proxy settings available & doesn’t rely on systemwide proxy settings. Now I could log in to Geekzone \0/. I had circumvented the problem but it still existed so I definitely had a job to do yet.

A quick aside - Firefox has really come on strong in recent times, there’s some superior technology being used there, especially the password safe app. I’ve been using Brave as my primary browser for the last year or so but Firefox is about to assume that role.

I had time so thought I’d see if there was a viable option to full wipe & clean reinstall. First I tried reinstalling Win 10 but keeping apps & files using Microsoft Creation Tool 1909 which doesn’t need to burn to USB, just does a dirty install on the fly. Didn’t change a damn thing. Next up, the new Windows Security / Fresh Start option - again, sans USB drive. This one retains your files but not apps. Alas, again, didn’t change a damn thing. (MS: Why have you moved one of the reset / restore options? Why not just keep them all together?)

Although my logic had told me & evidence indicated that this was an on-PC problem - single PC issue, not replicated on other Windows / Mac / Droid or iOS devices (which are kept purely for research purposes, tools not toys) - I was starting to doubt my conviction after 2 in-place reinstalls. Plus, the Internet, (in the single post I found that paralleled mine) told me that my router was likely the cause & that a factory reset would solve. Really? Then why can I go through that router on identical OS on a different laptop without a problem? And with this hardware on a separate Win 10 install? Whatever, it won’t take long to reset a Spark WBB router.

Now although I like to think that I know nearly everything, and what I don’t know can be found within minutes @ Geekzone.co.nz, in this case my logic was wrong & the Internet correct. Yup, after a quick factory reset & reboot all the restrictions are gone. Like that, gone. The Internet Options applet is no longer controlled by my “system administrator” & Chrome does what Chrome is supposed to do - gather data & send it home to Mother Google. So there you go - if you have an oddball occurrence with Google services (Yahoo too but no one ever uses that) particularly reCaptcha verification, you’ll likely get rid of it with a quick log-in to your router & then hit that factory reset button.







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BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2424437 20-Feb-2020 11:25
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It sounds to me like your router was previously compromised and spread some malware to some machines on your internal network. 





 

 

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506 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2424477 20-Feb-2020 12:57
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Unfortunately the post advising the router reset finished right there - usual Internet behaviour of

User: Oh please please help me, my worlds is about to cave in & I’m so desperate & neeeed it real bad
Provider: Here you go
User:

It wouldn’t be that easy to compromise my router deliberately in a one-off attack, I’m thinking it may have happened when I allowed a visitor with a dirty device to connect. Lazy behaviour on my behalf, it’s beyond easy to create a separate network for guest access, especially so with Ubiquiti AP. That’s my very next task.




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