"Internet Connection Unavailable" & the Use of a Proxy Server
I'm not sure this will be considered a proper posting, but I hope this can help some other users. I could not find resolution to my problem using this forum, nor was my fix/solution posted under FAQ. I also searched this forum using keywords to no avail.
I have McAfee SecurityCenter v. 9.0, VirusScan v. 13.0 and Personal Firewall v. 10.0 installed.
BACKGROUND: I am running my business laptop with Windows XP SP3 through my home broadband network which is ALWAYS ACTIVE. I dock my laptop and access the internet directly via Cat5 cable into my router (wi-fi disabled when docked). Normally, to dial in to the office for VOIP and internal server support, I use Cisco VPN and a proxy server. Recently, I tested my access by disabling the proxy server and, since I'm a remote user, this worked fine. I assumed that I had permanently disabled the use of a proxy server when I originally unchecked it under Internet Options, but I assume now that it re-activates when I run my VPN login script.
MCAFEE ISSUE: I originally installed McAfee when I was not accessing this proxy server. Subsequently, when I was logged in to VPN and accessing the internet using the proxy server, my McAfee service errored out with "internet connection could not be found" when attempting to update the virus definitions. No matter what I tried, I kept receiving the Internet Connection Unavailable error. I tried removing and re-installing McAfee while not logged in to VPN, thinking that our work server was blocking me. Frustratingly, I could not reinstall as it told me that an internet connection could not be found - frustrating because I did have full access to the internet via browsers (both Firefox and IE) and I had managed to re-download the McAfee set-up file through my online account at www.mcafee.com. After four hours of pouring over forums, trying to uninstall every remnant of my previous virus software (Sophos), using the Sophos software removal too, using the McAfee software removal tool, searching/deleting remnant registry entries, running two spyware programs, et al, I could not find resolution. Finally, after searching for the same problem with Gmail Notifier (which only worked when I logged on to VPN), I saw that "use proxy server" was indeed checked under my Internet Options.
SOLUTION: I disabled the use of a Proxy Server (clicked a single check box) and voila! I was able to reinstall McAfee and update the Virus Definitions. This got rid of the warning that my McAfee protection software was not up to date and ensures that I can update in the future.
For those having this same issue, you might check that the proxy server is unchecked. On Windows XP, follow this path:
Settings / Control Panel / Internet Options / Connections (on Internet Properties box) / LAN Settings / Proxy Server
Hope this helps some other users!
P.S. This was also affecting my Gmail Notifer but not, interestingly, Skype.
NOTE TO FORUM ADMINISTRATORS: Perhaps we could add information about the use of a proxy server to the forum FAQ or in the pertinent sections. If this needs to be moved, please do so, or please re-post in the appropriate areas. Thanks!
RE: "Internet Connection Unavailable" & the Use of a Proxy Server
FOLLOW-UP: When I first logged on through VPN after the re-install noted above, McAfee noticed it was on a new network and asked me what I wanted to do. I chose to mark the network as Trusted so that, ostensibly, McAfee will trust that site and access updates automatically when I'm logged on via Proxy or logged off the Proxy.