How To Fix the "http:///?%20www" Error

Recently, I began noticing a couple of funky things happening with my computer: 1) When I'd type in a URL, the page would act like it was taking forever to load and then, it usually wouldn't load but instead would go to an error page, and 2) The URL I typed in, such as www.yahoo.com, would automatically change itself to http:///?%www.yahoo.com. After running AVG, WinUtilities, Windows Defender, HiJackThis, WinSockFix, LMFix, Task Manager, Add/Remove Programs and attempting to edit some registry values, nothing had worked. Paying closer attention to what my computer was doing when I was online, I noticed there were some DNS errors. So, I figured that something was up with either my internet server or my router.

Now, here's where things get a little tricky. About a week after having these problems, which was also a week after my wife had put up our Christmas tree, which was plugged into the same power strip as my router, I noticed that once she moved the Christmas tree plug to a different outlet, all of the internet problems went away. Now, everything is working just fine. My conclusion is that, somehow, the new appliance was affecting the power strip which was in turn, affecting the router that was also plugged into it. This seemed to explain why I could be online and connect some times but couldn't at others. It was like the new appliance was interferring with the router and at those moments I couldn't connect.

In the end, then, the problem wasn't with my computer; I didn't have a virus. Instead, the issue was with an appliance that was affecting my router. My advice is this: If you've added anything new to or have changed your power strip arrangements, trying going back to the way you had them before the errors started popping up. If you've changed nothing, then it is probably time to get your router checked out. If you have a replacement router or a spare one, try it out and see if the problems disappear. If you're directly connected via ethernet cable, etc., check the cable and wall connection. After all of this, if they're still around, then check with your internet provider, your server, etc. to see if there are any internal company issues. Hope this helps!!!

For more of my troubleshooting articles on this site, see the following links: My Cursor Keeps Moving When I Type: Trouble-Shooting Vista, My Internet Suddenly Stopped Working: How To Fix It, How To Find Hidden Folders/Files In Vista and "Windows Explorer Must Shutdown...Must Restart" Loop. Blessings!


  1. You made an excellent conclusion based upon sound reason and the use of evidence. I think that's called induction. Of course, you had faith that the problem was with the outlet, etc., and you were right. Your faith, which was the basis of your use of reason and evidence, proved itself worthy of making the right conclusion. You now have warranted, justified belief.

    Good job, man!

  2. chris,
    so, can a person have faith without realizing it because, to be sure, i had no idea that the problem was with the outlet and i certainly didn't place faith in assumptions i didn't have. but given your response here, i can still attest to the fact that, indeed, you are a tool.