Author Topic: Cannot connect to Avast Website  (Read 33408 times)

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Offline aussie ness

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Cannot connect to Avast Website
« on: September 18, 2007, 02:37:23 AM »
Hi....I downloaded Avast (free) to replace Norton. I registered in time before it stopped working but forgot to check spam emails and think the email with the registration key may have been deleted. For some very strange reason have not been able to load the Avast website to re-register. I use XP, firefox, explorer, windows firewall and now AVG to keep me secure while I try to get Avast going again. My system is working fine, I can get any web page out there...just not Avast. I can get avast.com.au in Australia, but I can't find anywhere there to re-register. I have emailed a couple of times but the guy said he can get the website up without any problems. I am absolutely stumped as to why avast.com is the only website I cannot connect to.This is the error message I get.....

The server at www.avast.com is taking too long to respond.

    *   The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few
          moments.

    *   If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network
          connection.

    *   If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure
          that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

I really hope someone can help me. It's doing my head in and have spent soooo many hours on this and have hit a wall!

Online DavidR

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 04:06:38 AM »
Can you connect to this link http://75.126.53.167/eng/home-registration.php ?

If so there might be an entry to block some anti-virus web sites.
HOSTS file redirect - 127.0.0.1 check your HOSTS file using notepad or a text editor of your choice, C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts or do a search for HOSTS to find it if not there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 04:20:26 AM »
Some malware prevent loading of security (good) sites.
If you try AVG antispyware, won't you find any infection that is preventing avast site to load?
My communication to the site is perfectly normal...
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Offline aussie ness

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 05:29:53 AM »
Thank you DavidR and Tech for your replies. The first thing I did was try DavidR's link and voila!! within seconds I'm now registered! Thank you! You lost me at the next step though. I don't understand what a HOSTs file is......can you explain? I still can't get to www.avast.com. (After Avast loaded successfully I tried getting there by clicking the link on the interface.) I have Spyware Blaster, Ad-Aware and (temporarily) AVG Anti Virus. Tech, are you saying to download AVG Anti-spyware and maybe it will get rid of something that is blocking me? By the way, I really appreciate your help.

Offline Lisandro

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 05:44:49 AM »
I don't understand what a HOSTs file is......can you explain?
C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
It controls the internal loops for connecting the Internet. It's too technical, but it must be clean, i.e., has just one entry 127.0.0.1 for the localhost.

Tech, are you saying to download AVG Anti-spyware and maybe it will get rid of something that is blocking me? By the way, I really appreciate your help.
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Offline oldman

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 07:27:59 AM »
The hosts file is kinda hard to explain, but you should check it anyways. If you are using a full version of xp, the path to the file is where DavidR posted. If you have an upgrade version of xp, it will most like be located in c:\windows. It will have a .sam extention. Open the hosts file with notepad, scroll down paste all the entries staring with #, What is there? There should only be one entry 127.0.0.1    localhost

If there is anything related to avast, highlight and delete it, then click file and save. You should be able to visit avast again.

The host file can be used as a web blocker. If anyone is interested I can post the link on how to set it up.

Offline aussie ness

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2007, 12:14:20 PM »
This is what the hosts file looks like.....there is seven folders so i went for the one that just says hosts.
# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
127.0.0.1       localhost

1.1.1.1 free.grisoft.com
1.1.1.1 housecall.trendmicro.com
1.1.1.1 usa.kaspersky.com
1.1.1.1 ewido.net
1.1.1.1 www.ewido.net
1.1.1.1 zonelabs.com
1.1.1.1 www.zonelabs.com
1.1.1.1 www.bitdefender.com
1.1.1.1 download.bitdefender.com
1.1.1.1 upgrade.bitdefender.com
1.1.1.1 spywareinfo.com
1.1.1.1 www.spywareinfo.com
1.1.1.1 merijn.org
1.1.1.1 www.merijn.org
1.1.1.1 sysinternals.com
1.1.1.1 www.sysinternals.com
1.1.1.1 onguardonline.gov
1.1.1.1 www.onguardonline.gov
1.1.1.1 avast.com
1.1.1.1 www.avast.com
1.1.1.1 safety.live.com
1.1.1.1 www.paretologic.com
1.1.1.1 paretologic.com
1.1.1.1 services.google.com
1.1.1.1 www.webroot.com
1.1.1.1 webroot.com
# Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy
# End of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy
Do you think my Spybot put all these here to stop me using these products?
Do I delete all the ones with the 1.1.1.1 in front of them?
Oh, and I tried two other sites on this list and they won't load either!!!!!!!!!!!!
The plot thickens.

