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ANSWERED Eddie V 2.21.8 - Unable to Login - Bootstrap Failure

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I have Eddie version 2.21.8 installed on 4 PCs: 3 Dell desktop PCs still running Windows 8.1 (with Kaspersky or Avast free AV), and 1 Acer laptop running Windows 10. They are all stand-alone, not in a network.

Two of the Dells (Inspirons) are side by side. One is still running Eddie perfectly. The other developed a "failure to login" problem about a week ago.

There are two pop-up error messages - first, "Eddie - Bootstrap Failed", then "Eddie - Message" - as shown in the attached screen cap.

Today's log, same as earlier ones, shows:

. 2023.01.16 09:44:12 - Eddie version: 2.21.8 / windows_x64, System: Windows, Name: Windows 8.1, Version: Microsoft Windows NT 6.3.9600.0, Mono/.Net: v4.0.30319
. 2023.01.16 09:44:12 - Command line arguments (1): path="home"
. 2023.01.16 09:44:13 - Reading options from C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Eddie\default.profile
. 2023.01.16 09:44:13 - OpenVPN - Version: 2.5.5 - OpenSSL 1.1.1l  24 Aug 2021, LZO 2.10 (C:\Program Files\AirVPN\openvpn.exe)
. 2023.01.16 09:44:13 - SSH - Version: plink 0.73 (C:\Program Files\AirVPN\plink.exe)
. 2023.01.16 09:44:13 - SSL - Version: stunnel 5.56 (C:\Program Files\AirVPN\stunnel.exe)
I 2023.01.16 09:44:14 - Ready
I 2023.01.16 09:44:38 - Checking login ...
. 2023.01.16 09:45:30 - Cannot retrieve information about AirVPN: Fetch url error:Failure when receiving data from the peer
F 2023.01.16 09:45:54 - Cannot login. (Fetch url error:Failure when receiving data from the peer)

I suspected a virus, because access to some sites, e.g. avg.com, is blocked, even after a DNS flush. But Bleeping Computers' Rkill, Malwarebytes, MS Autoruns14 and Kasperky (deep scan) haven't found anything. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled Eddie.

Any suggestions before I raise a support ticket?

BTW, the same problem has now cropped up on my Acer laptop!

Eddie_Bootstrap_Fail_16-10-2023.JPG

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Hello!

Since the other machines work fine we can rule out any block by your ISP or by your own network (router etc.).

Please check whether any of the tools you mentioned, if still active, may block packets by cURL or OpenVPN or Eddie, or maybe the IP addresses of our bootstrap servers. Since you notice overblocking toward other legitimate destinations, this is an option to be seriously considered. A quick discernment test can be performed by simply disabling entirely every and each tool and check whether the problem gets resolved. Also remember that multiple antimalware and packet filtering tools running at the same time can cause unpredictable conflicts and behavior.

If the above doesn't solve the issue, try to re-start Eddie from scratch: delete (or rename) the configuration file C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Eddie\default.profile (do it while Eddie is NOT running). Then re-start Eddie (you will need to re-enter your AirVPN account credentials). In the event that the configuration file is corrupt, this procedure should resolve the issue.

Kind regards
 

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Thanks, Staff.

I rechecked that Windows Defender is turned off; my only live AV is Kaspersky Free.

Then I renamed the default.profile file, before starting Eddie. I can see that Eddie created a new default.profile file, but it didn't fix the problem.

Next, I went through the Windows programs and features list to make sure that the other AV tools I downloaded are not still installed. I also cleared their installation programs from the download folder, and checked Task Manager to see if any unexpected programs were running.

Then I did a cold boot, deleted the Eddie default.profile file, and relaunched Eddie. Sadly, I was still unable to login.

As far as I can tell, my only running tool is Kaspersky Free AV, which I do not think is the cause of the problem. I uninstalled it a few days ago, and went back to Windows Defender, to see if that would fix the problem. It didn't. Then I had problems trying to reinstall Kasperksy. Everything went fine until the authentication stage, where I kept getting a message that the program couldn't contact the servers at My Kasperky. Eventually, in desperation, I launched Psiphon3, and went through the whole download and install process again. It took a long time, because of Psiphon3 Free's slow download speed, but eventually it succeeded, and my subscription was successfully added to my existing Kaspersky account (for the other Dell).

If all else fails, I was thinking of removing the internal hard disk (HD), and installing the backup internal HD, which was last cloned with Macrium Reflect about 3 months ago. If the backup HD allows me to login to Eddie, I could then clone the backup HD to the original HD, put the original HD back in the PC, then update software as necessary. (I don't keep data files on the internal HD; they are on external desk top drives.) The only thing that worries me is the risk of any virus on the original HD jumping over to the backup HD. Is that a possibility, if the original HD is not being used as the boot disk?

That would still leave me with the same login problem on the Windows 10 Acer laptop, for which I have no backup drive yet, but it's manageable.

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@after_lunch

Hello!

Before trying the system replacement you mention, please send us a system report, where Eddie might have logged everything happening while it tries to contact the bootstrap servers. From the main window click "Logs" tab, click the LIFE BELT icon, click the "Copy" icon (or send the report to our web sites) and paste either the whole report or the link to the report into your next message (or open a ticket to keep the system report private),.

Also test what happens if you enter http://airvpn.org when Eddie asks for an alternative bootstrap server. Note that it's http and not https (then Eddie encrypts by itself the underlying HTTP data flow). If it fails too, try also .info in place of .org.

Kind regards
 

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Thanks again, Staff!

