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Google search hangs; Yahoo, DDG, Bing work fine! Sites requiring google.com hang. Google news works fine! Why? Thanks for answering...

  • 10 replies
  • 6 have this problem
  • 1343 views
  • Last reply by guigs

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I've reset search engines to default. I've tried safe mode -- no add-ons. I've tried removing add-ons (only noscript, adblock plus were enabled) one at a time. I've just *refreshed* Firefox.

Recent update of Flash in response to recent Mozilla block-update feature (but...google searches worked OK after that). (Besides, Adobe ain't Google!) Recent MS updates to W7-64. Successful completion. Perhaps unrelated, but google search/google.com problems occurred shortly after that.

When Google is set as default search engine, all default searches hang, same search terms immediately (and as default) work fine with Bing, DDG, Yahoo, etc.

Any site that requires google.com hangs -- and, as stated, all google searches hang. DDG, for example, set as default search works fine, but any site located through DDG requiring google.com hangs.

NOTE: NOT using obsolete Google "search bar", am using Firefox "search bar" implemented from customization menu.

I'm out of things to try!!

Chosen solution

guigs and the-edmeister

Now Working!

Been at this for days and hours...

Went the hardware route and diagnosed network connections. All configured perfectly but W7 net diagnosis was that google.com was not responding (duh!). Reset the ADSL CenturyLink modem. Still no joy.

At the top of news.google.com I noticed that I was not logged-in to my google account (only for occasional gmail anyway). I tried to log-in but could not -- kinda makes sense if google.com was not responsive. Since I'd made a new profile my stored PWs were not available, so I manually tried to log-in. Did not work, i.e. no response...

Looked in Firefox "save passwords" permissions area and found that accounts.google.com was now in the black list (the only entry!). I'd trashed the old profile so you'd think all lists would be blank. I removed that list entry.

Now I went back to the google log-in on the news page, and manually entered UN/PW -- this time it responded.

Google follow-on pages instructed me to make google my default search in firefox -- yet it already was set as default SE.

Then google sends me an email informing me of a "new" login to my google account -- a security notice.

I imagine that the new profile would have not continued a "stay logged in" state -- but why would that have affected things with the old profile?

After all this, google default search works -- no hang. Also, sites that want google.com no longer hang. So all problems have gone away.

Go figure!

I guess this is considered SOLVED, I'll mark it that way -- but even though it's now working I can't say I'm sure what happened to make it so.

Any ideas?

Thanks once more for the help with this.

Read this answer in context 👍 2

All Replies (10)

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Try a new profile. I have a hunch that there is a script being blocked stopping the search from completeing.

Else{ Sometimes a problem with Firefox may be a result of malware installed on your computer, that you may not be aware of.

You can try these free programs to scan for malware, which work with your existing antivirus software:

Microsoft Security Essentials is a good permanent antivirus for Windows 7/Vista/XP if you don't already have one. Windows 8 has antivirus built-in already.

Further information can be found in the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us! }

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BTW Thanks guigs for your response...

As you suggested: I just created a new profile with NONE of my previous info files, set up *options* with new entries -- nothing fancy, i.e. no whitelists or blacklists, and there are now no add-ons, BUT google as default search still hangs, any site accessing google.com hangs, other default search engines work as expected -- except when the site wants to access google.com. and then they also hang. Google NEWS works as expected.

IOW, just as before!

So, in your experience, does this mean malware infection?

I did not say originally, but before posting my help question I did a whole computer AVG virus, rootkit, etc. scan, a whole computer spybot malware and "deep" root kit scan -- all with up-to-date detection signatures -- and the newest MS "malicious software removal tool" is installed. No problems found.

I'll now try some of the other anti-malware apps you suggested.

Do you think this could possibly be an ISP (CenturyLink in my case) issue?

Please reply if you have any other ideas -- and thanks for the help so far.

Ceran

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Yes it could be caused by CenturyLink DNS "web helper".

See if this works - just a hunch as to what might be the cause. Load this page - http://webhelper.centurylink.com/prefs.php Then disable everything and click Save for each item you toggle off. That info will save to a cookie - so if you ever clear all your cookies you will need to do that all over again. And if you use more than one Firefox Profile or other web browsers you may need to do that for each as the cookie is saved per Profile / per browser.

