Basically, I got a call from the non-profit that one of their computers could no longer connect to the internet. They get on the internet by using one of those Bell Turbo Sticks. Remembering a previous issue where McAfee updated the firewall and a new exception had to be put in the firewall rules the first thing I tried was turn off the firewall and attempting to connect to the internet. No dice, still no connection.
This led me to a number of other debugging steps:
- I tried turning it on and off again.
- I uninstalled the turbo stick software rebooted and reinstalled.
- I grabbed the latest software from another computer and updated the turbo stick.
- I tried the turbo stick in another computer and it worked. What? Wait!
So that meant that there was something wrong with this particular computer and not the turbo stick. I then checked and discovered that McAfee updated it's software on the same day the computer started having problems. I know correlation does not imply causation but it sure did waggle it's eyebrows at me.
So I started trying other stuff like:
- Added another exception in the firewall for the tubo stick software.
- Leaving the firewall on but turning the security to its most permissive.
- Stopping the firewall altogether.
- Stopping the firewall, telling it not to restart, the rebooting the computer.
- Getting fed up and un-installing all of McAfee.
Then I was able to connect to the internet! Apparently, there is some horrible bug, maybe they call it a security feature, that even when you disable the firewall it keeps rejecting connections for you. So my original hunch looks like it was correct all along and I would have wished I'd uninstalled the software a couple of hours earlier.
Needless to say we are going to go with another anti-virus software provider for the non profit. It's not a big deal as the renewal for McAfee was coming due in 45 days but they are certainly not getting our money now.
Although, I have to hand it to Bell for once. I called their help line and a technician was very helpful and patient as we tried to figure things out. So thanks nameless person on 310-BELL.