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OneCare "stopped" Microsoft Word from connecting to the Internet, why is this happening? RRS feed

  • General discussion

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    Last night I was writing a "Word" document and upon saving my work and closing the document, I was confronted with a OneCare warning window indicating that it had "Stopped the program 'Word" from connecting to the Internet" and further wanted to know whether to "Allow the connection, Always... Never... or Block for now..." I blocked it, although I didn't do so for ever... following the last option by blocking it "for now." So I would guess that it will occur again, as soon as I turn off my computer and restart it... as is didn't do it again this morning when I was working on the same essay.

     

    First of all I have no idea why "Word" wants to connect to the Internet in the first place... The document I was working on has no "hyperlinks" or other need to access the Internet, and further I have no idea why it would want or need to...? I have never seen this behavior until this situaiton, OneCare indicated that it was my "Firewall" which blocked the access, although the notice was directed to me through a OneCare window....

     

    There was a "file" associated with this action, if I recall correctly it was, "winword.exe" with Microsoft "ownership" of the file... It is kind of worrisome that there is some kind of .exe file attempting to access the Internet with out my knowledge, has this been going on for a while and only now just being caught...? I am just writing an essay for an American History Course... why would this be happening? Should I allow the "Connection" and what purpose could be gained by doing so...? Should I seek out this .exe file and attempt to delete or otherwise disable it...? It is my understanding that .exe files working in the background are usually not a good thing... and often related to some sort of phishing or other type of behavior which is not conducive to security...

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:44 PM

All replies

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    Is your OneCare firewall set to always prompt? Meaning the highest level of security... Note that OneCare replaces the Windows Firewall as OneCare provides antivirus, antispyware, firewall, and maintenance and performance features. To access the firewall settings, open OneCare and click change settings. There is a Firewall tab visible and buttons for configuring it.

    winword.exe is the main executable for Microsoft Word. I don't know why it would need to connect to the Internet at the point that you were saving the document, but there is an option within later editions of Word to connect to the Internet for Help Text. Saving a document should not be invoking this, though.

    Create a new document and save it. Does it still want access to the Internet? It is possible that something in that document that causes this behavior has an embedded link or picture, chart or other object that is linked back to an Internet source.

    -steve

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:17 PM
    Moderator
  • I have tested the situation throughout the afternoon/evening... and double checked the settings as well. The OneCare firewall  is set to "Notify me when firewall blocks an appllication" aside from that the settings appear pretty standard, with various "exemptions," Microsoft sites and related utilities in the "on" position.

     

    Until I reset my computer, that is turned it off and back on... the previous temporary setting of "Block connection for now" was still enforce, once I reset the computer, I again received the warning from OneCare after I created a "New" WORD document (Office 2000 Pro) and then saved it, upon closing it... I received the notice. Again exactly as follows:

     

    OneCare Firewall has stopped an application from connecting to the Internet: WORD\ WINWORD.EXE (header)

     

    C:\ Program Files\ Microsoft Office\ Office\ WINWORD.EXE

    Version 9.0.0.8965

     

    Apparently WORD is attempting to connect to the internet, when I went into the properties of the document... which was a fresh document, there are no hyperlinks, other requirements or settings which indicate a need to connect to the internet, as with the previous document I created yesterday. Further there are no pictures, .jpegs, .gif, .tiff, charts, spreadsheets or any other media file assoicated with the document. It is just a plain word text document... not even a background or fancy font. These two documents are the first documents I have created since downloading OneCare a few days ago... As far as I know this has never happened before, although I suppose it could have been going on in the background with out my knowledge.

     

    Any further thoughts on the matter...?

     

    Thank You- John (aka: scoutxlt)

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 4:12 AM
  • Unfortunately, John, I can't offer any other ideas except to contact OneCare support. They may have some experience with this. Yours is the first report of this I've seen.

    How to reach support (FAQ) - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

    -steve
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:26 PM
    Moderator
  • I tried to access the OneCare Support... I went all through the submission process, filled out all screens and completed another essay on what is happening... Waited for the "Confirm your Subscription Status Check" and when it completed it stated there was an "Error" and that I come back again "Later" and try Again... Any Idea what is going on...?

     

    This is the "Second" issue I have tried to resolve during my "Trial Period" which has "81 days" left, have I used up my limit of issues... prior to "Payment" for the service...? My last issue has remained unresolved, they sent me one email asking that I check a couple settings and when I replied back... "Twice" they never responded... That issue remains unresolved too... for over a week now.

     

    If I can not get responces to issues relating to OneCare... while I am in my "Trial Period..." Does it really make scence to pay for a service that has problems as yet unresolved...? Can you please direct me to someone who can help... or Direct someone that can help to me...? I feel like I am going in circles here trying to establish that I should pay for this service... if I can not get service issues resolved during my trial period... what kind of service am I likely to get once they have my money...?

