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Old 11th February 2006   #1
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Internet graphic (gif) won't load from one site


I have posted this before, but never got a solution. I have two computers, both XP with all the SPs loaded, both connected via cable to the Internet. Both computers have similar set ups in terms of software. On both browsers I use "myway" as a home page and there are several pictures and icons that load on the myway home page. An example would be http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/my/TO/quote.gif
In fact all their images for news photos, etc. load from this ak.imgfarm.com site.

One of the computers will not load any images on "myway" and they are all loaded from this ak.imgfarm.com site. This appears to be the only site that the one computer has problems with - the other computer is fine. Loading CNN or google, etc., is no problem on either.

What makes it even more odd is that I also have Firefox working and I have the same problem with the Firefox browser for the images, so it's not an IE problem alone.

I have hunted in the registry to see if there is some reference to ak or imgfarm, but none found. What I cannot understand is how this is apparently limited to one web address which won't load.

Anyone any ideas?

Thanks,

RobF

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Old 11th February 2006   #2
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Look in your windows\system32\drivers\etc folder for a file named just plain hosts. It won't have any extension. Open it in notepad and see if there's a reference to ak.imgfarm.com in it. If so, delete it and then see if the pictures show on the web page.

If the website isn't listed in the hosts file, are you running any type of ad blocking software on the one computer that you aren't running on the other. If so, turn it off and see what happens.

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Old 11th February 2006   #3
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robfrais--Perhaps some help here
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=283807
Are you getting any message or symbols where the image should be?
Have you tried clicking Refresh?
I assume you trust ak.imgfarm.com. Have you tried putting that URL into Trusted Sites? If that works, you could then compare the settings in IE Tools|Internet Options|Security tab|Custom Level (especially in the Active X and Scripting sections) of the PC with the problem versus the other PC's.
P.S. If I Google "ak.imgfarm.com" the results are not very complimentary.
http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...q=ak%2Eimgfarm
On the other hand "ak.imgfarm.com" is not included in SpywareBlaster's Restricted sites. Nor in the list suggested by
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

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Old 12th February 2006   #4
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On the other hand "ak.imgfarm.com" is not included in SpywareBlaster's Restricted sites
I was wondering about this too. I was thinking maybe it could have something to do with spybot or one of the other adware programs? I don't have spybot at the moment. I only have the MS one so I can't take a look to see. Maybe somebody else knows?

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Old 12th February 2006   #5
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Hosts file was it - Thanks


Zander and everyone else - the hosts file was the problem. Not sure what puts the entires into this file but my other computer Hosts file was basically empty, whereas the problem computer had loads of sites that were disallowed.
I had searched the registry, etc. for any mention of imgfarm, nothing, but that hosts file did have a line to that site and replacing the hosts file made evrything work again. Tried to save the file after deleting just that one line, but windos wouldn't save it.

Thanks to all,

RobF

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Old 12th February 2006   #6
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This may be of interest to you ....

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File

And set your Hosts file to Read Only. I think Spybot has an entry somewhere to 'Lock the Hosts File' too.
Quote:
Tried to save the file after deleting just that one line, but windos wouldn't save it.
May already be set to Read Only.

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Old 12th February 2006   #7
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I think Spybot has an entry somewhere to 'Lock the Hosts File' too.
I remember Spybot having this too. As to how the entries got there, they most likely were put there by some program you use for blocking ads or sights known to not play nice. Some spyware programs use the hosts file for this too. What kind of spyware programs are you using? My guess is one of them put them there. Have a look in the settings and see if it (or they if more than one program) has anything for blocking certain sites.

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Old 13th February 2006   #8
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I use Adaware, spybot S&D and Spyware blaster on both computers. Norton Systemworks on the computer that hasn't had any problems and AVG antivirus on the other - but I don't think it was anything to do with AVG. My kids use the computer I had problems with and I know that at one time or another they have used and downloaded several of the music sharing programs, and I suspect that it was one of theses downloads that somehow caused the problems.

RobF

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Old 13th February 2006   #9
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It's one of the spyware programs that put them there. I'd be willing to bet almost anything on that. Check the immunize thing out in Spybot. I don't remember if it did this type of thing or not but it's worth looking at. It's been a while since I've had Adaware and Spybot so I can't say for sure. I don't have any experience with Spyware Blaster.

It may be that the one computer has things set to not block these sights in one of these programs and the other puter has things set to block them.

That said, I can tell you almost for certain it's one of these programs that put them there (or one like them). They use the hosts file to block sites they consider baddies. The hosts file wasn't created with that in mind but it works. But, as you found out, it can cause other problems too.

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