Offline oldman

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2007, 02:55:15 PM »
I'm not sure if spybot put them there. You would have thought spybot entries would have been between  # Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy and # End of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy. Anyways, remove the avast entries and see if you can reach avast. The address 1.1.1.1 seems like a dead end. If you can reach avast, clear the others, except for the 127.0.0.1 localhost.

You should try some other antispyware scans, as something did add to the hosts file.

Online DavidR

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2007, 03:18:42 PM »
I too would strongly doubt spybot S&D would put them there.

The whole purpose to to effectively deny access to these sites to prevent malware removal and that wouldn't seem to fit with a supposed entry by S&D. What ever created the entries could write whatever it likes so there is no way to certify what created the entries.

I would remove all the 1.1.1.1 entries and leave only the 127.0.0.1 localhost as oldman also suggest.

Why the link I gave you worked is because it uses the IP address (the string of numbers) and not the domain name avast.com which is effectively blocked in the HOSTS file. The link I gave to the Wikipedia page about the HOSTS will help you understanding of what the HOSTS file can do and how it can be effectively hijacked by malware.
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Offline aussie ness

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 01:58:29 AM »
Here's where I'm up to guys....I opened the file, deleted the two avast entries and saved. (It saves as a text file I think)....tried to load the website and ...nothing. Went back in to look at the hosts file and the entries are still there. Should I have deleted the entries a different way? By the way...I have another host file with the .sam extension but I can't open it. I'm so out of my depth here.

Offline oldman

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 02:02:27 AM »
The .sam host file is the one you want. It should open with notepad and can be edited with notepad. What is the name and path of the hosts file you tried to edit?

Offline aussie ness

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 02:13:59 AM »
Here's where I went....
My Computer/Local Disc/WINDOWS/System32/Drivers/etc
Then I had seven choices......(there's now eight because of the text file I created)
hosts
hosts.20070918-153843.backup
hosts.msn
lmhosts.sam
networks
protocol
services
host.txt
I used windows explorer to find it all. Am I on the wrong track?

Offline oldman

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 02:24:29 AM »
You are on the right track, but there should be a hosts.sam file. I don't see it on your list. The LMhosts is something different. How about the first file hosts? Is that the one you previously edited?

Offline aussie ness

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 04:00:15 AM »
Yes that's the one I edited. I ran a search and the results don't help. Searching for the term 'host' in the file name resulted in alot of entries, but the only SAM file was the lmhosts.sam one. This is worrying me.

Offline oldman

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Re: Cannot connect to Avast Website
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007, 04:08:55 AM »
Ok, it seems that in xp the sam extention does not apply. So try this. Rename the hosts file you have to hostsold. Open note pad and type this one line

127.0.0.1      localhost


make sure the spaces are there.

Click file, save as. In the save in window at the top, use the drop down menu to get to the etc folder.(c:\WINDOWS/System32/Drivers/etc), in the filename box type hosts. In the file type box select all files. Make sure that there is no extention added to the file name, if there is remove it. Click save.

Open windows explorer and make sure the new hosts file is there without an extention. You should be able to tell by the time stamp. Check to make sure that the one line you typed is the only one there. If all is well reboot and try to reach avast.

What we have done is made a backup of you infected file by renaming the file to hostsold. Then created a new hosts file. If this one is immeadiatley added, then we have to look further. If the file remains unchanged, it should by you time to download any tools you may need. I suggest starting with a boottime scan.

Please post back.