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 2:24 PM
  • Sorry that you encountered a problem with the support submission. I don't care for the process, either.

    Send me an email - sboots@mvps.org with "OneCare - Word Issue" in the subject line.

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:15 PM
    Moderator
  • I received a request (automatic?) to mark this thread as "answered" this morning, I am currently still waiting for a reply for the files/Info I sent to "OneCare Customer Service" yesterday morning. About 12+ hours after sending the files I sent a request for confirmation that my "reply" had been received and the files were sufficent to work on/resolve this issue... as yet neither of my emails have been responded to.

     

    When I receive a solution to this issue I will post it and mark the thread as "Answered" Hopefully they will get back to me, unlike my last "Service Request" that was left unanswered... from well over a week ago now. There seems to be a pattern developing, "Customer Service" responds with a "form letter" and requests further infomation... and then you don't hear back from them...? I hope this pattern changes in this instance. Also I think this responce will reset the clock on this thread... or at least I hope it does...

    Friday, January 25, 2008 2:30 PM
  • Another Item to add to this "Connecting to the Internet" Issue...

     

    This morning I was working on a Power Point Presentation... after I did a "Save and Close" for the file... It to is attempting to connect to the Internet. Causing the same OneCare Firewall request... "Allow, Block or Block for Now..." once I click the "Block for Now" button, I don't get a warning for that program again... unless I turn off my computer... which apparently "Re-Sets" this Action... Although when I tried WORD, it caused the same OneCare Firewall reaction too, apparently each Program is individually attempting to access the Internet after a document is created and saved. I apparently need to "Individually" set the "Block for Now" every time I turn off my computer... or "Allow" the offending "????" to access the Internet for some unknown reason, Forever...? I worry that if I set it to "Block" I may not be able to email documents or someother odd behavior as yet unknown... At this point I imagine this effects all the Programs in Office.

     

    I can not seem to be able to locate the point where this "Setting" is created... its not in the Firewall(s), OneCare or XP... its not in the individual document(s)... or IE that I can find... Somewhere there is a "Need" to access the Internet... Why? Is what is concerning me. I have no On-Line server or other storage based on the Internet... Further according to OneCare I have no "Virus" like activity either... Who or What are the programs trying to contact on the Internet?

    Friday, January 25, 2008 4:48 PM
  •  scoutxlt wrote:

    I received a request (automatic?) to mark this thread as "answered" this morning, I am currently still waiting for a reply for the files/Info I sent to "OneCare Customer Service" yesterday morning. About 12+ hours after sending the files I sent a request for confirmation that my "reply" had been received and the files were sufficent to work on/resolve this issue... as yet neither of my emails have been responded to.

     

    When I receive a solution to this issue I will post it and mark the thread as "Answered" Hopefully they will get back to me, unlike my last "Service Request" that was left unanswered... from well over a week ago now. There seems to be a pattern developing, "Customer Service" responds with a "form letter" and requests further infomation... and then you don't hear back from them...? I hope this pattern changes in this instance. Also I think this responce will reset the clock on this thread... or at least I hope it does...

    No need to mark this as answered until it actually is.

    I wonder if the Internet connection is the Customer Experience Program. Depending on which version of Office products you are using, the switch to participate in or not participate in the CEP program is found in the program options. That would explain the Internet access.

    -steve

    Friday, January 25, 2008 5:06 PM
    Moderator
  • I am running XP PRO and Office 2000 PRO... I will check into that settings situation, but I don't recall ever seeing a setting such as you discribe... Isn't that related to Vista & Office 2007? I have run into the "Verify Your Version of Windows" a number of times... But not the CEP.

     

    As yet the OneCare Customer Service Rep. has not responded to either of the Two emails I sent, the first being the Reply he requested I make... Same behavior as with my last Service Request... Resopnce... No Responce to Information they Requested I send... No Solution Issued... Thus far Problems un-resolved = 2

    Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:27 PM
  • I have gone through my Office Program(s) property files and I was unable to locate any CEP settings or files. I can only assume then I do not have the said Program/ Object active in my system, or not such that I am able to locate it... and believe me I looked, in locations/folders I likely ought not have, although carefully. I further confirmed that the offending .doc files do not contain "any" visable links which would indicate a "setting" or other reason they would require connection to the internet, as I indicated earlier I used the original document and created a "new" one for this express purpose... no links, hyper or otherwise... no media what so ever attached or associated... no settings or other reasons that I am able to locate via the properties file... No "Active" reason visable anywhere... aside from the OneCare Firewall window which opens indicating that the offending program (Word, Power Point, etc.) is "Attempting" to Connect to the Internet and I must "Select" whether to "Allow Connection to the Internet, Block the Connection to the Internet, or Block Connection to the Internet for now, and ask me again later"

     

    I to date continue waiting for the OneCare Customer Service Rep.:

    Bruce Wang (MS) [email delted] Microsoft Service Request: SRX1055585504

     

    to respond to the email(s) which he requested I send him... and my follow up requesting he reply, stating he received my email & assoicated files he requested and it was sufficent to determine the issue and work on a solution. I also stated in the email I wished a responce to my earlier Service Request, for which he also happened to be the Rep. and noted such in his initial email.

