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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » My mother's new laptop

Default My mother's new laptop

November 23rd, 2011, 19:38
…doesn't display websites correctly. I can't seem to understand why, but it's like most websites doesn't display anything graphical properly. In Gmail most semi-transparent things or buttons doesn't seem to work, for instance. If you look at this page, the red part (IE the header) doesn't display at all. And in SpywareBlaster it doesn't display the buttons.

I've installed Java, I've installed Flash and Shockwave player which hasn't solved the problem. Any suggestions?

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November 23rd, 2011, 19:42
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
…doesn't display websites correctly. I can't seem to understand why, but it's like most websites doesn't display anything graphical properly. In Gmail most semi-transparent things or buttons doesn't seem to work, for instance. If you look at this page, the red part (IE the header) doesn't display at all. And in SpywareBlaster it doesn't display the buttons.

I've installed Java, I've installed Flash and Shockwave player which hasn't solved the problem. Any suggestions?

Übereil
Did you test it with two different browsers, for example Internet Explorer and Firefox? If it happens only for one of them, its a problem of that browser, otherwise its really weird…
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November 23rd, 2011, 19:46
Have tried both IE and FF, and neither works.

Übereil, who agrees that it's really weird

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November 23rd, 2011, 19:53
Then I would try the following three steps in that order:
1. Does Google say anything about "[insert the Laptop model name] graphics problems"?
2. Newest Graphics drivers?
3. Return Laptop to dealer.

Edit: 1. a): Does the Laptop producer have a Web page with support pages with forum and/or FAQ?
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November 23rd, 2011, 20:04
Is there any type of firewall software running? I've seen some of them (like PeerGuardian) that can interfere with sites running properly. Also, check your security settings. My firm's are set so high that a lot of websites that work fine at home, don't work at all on my Firefox at work (AmericanExpress.com is one).

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November 24th, 2011, 06:48
If it's a new laptop it's probably just the integrated Win7 firewall.
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November 25th, 2011, 06:11
Bizarre - sounds like a javascript problem to me (i.e. it's disabled), but 2 different browsers doing the same thing kind of rules that out. Might be worth checking though - lower the security settings in the browser as a test.
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November 25th, 2011, 14:07
Does she have anything important on it? computers often come with recovery disks. I think a reinstall would be a good thing to try.
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November 25th, 2011, 15:15
Thinking of what @blatantninja, Gorath and badmofo said:

Some laptops come with preinstalled software, which can do weired things (e. g. preinstalled wireless configuration tools working worse than the default Windows wireless drivers and tools). So maybe there is some preinstalled "Security Suite" on it that has its own ideas of internet security settings?
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November 25th, 2011, 15:31
Interesting point.

Try to find a bootable Linux and burn it to CD or copy it to an USB stick. Then boot the laptop up and try to access the internet. Don't install anything!
If the problem is gone it's a software problem. If it's still there you should return the notebook.
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November 27th, 2011, 16:24
Could it be this ? http://www.nvidia.com/object/security.html
Or something similar ?

I've never come across it, but several years ago there was an issue with NVidia-based "hardware firewalls" in the press, although only for a relatively short time, since no-one seemed to care.

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November 28th, 2011, 11:21
I have a hard time believing that it's anything related to hardware. More like one of the following:

- a proxy server getting in the way
- some sort of deep packet inspection firewall messing with network traffic
- spyware/malware messing with network traffic
- virus/rootkit messing with network traffic

That it might affect more than one browser seems not impossible if it's malware-related; seems like trying Firefox on a live Linux distribution burned to CD-ROM is a good diagnostic test like Gorath suggested. Even then, could it be at the ISP level? Some form of internet filtering software?
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November 28th, 2011, 12:55
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I have a hard time believing that it's anything related to hardware.
I my link I pointed towards the possibility of NVidia-based "hardware firewalls" integrated into a board's hardware via a chip.

And I do also believe that this problem points towards firewall restrictions of any kind.

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November 28th, 2011, 15:30
I'd do this:
- Check and install if there is OS service pack (win xp sp 3, win 7 sp1).
- Check and install latest gfx card drivers.

What you're experiencing is not a result of any firewall.

If SP and driver doesn't help, then try with disabling Aero. Just press Start (on win 7), type in the box "aero" and then click on the option "enable or disable transtarent glass".
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December 3rd, 2011, 13:48
Problem identified. Switching desktop theme worked. So, the problem was that my mother had somehow changed the desktop theme in such a way that graphics couldn't be displayed.

Not sure how she managed to do it though. She claims she merely switched desktop background and window colors.

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December 3rd, 2011, 14:14
Yes, that's what they all say. Especially the use of the word "merely".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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January 31st, 2012, 03:46
It sounds like some plugins are disabled, probably by a firewall. Try a new firewall is my advice.
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January 31st, 2012, 08:19
Also, the first thing I do when somebody I know gets a computer from a store is tell them to wipe their hard drive and do a clean install of the operating system.

It bugs the living crap out of me with some of the garbage computers have when you buy them from a store; they're basically handicapped with all the 'startup' memory eating junk right out of the box.

My take is if it's 'new' (and not built by hand) it probably has a bunch of preloaded software. Just do her a favor and re-install her operating system.
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January 31st, 2012, 08:53
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
Problem identified. Switching desktop theme worked. So, the problem was that my mother had somehow changed the desktop theme in such a way that graphics couldn't be displayed.

Not sure how she managed to do it though. She claims she merely switched desktop background and window colors.

Übereil
Lol sorry I was too lazy to read all the posts; problem solved that's good news.
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January 31st, 2012, 09:21
Still weird that a desktop setting can mess up your browser like that. In case someone experiences this it could also be your ISP who has problems. We currently have that here in my region, max 45% of normal internet speed and a large number of web pages only loading half or not at all.

Glad your problem is resolved

Edit: typo.
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