[thelist] Sporadic access to trading accounts - any ideas?

Simon Perry simon.perry at si-designs.co.uk
Tue Dec 2 04:48:22 CST 2003

Dunstan Orchard wrote:

> Hi there,
> A problem passed on on behalf of a friend...
> I have two questions about the situation described below:
> [1] Does this ring any bells with anyone?
> [2] Can anyone suggest a London-based service he could subscribe to, 
> or call out in instances like this? Some sort of company that deal 
> with home-traders and their technical problems?
> The problem:
> My pal is a trader working from home. About 3 weeks ago he found he 
> was unable to log in to certain web sites - on submission of the login 
> form the page just sat there; the little loading bad chugged away but 
> never got anywhere.
> The sites he couldn't access are:
> [1] His trading account
> [2] Yahoo mail
> [3] Hotmail
> All other sites, including his bank and other email sites can be 
> accessed fine.
> He is using:
> [1] 2 machines running XP Pro
> [2] I modem between the two machines
> [3] ADSL via Virgin
> [4] IE6, Opera7, MOZ and FB
> His service provider swear it's got nothing to do with them.
> About a week ago he rolled his XP install back a notch and found that 
> the problem was solved by the removal of a windows update.
> However, a couple of days later the problem arose again, even though 
> the faulty update wasn't installed.
> He has now reinstalled XP on both machines.
> The problem still persists, sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not.
> And while all this goes on, he's losing lots of money.
> The only thing we can think to do next is replace his modem... does 
> anyone have any other ideas?

Sounds like a firewall, proxy server, NAT issue to me.

Does he run ZoneAlarm? Some versions have know issues with webmail 
services and certain web sites.

Has winXP's built in firewall been activated?

What make/model/version is the one modem he is sharing?

How is he sharing it? Is it an ethernet modem with built in NAT? Is he 
using winXP connection sharing?

Do virgin force use of their proxy servers?

Are the problems independent of browser?

Have you checked the hosts file on the work stations / router for any 
unwanted routing?

Is his virus software up to date?

Have you scanned for malware with spybot and adaware?

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