     

    At this point, I am wondering whether I will even receive a responce at all... or whether it will be left hanging until I either "PAY" for the service, which as of today, 76 days are remaining on my "Trial Subscription" or determine that I do not wish to continue the service... in which case, I will likely never get the solution(s)... Neither of which I consider sadisfactory...

    *****

    Update: When I open the OneCare "Change Settings" window, then the "Advanced Settings" window of the Firewall, which is the "Action" the "Help" files indicate you check when you wish to config. your firewall behavior... None of the Office Programs are listed as "Blocked or Allowed through the firewall" Although various other Microsoft programs are; IE, Media Player, feeds Sync., Outlook Express...

     

    Sunday, January 27, 2008 1:02 PM
  • I don't recall when the Customer Experience Program was introduced, but the option I referred to was in Office 2007.

    Thanks for posting the case ID. I'll forward it on for review.

    -steve

     

    Monday, January 28, 2008 1:33 AM
    Moderator
  • As of today... although I would assume that today, yesterday and tomorrow all fall into the same catagory...

     

    I have not heard "Anything" from Microsoft OneCare Customer Service in the form of a solution to this issue. The problem continues to happen evey time I shut down my computer, it re-sets this "Block, Allow, Block for Now" situation... for ALL of my Office Programs: Word, Excel, Power Point, Access... Each one individually needs to be addressed every time I re-start my computer for the day... In the morning when I begin working on documents... each Program has to be dealt with as I close and save documents or what have you...

     

    If I had some sort of "Idea" what the documents were attempting to accomplish... or Why they wanted to access the Internet... I could consider making a more perminant decision. As it stands I have been selecting the "Block access to the Internet for Now" in the hope that OneCare Customer Service would get back to me with some sort of solution, reason, or information which would allow a "Reasonable" choice to be made... This Service Request is now the better part of 10 days old... and my other issue goes back to 1/14...

     

    The only responce I received to my "Service Request" was an initial reply, requesting more information, including "Files" I had to upload to them, inorder for OneCare Tech. Dept. to resolve this issue... I sent the files, and further discriptive information as requested... No further communication from OneCare Service has been forthcomming... A situaiton I find most unsadisfactory, I understand that were I to "PAY" for the OneCare service, "apparently" I would not be experiencing this lack of communication...

     

    Is not the point of a "Trial Subscription" to Establish a given products compatability, functionallity, and the quality of customer service should issues be encountered. This is the "Second" issue which I have encountered, which after I researched the "knowledge base", the "Help" files, and then due to a lack of information on my particular issue... continued on to the "Service Request..." Only to supply the background on the issue, data files, and all that was requested of me... in both situations I might add. To not receive any responce to my issues, no "sorry we can't help you," or "we are working on a solution, please be patient," instead I receive "No Responce" what so ever...

     

    Although I did receive a "Customer Service Survey" the other day... which I did complete... I hope an actual human takes the time to read my comments... The customer service has been less than acceptable, while I have to say the Forum Responce has been extremely timely & helpful, I suspect that he is getting the same run-a-round as I have been from OneCare... Why would I pay $50 a year for a subscription to a software product when Customer Service Ignores my Requests for assisstance...?

    Saturday, February 2, 2008 11:09 AM
  • I have not heard anything regarding my request for review of your case, either.

    I'll add your additional comments and see if I can get a response.

    -steve

     

    Monday, February 4, 2008 2:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I'll chime in on this one as well,  I'm a software developer working on a database app.  I'm here looking for instances where it detects a program attempting to access the internet when it actually isn't.

     

    I receive the same error with my application which uses SQLCE for the backend database,  has no system calls to the web at all nor are any of them in the using namespace throughout the whole application.

     

    It appears there is something wrong with OneCare's detection of internet usage at this time.  I have even gone as far as to packet sniff my connection and tell OneCare to allow the connection to see nothing using any network resource or connection at all.

     

    I am running the application from a USB drive,  to the original poster would you happen to be saving your documents on a USB drive?  I'll have to give my program a try again at home and see if launching it from the hard drive would make any difference.

     

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 8:43 PM
  • Remember, we're not talking pure Internet usage here. The OneCare firewall is detecting any *network* access. It may be trying to see a network Share.

    Unless you dropped a packet sniffer in place and determined what the specific request was and where it was trying to go, you can't assume it is Internet bound traffic.

