Monday, August 09, 2010

Gotcha of the Month: Windows 7 Network Apps Failing

Over the last month or so, various apps have stopped working on my Windows 7 laptop. They included:

  • Chrome with the error: Error 102 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED): Unknown error.
  • Skype with the error: unable to connect (during the login stage)
  • Trillian: unable to connect to any connections
  • Adobe AIR: Adobe Error #2032 (error while streaming)

I knew that all these apps couldn't be breaking randomly - there had to be an underlying network issue. I tried updating the Windows Firewall and just plain turning it off. I tried disable spyware and anti-virus. I tried rebooting. Oh, did I ever try rebooting.

Finally, today, I was yet again at the end of my rope and noticed that my Norton subscription wasn't active. So, on a whim, I decided to resign up for Norton Anti-Virus. After yet another reboot, all my services came back to me.

If I wanted to take the conspiracy theory route on this, I'd suggest that perhaps Norton Anti-Virus purposely left my machine in a broken state so I'd have to upgrade. But, that's probably be too kind.

More likely, it's just the result of Windows and Norton getting out of sync - that's what you get for having lots of moving parts and allowing really low level access to a 3rd party, expiring application.

Now I'm back on AIM and Skype - which of course means that my productivity will be going down. But, whatever.


  1. My personal preference is to stay away from Norton, it's very intrusive and very resource intensive. McAffee seems to be much less intrusive.

    Funny when you type "norton antivirus" into Google, one of the top 10 suggestions is "norton antivirus resource hog" along with "norton antivirus removal tool". So you have to have a removal tool to remove Antivirus software? That sounds like a *virus* to me.

  2. My bad, I guess the "removal tool" and the "resource hog" suggest results were influenced by my own personal search history. At least Google knows how I feel.

  3. All good to know Mark.

    I actually end up installing the free trial of Norton. I guess when it starts nagging me (any minute now, I assume) I can try to gracefully remove it and give McAfee a try.

    I just wished this Stuff Worked and I didn't have to play IT support guy.