1. Is your XP up to date? I.E. Is it SP3? Go to Start/Run and type in winver then click the Enter key and post what it says. Alternately right-click "My Computer" and go to Properties and post what it says there.
2. How do you connect to the internet and are you behind some sort of proxy (e.g. a University network)?
3. When you read that thread did you follow the advice I had posted there?
4. If your browser no longer works then Windows is corrupted. In any case you should be running at least IE7 although IE8 is now final. McAfee relies on IE only, not any other browser so I would imagine getting IE to work is paramount here.
If you download from another country then try altering the country code or ask me and I'll try to find it for you.
If you are running Internet Explorer 7 go to Tools/Internet Options/Advanced and click the Reset button. OK and exit, reboot if asked.
IE6 - Tools/Internet Options..
General tab: clear cookies, history and temporary files
Security tab: set all zones to default
Content tab: disable Content Advisor
Advanced tab: set to default. OK and exit.
Try disabling all pop-up blockers.
If you previously had McAfee installed then do the following:
1. Uninstall all McAfee programs through "Add or Remove Programs" in Windows "Control Panel".
2. Use the MCPR tool, see this article: How to remove supported McAfee consumer products using the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe). This will remove all McAfee remnants from your computer. (you must have Windows Vista, XP or 2000 SP4 to use this tool)
3. Launch Windows Explorer and delete all McAfee files in "Program Files" but especially in "C:\Document and Settings\<user>\Application Data" and "C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data". You have to set Windows Explorer to show all hidden files and folders (Tools > Folder Options > View tab). Just delete the McAfee folders even if they are empty in all the "Application Data" folders. Can be more than one!
In Vista: C:\Program Files, C:\ProgramData and C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming
4. Reboot and redownload/reinstall your McAfee products directly from your account at the McAfee web site.
If you download from McAfee directly then go here: https://us.mcafee.com/root/login.asp
If from Dell go here: https://us.mcafee.com/root/login.asp?affid=105
Also some spyware can cause this so scan your computer using the free version of these two tools and let them clean everything they find:
1) yes, it's up-to-date. i ran winver, and it says SP3
2) i'm using a DSL modem and no proxy
3) yes i did, including the settings for IE. although i did not browse through the forums you'd provided, i did try to check if it was the DNS Trojan that was causing the problem. i did the test, and it came back negative.
4) i downloaded IE 8 as per your instruction, and i tried to download the McAfee client using it, but the same thing happens. that was before i tweaked with the settings given in your solution. when i did, peculiarly, my IE stopped working for some reason. now it refused to open even after i reinstalled it
i ran an Ad-Aware scan just yesterday, and aside from potentially harmful files they found in the cookies file, nothing seem out of the ordinary
on a separate note, i can't download IE 8 from the official MS website, and i had to go to afterdawn.com instead. the problem is similar to the one i encountered in McAfee website.
i'm not entirely sure what you meant by "download from another country", but i bought my computer from Dell Singapore, and yes, i'm still living there.
...perplexing isn't it? maybe this is an excuse to finally upgrade my com silly
There's something wrong with your machine...possible an unknown infection...just guessing here. I suggest posting these issues along with a Hijackthis log at one of the following forums for expert advice.
Do not post the log here, we can't help!
Post the logs at a specialist Forum:
BLEEPING COMPUTER FORUM
GEEKS TO GO FORUM
MAJOR GEEKS FORUM
MALWARE REMOVAL FORUM
SPYWARE INFO FORUM
WHAT THE TECH FORUM
Be sure to read all the sticky announcements/instructions at the top of each malware forum!