    I have to admit, though, I am stymied by why an Office application wants to go to the network or out to the Internet on a File/Save operation. And, further, why OneCare would ask about the access as Office is a recognized/signed/allowed suite. Unless the firewall is set to block *all* traffic and ask before allowing, you should not be prompted for an Office application wanting outbound access.

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 1:34 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    When I am working on, whether it be a Word document, or an Access database, it doesn't seem to matter, upon a "save/close..." OneCare's firewall apparently "Stops" the particular Office program I am working in from connecting to the Internet.

     

    Then I am given the choices I indicated above in my thread... Then every time I shut down my computer or otherwise have to re-set it, this "Attempted Internet Connection" situation is reconfigured, for all Office programs... Then this "Attempt to Access the Internet" by whatever program I happen to be working in needs to be addressed again, individually for each Office program. Once say Word has be reconfigured to "Block connection to the Internet for Now" I can work on as many documents as I want... but if I open another program, say Access... when I go to close the particular database... again this "situation" needs to be dealt with... Individually, for All Office Programs...

     

    It also doesn't seem to matter whether I am saving the document or what have you to my "External" HDD, via a USB connection... Or one of my internal system HDD's... its the Program interacting with OneCare's firewall... Also I have been waiting the better part of Three Weeks... now for some sort of responce from my original OneCare Service Request... The Forum moderator as been attempting to assist me in the mean time... but he appears to be getting the run-a-round from them too... although he has been very helpful, and prompt in his responces.

     

    I hazard to think exactly why the particular program wants to connect to the Internet, there is no "Authorized" reason what so ever for the attempt. Hence my unwillingness to just let it "Connect" and why I have been leaving this situation as it is... If OneCare Customer Service came back to me with some sort of answer as to what is actually happening, assured me that this was a "non-issue" and addressed it with a "Patch" to correct the issue. Aside from sending my documents off into the www... to who knows where... I guess it wouldn't be a big deal, aside from a bit of bandwidth... and my essay on Steam Traction Engines of the Late 1800's boaring someone to death...

     

    On The Other Hand...

     

    The possibility of opening a back door... for who or what I don't know... that is another matter all together... and I am not willing to allow it. That is why I am paying for this "Service" is it not...? It is a "Vulnerability" which OneCare NEEDS to address...

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 4:20 AM
  • we may have already asked these two things, but I'll ask again for simplicity -

     

    1. In the firewall settings for OneCare, what is the specific setting you have configured?

    - Notify me when the firewall blocks an application

    - Always ask me whether to block or allow programs

     

    2. Does you computer have any Dynamic disk partitions? Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management (under the Storage branch) - In the type column for each partition listed it will be Basic or Dynamic

     

    -steve

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 2:01 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    The settings are as follows:

     

    1) Firewall: "Notify me when the firewall blocks an application"

     

    2) Disk Management: All Disks C:\ (local) & G:\ (Secondary Internal) have "One" partition and each is set to "Basic"

    With: Local disk C:\  in a RAID zero configuration, Secondary Disk G:\ has "No" OS... it is a 160 GB NTFS formatted disk for "backup storage" and 98% Free

     

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 3:01 AM
  • Great, thanks for confirming.

     

    The speculation was that your had it set to the other blocking/notify option, hence the announcement by OneCare of the activity.

     

    Your disk configuration should not be a problem at all, either. Dynamic partitions are problematic for the firewall, so I wanted to rule that out.

     

    We'll keep digging!

    -steve

     

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 1:02 PM
    Moderator
  • I had a discussion with the tech department on this "Connecting to the Internet" issue today, while I had him on the phone resolving the other backup drive issue...

     

    Apparently they have been encountering this very same "issue" with Office/OneCare attempting "Connections" on their Technical Department Computers too... and what he told me was along the lines of one of the discussions we have had reguarding this "Attempting to Connect to the Internet."

     

    He indicated that "OneCare" was likely "Not" attempting to connect to the Internet but "Looking for Network Connections" although apparently they have no idea why or what it is planning on doing when "OneCare" finds one... He indicated that it "should be harmless" and not to worry about the activity... Allthough admittadly they don't know why this is occuring... They have basicly just been "Allowing" the connection.... but it sounds like it will continue doing this "Action" even after the "Allow" command is issued... I asked him to look into this matter further, and he indicated that he would and then email me his findings...

     

    Ultimatly he suggested that I contact "Office Customer Service" and see what they suggested... I reminded him that this was not an "Office" issue as such, and that it didn't begin until I downloaded "OneCare" and its firewall began this activity... So apparently, he indicated it is nothing to worry about... If I hear anything more on the issue I will post it... but at this point, I guess it just in limbo... hopefully nothing too serious will result, aside from a bit of problematic random file behavior...?

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 6:19 PM