Most broadband ISP's in the US have done that slowly over the last 5 years. $50-plus a month for broadband internet service and those sob's gotta scape for hundreths of a cent per DNS "hijack" and inconveniencing their customers in the process.

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guigs, thanks for the suggestions. I did as you said, but neither new profile nor MS Safety Scanner/Malware Bytes changed the google.com problem.

See below for further sleuthing I did:

Thanks for the insights the-edmeister...

Preliminarily, I followed guigs advice to create a new profile, and no changes after that! (See details in my response to that help).

guigs next suggested other malware detectors than the ones I'd used, so I did that with the MS Safety Scanner (nothing detected) and Malware Bytes (detected 9 instances related to PUP.Optional.SweetPacks.A and PUP.Optional.OpenCandy -- which I removed), and still no changes after that, so...

Following your suggestion I opened the CenturyLink http://webhelper.centurylink.com/prefs.php page and TRIED to do as you said. You get:

CenturyLink Web Helper CenturyLink has partnered with Yahoo! and other industry leaders to bring you useful and relevant results whenever a "Page Not Found" or similar error occurs. You may disable it below.

Current setting: Enabled EnabledDisabled

Typo Correction Service This preference allows you to enable or disable the Typo Correction Service. This service will automatically fix many common typos in web addresses (for example: ww to www and .cmo to .com). If you enter a non-existent web address, and this service is able to typo-correct your domain to a valid web address, you will be taken there automatically.

Current setting: Disabled EnabledDisabled

Adult Filter This preference allows you to specify whether or not you would like to filter the returned results based on adult content. By default, contents will not be filtered, but you may enable the adult content filter by selecting this option.

Current setting: Disabled EnabledDisabled


The last two stay "disabled" but the first one -- WELL! You can set it to "disable" all night, and save that all night, BUT it will stay "enabled".

The choice that is no choice, brought to you, ahem, forced on you by CenturyLink.

Yes indeed it sets a cookie, and that mofo STAYS set to ENABLED right where they want it, even though the item states "You may disable it below".

Thanks for the insights. Perhaps you'd try this also to see if my experience is the same as yours?

This is just plain lying -- as well as cheating!

But since I can't change it, I can't test if it's doing the harm to my searches.

Still where I was at the beginning.

Any other ideas will be greatly appreciated -- and thanks to both guigs and the-edmeister for being there...

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Well, you got more options here - http://webhelper.centurylink.com/prefs.php - than I saw, but I'm not their customer and I wasn't logged in to anything there. Any chance you were logged in to their webmail or their homepage with a non-master account? Considering there is an "Adult Filter" in there.

As I recall, with Comcast "optout" for their "DNShelper" service I had to be logged into my main account / email address - the one that they assigned to me when they were completing the transition from a service that they bought out a few years prior. Any of my other Comcast email addresses didn't offer the "optout" page. And many other features that Comcast offers - both Internet and Cable TV - need the master account to be used to make changes or additions/ subtractions and even pay their bill online. But I guess Comcast stopped doing that "optout" crap because I haven't had to deal with it in a few years now. New PC put into service 4 months ago and I didn't have to deal with it as I had to do in 2008 with the previous "new" PC.

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Chosen Solution

guigs and the-edmeister

Now Working!

Been at this for days and hours...

Went the hardware route and diagnosed network connections. All configured perfectly but W7 net diagnosis was that google.com was not responding (duh!). Reset the ADSL CenturyLink modem. Still no joy.

At the top of news.google.com I noticed that I was not logged-in to my google account (only for occasional gmail anyway). I tried to log-in but could not -- kinda makes sense if google.com was not responsive. Since I'd made a new profile my stored PWs were not available, so I manually tried to log-in. Did not work, i.e. no response...

Looked in Firefox "save passwords" permissions area and found that accounts.google.com was now in the black list (the only entry!). I'd trashed the old profile so you'd think all lists would be blank. I removed that list entry.

Now I went back to the google log-in on the news page, and manually entered UN/PW -- this time it responded.

Google follow-on pages instructed me to make google my default search in firefox -- yet it already was set as default SE.

Then google sends me an email informing me of a "new" login to my google account -- a security notice.

I imagine that the new profile would have not continued a "stay logged in" state -- but why would that have affected things with the old profile?

After all this, google default search works -- no hang. Also, sites that want google.com no longer hang. So all problems have gone away.

Go figure!