It's a long report, so I've tried the "link" method. It seems to be OK, but I have a separate Notepad text copy if you need it.
https://eddie.website/report/f919d54d/

As you requested, I also tried the alternative bootstrap servers http://airvpn.org and http://airvpn.info, and I got the same error messages as previously reported. I didn't save any reports, but if you need them, I will produce them.

 

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@after_lunch

Hello!

Not as useful as we hoped unfortunately. We strongly suspect that there's still something blocking HTTP packets to port 80 or maybe in general packets coming from certain applications: note how even the preliminary HTTP test fails. This test is performed regardless of your account login. Together with the previously mentioned blocks of various web sites, we think that it's worth that you re-check packet filtering rules as well as the configuration of the anti-malware tool that's still installed.

Try also to reset the TCP/IP stack... probably it will not resolve the problem, but you never know. Step by step instructions: https://wethegeek.com/reset-tcp-ip-stack-on-windows/

Kind regards
 

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Hello again, Staff!
 

I decided to take up your second suggestion first, as resetting the TCP/IP stack seemed easy to do.
 

Sadly, it didn't help on the Windows 8.1 Dell Inspiron (Pentium) PC, which was the cause of my original request for help.
 

Next, I did a  TCP/IP stack reset on my Windows 10 Acer laptop, which had developed the "Fetch url error" a few days after the Dell Inspiron. That didn't fix the problem. The Acer relies on Windows Defender, but I was able to download a trial version of Malwarebytes Premium, and to run a Custom Scan on everything. It took about 3.5 hours and identified 1 virus: uTorrent. This surprised me, because I have been using uTorrent for more than 5 years without problems. However, I've never used uTorrent on the Acer laptop, so I let Malwarebytes quarantine it. (The Acer is now stuck on "Restarting…", but it's on mains power, so I'll leave it alone for now.)
 

It also occurred to me to check my third Dell PC, which I don't really need - long story - but I keep it updated as a hot spare. It's actually an XPS-8500 running Windows 8.1 Pro. I last cloned its hard disk on 24/09/2022. Its last big Windows software update was on 11/01/2023. No more than 2 days after that, I installed Avast Free AG. (Kaspersky Free only supports 2 devices, so it is only installed on my 2 Dell Inspirons.) I discovered that I hadn't updated Eddie since 13/05/2022; it was still shown as version 2.21.6. I ran it, and got the same errors as on the Dell Inspiron (Pentium) and the Acer laptop. I downloaded and installed version 2.21.8, ran it, and got the same errors again!
 

So at the moment, out of 4 PCs, the only PC which can run Eddie is my Windows 8.1 Dell Inspiron (Intel CORE i5).
 

To get back to your first suggestion about re-checking packet filtering rules as well as the configuration of any anti-malware tools. I'll be honest: I'm not an IT expert - I'm more of a plug-and-play guy. But I always read the user manuals, and I follow their instructions as best I can! Looked at simply, I have 3 PCs which may have incorrect settings, possibly corrupted in some way - since they all ran Eddie OK in the past - and one PC that presumably has correct settings because I am still able to run Eddie on it. The two Windows 8.1 Dell Inspiron PCs run Kaspersky Free AV with identical configurations; one PC will run Eddie, and one has the "Fetch url error" problem. This might suggest that I should be looking at packet filtering, not AV conflicts. If you - or anyone else reading this - can tell me what vital settings I need to check and how to find them, or point me at instructions on this, I can check the two Dell PCs for starters, and perhaps spot the differences which may be causing this "Fetch url error" problem.
 

I still have the backup internal HDs for the 3 Dells in reserve, and they haven't been used since their last cloning on 24/09/2022.

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@after_lunch

Hello!

Kaspersky tools blocked AirVPN, Nord, Cisco and other VPN various times in the past, since when Kaspersky started pushing for their own VPN (just a coincidence...). If you can't afford to test with Kaspersky tools completely eradicated form your system (disabling all the modules may not be sufficient) follow this guide and check whether the problems you experience get resolved or not:
https://windowsreport.com/vpn-blocked-kaspersky/#1

Kind regards
 

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Thank you for your suggestions, Staff. I think most of us have experience of AirVPN IP addresses being blocked by websites which use Cloudflare (and similar) for their website security. I didn't know that AV providers were also getting in on the act!
 

I will have a look at it tomorrow - I'm burnt out now! - but I'm not optimistic that Kaspersky will turn out to be the cause of the problem:

  • ·         I am, so far, happily running Eddie on my Dell Inspiron [Windows 8.1, Intel Core i5] PC, which has Kaspersky Free AV installed. The same AV is installed on my Dell Inspiron [Windows 8.1, Pentium], which does have the "Fetch url error". I'll do a side-by-side configuration comparison tomorrow.
  • ·         I have the same "Fetch url error" on my Dell XPS-8500 [Windows 8.1 Pro, Intel CORE i7], which uses Avast Free AV.
  • ·         I have the same "Fetch url error" on my Acer laptop [Windows 10], which uses Windows Defender.

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Problem solved, and I'm embarrassed, to say the least. :doh:

I never suspected the router, because I had full internet and Eddie access on one PC, and internet access but with some sites blocked and no Eddie on the other 3 PCs. Also, the problems were similar to those caused by certain viruses and, as Staff pointed out, a faulty TCP/IP stack. However, when I was in the living room unfreezing the Acer laptop, a few feet away from the Vodafone broadband router, I thought "what the hell" and powered off the router for a few minutes. And, you've guessed it, when I switched it on again and the internet connection was restored, the Eddie problem had disappeared. I've tested all 4 PCs, and I can login to Eddie on all of them and access the internet.

Thanks for all your help, Staff. I'm sorry it was wasted effort, but perhaps this topic will help another member in the future!

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