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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Email Expert
Category: Email
Satisfied Customers: 11697
Experience:  25+ Years Experience in Field. MCSE, ICCP, Expert in Large Email Platforms
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Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at

Customer Question

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Email
Expert:  Jason Jones replied 1 year ago.
I am the person that will be helping you today.
Are you able to access anything online within Firefox?
I will be standing by.
Thank you,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can do most everything online with Firefox, except, if I search for something with google as my search engine the sites listed will not open and I get a blank page stating "Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at". This has been doing this for 6+ months. I tried a system restore to an earlier date, but the system restore on my Dell Laptop doesn't work. I have changed many "block pop-ups" to "allow pop-ups but that has doen nothing.
Expert:  Jason Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the update.
May I start a remote screen sharing session with you so that I can better help you resolve this problem?
When the remote begins, a chat window will appear that we can use to communicate with each other.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
NO, I do not let anyone take control of my computer, if you cannot fix the problem with me at the the computer, then refund my $36. I really do not care for this addition fee offer.
Expert:  Jason Jones replied 1 year ago.
I understand that you do not wish for me to remote in.
For this reason, I am opting out of the question and allowing another expert the chance to help.
The next expert will see all that is on this page, so there will be no need to repeat anything.
When another expert picks this up, you will be notified by email.
Thank you for your patience.
- Jason
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** can provide you with some additional assistance on your question.

The problem you are experiencing is almost always to to malware being installed on your system. Malware does not allow some connections, and particularly connections to the Google ad servers in this case.

If you have an ad blocker running, or if you have something blocking ads, that would cause a problem like this. It can also because by malware however. So I would suggest going to and downloading the free product. When you installed the free product Alaska if you want to do a trial of the professional product – just select know there and it will give you the product that is permanently free. Then just run a scan with this and it will take some time – and then take note of the results. You find a lot of items then I would keep doing it again until it finds none.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I purchased and installed Malware bytes over a year ago and it is fully installed and scans constantly in the back ground. So unless it is not doing its job it is Nnot malware causing the problem. I have all add blockers and pop up blockers turned off.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I ran a full computer scan with Malwarebytes and all is clean. Ran a full scan with Bitdefender and computer is clean.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for doing that. I needed that information to know for sure whether it was what I suspected which is the Google redirect virus. That the virus that redirects requests to Google to different sites. The difficult virus to diagnose and to get rid of. It's also not one that's easily fended off by any virus or malware scanning. But there are some steps that you can take to get rid of it. If you're not sure of what to do it any of the steps, then you may want to have someone do it for you even if it means having someone remote into your machine. We are able to do that here, but it doesn't seem like that's something you would consider. But if you can engage any tech and let them know that it's the Google redirect virus it should help them get to the point where they can remove it within an hour or so. Here are the steps.
1) Enable hidden files by opening folder options (start –>run –> control folders),under view tab
enable show hidden files, folders and drives
uncheck hide extensions for known file types
uncheck hide protected operating system files
2) Open msconfig (start –>run –> msconfig)
Click “Start” –> run –> msconfig)
Go to “boot” tab if you are using Vista or Win 7. In case of XP, select “boot.ini” tab
check bootlog
3) Restart computer
Restart computer for making sure that changes you made are implemented. (On restarting computer a file ntbttxt.log is created which is discussed later in troubleshooting steps)
4) Do a complete IE optimization
Read this article on how to do an Internet Explorer optimization. Internet explorer optimization is done to ensure that redirection is not as a result of problem with IE or corrupted internet settings. Even if you use a different browser other than Internet explorer, IE optimization is compulsory as IE settings acts as the basic settings for any web browser using windows operating system.
5) Open device manager (start –>run –> devmgmt.msc)
Click “Start” –> run –> devmgmt.msc
Click “view” tab on top. Select “show hidden devices”
Look for “non-plug and play drivers”. Expand it to see entire list under option.
Check if you have any entry TDSSserv.sys. Note down name carefully. Right click on entry and uninstall it. Don’t restart computer yet, cancel it. Continue troubleshooting without restarting.
6) Open registry (start –>run–>regedit). Take a backup of registry before making changes
Click on edit –> find. Enter first few letters of infection name. In this case, I used TDSS and searched for any entries starting with those letters. Every time there is an entry starting with TDSS, it shows the entry on the left and value on right side.
If there is just an entry, but no file location mentioned, then delete it directly. Continue searching for next entry with TDSS
The next search took me to an entry which got details of file location on right which says C:\Windows\System32\TDSSmain.dll.You need to utilize this information. Open folder C:\Windows\System32, find and delete TDSSmain.dll mentioned here.
Assume that you were not able to find file TDSSmain.dll inside C:\Windows\System32.This shows entry is super hidden. You need to remove file using command prompt. Just use command to remove it. del C:\Windows\System32\TDSSmain.dll
Repeat same until all entries in registry starting with TDSS is removed. Make sure if those entries are pointing towards any file inside folder remove it either directly or by using command prompt.
Assume that you were not able to find TDSSserv.sys inside hidden devices under device manager, then go to Step 7.
7) Check ntbtlog.txt for corrupted file
google redirect virus ntbtlog
By doing Step 2, a log file called ntbtlog.txt is generated inside C:\Windows. It’s a small text file containing lot of entries which might run to more than 100 pages if you take a printout. You need to scroll down slowly and check if you have any entry TDSSserv.sys which shows that there is an infection. Follow steps mentioned in Step 6.
In above mentioned case, I mentioned only about TDSSserv.sys, but there are other types of rootkits which do same damage. Let’s take case of 2 entries H8SRTnfvywoxwtx.sys and _VOIDaabmetnqbf.sys listed under device manager in my friends PC. The logic behind understanding if it is a dangerous file or not is mainly by their name. These name makes no sense and I don’t think any self respecting company will give a name like this to their files. Here, I used first few letters H8SRT and _VOID and did steps mentioned in Step 6 to remove infected file. (Please Note: H8SRTnfvywoxwtx.sys and _VOIDaabmetnqbf.sys are just an example. The corrupted files can come in any name, but it will be easy to recognize because of the long file name and presence of random numbers and alphabets in the name.)
Please try these steps at your own risk. steps mentioned above won’t crash your computer. But to be on the safer side, it is better to take a backup of important files and ensure that you have option to repair or re-install operating system using OS disk.
The remainder of the instructions are in the following video:
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Although I am quite savvy with a computer, I am not comfortable working within the registry. I have other problems with this laptop also, would the issue you have commented on be fixed if I wiped the hard drive and re-installed the entire operating system? My system restore does not work and I am thing it would be fixed with a system reinstall also.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

Yes, Gary... wiping the drive and reinstalling would be ideal, and I suspect the other issues are related, too.

That would be the best solution, even better than the options that I proposed. It isn't my initial recommendation, because it often isn't taken as being correct advice since it will basically solve anything - but in this particular case, wiping the system is what I would do if it were mine. This virus is very difficult to remove.

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