I guess this is considered SOLVED, I'll mark it that way -- but even though it's now working I can't say I'm sure what happened to make it so.

Any ideas?

Thanks once more for the help with this.

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I am not sure how accounts.google.com would make it onto the blacklist, but it is possible that since it was logged in that would explain nothing happening because of contradicting actions. I do not know enough about Google's login to know but it definitely sounds like a stale cookie. If you have 'stay logged in' checked has it ever eventually logged out? You can configure cookie expiration in the history settings of the browser, but there is also a cookie manager in your web filters?

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I'm puzzled by the whole episode -- wish I truly understood it.

Perhaps you could shed some light?

Here are the questions I ask myself:

I've only very rarely logged-in to my google account, and then only to use music cloud storage/download from one guy wanting to send me recordings. I don't use gmail, even though I have the account for this other reason. I suppose it is possible I did not logout of google at that time -- but this was in the time frame of 6+ months ago and the hang action only started recently. I never explicitly asked to "stay logged-in", nor did I explicitly have Firefox set that way. Of course, many Firefox updates and MS W7 updates during that time, including MS directly before the "hang time".

But consider this: google news and google search have always (before even having a google account, and while NOT logged-in when I did) worked as expected whether logged-in to my google account or not. So why would this have to do with the "new" hanging action (remember, only on search -- not news)? Stale cookie or not?

And why, when using the absolutely "clean" new profile (no lists of any sort, no add-ons, nothing from the old profile) would the lone black list entry appear? If it had been there all along from the previous profile (I know noscript may load lists), there would have been other entries. I did not notice this until after removing the 9 instances related to "PUP.Optional.SweetPacks.A and PUP.Optional.OpenCandy" -- but the connection to the slowed/halted google search eludes me. IOW, even if some malware exploit is happening, how would blacklisting accounts.google affect the google "search" function?

OK, it's working now, and I can wonder on. But I wish I understood what happened.

Thanks, guigs, for your help and interest as a member of a great support community.

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guigs...

Not trying to drag this out for long, but let's assume that it was some kinda stale google cookie. Sounds reasonable.

OK, (1) how does a Firefox cookie/list have any effect when blank (new) profile files have just been loaded? and/or (2) how does a NoScript cookie/list have any effect when all Firefox add-ons have been removed?

AND, at a general level, does this imply that Google slows or stops the google search function when a google account cookie goes stale or disappears?

Could that actually be? I would think that if that was happening we would have all heard a lot about it by now!

OR, how else could the presence of account.google in a blacklist -- or associated with a stale browser or script filter (NoScript) cookie -- suppress or stop a google search?

I'm baffled. Or ignorant.

If I'm just plain ignorant, I'd love to be told what I'm ignoring!

Thanks for the help.

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There are some definitions that we might need to clarify to make sure I know what you mean, so I will include them in the response. Stale cookie : one that never expires or has a date that is very old when it is first set. Sometimes used by ad companies to track your activity on the site. no script whitelist

How does Firefox handle cookies? It stores them in cookies.sqlite in your local profile folder. How you can disabled the stale cookies in Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/disable-third-party-cookies

This on the FAQ Noscript site implies that the add on does not affect the functions of other programs, it acts like a sandbox. " All the three implement some kind of sandbox model, limiting the activities remote code can perform: e.g., sandboxed code shouldn't read/write your local hard disk nor interact with the underlying operating system or external applications. " Ref https://noscript.net/faq#qa1_7

How does No script affect Firefox cookies? It does not seem to, it only blocks javascript on certian sites to prevent them from being stored. (like a front gate)

Firefox cookie exceptions: http://ccm.net/faq/10002-firefox-block-cookies-for-a-pa... now looks different and can be accessed from: about:preferences#privacy

New profile affected by this list? AFAIK it should not, though I would imagine that this would depend on how the cookies are injected. (why I might mention malware possibility here or a corruption that is beyond my expertise. And as you might imagine the security since the cookies are stored in a text file. )

How cookies affect Google search: http://www.google.com/policies/techno.../cookies/ I'd imagine it might be a preferences cookie that would affect search: http://www.google.com/policies/techno.../types/ but again I would not know the exact type. If you have third party cookies disabled when this happened it would not be a third party cookie (ie advertisement sites that store cookeis on your computer) But search uses analytic cookies, ad cookies and preferences, so either could affect in theory.