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I have tried the following to get monerod.exe to work:

  1. placed all monero related folders in the exception section of my antivirus (AV originally quarantined and blocked several files)
  2. removed monerod.exe from antivirus quarantine

please advise, thanks.

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    Is there a daemon listening on 127.0.0.1:18081 ? If you started monerod, it might be it's busy converting an existing blockchain, which can take a while and during which it will not accept connections. You can see dameon logs in ~/.bitmonero/bitmonero.log. – user36303 Nov 30 at 2:57
  • @user36303 see original post for log. I don't know what the error means though. Can you tell me how to find out if there is a daemon listening on 127.0.0.1:18081. I don't know how to do this. It is probably the solution – Owen Nov 30 at 10:43
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    That is not the dameon log. it looks like a wallet log. If you're on Linux, netstat -tanp | grep 18081 should show you if anything is listening on that port. If you're on Windows, searching the web will likely find how to do it there. – user36303 Nov 30 at 14:13
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I solved the issue by connecting to a remote node. I used the following as a guide.

How to connect to a remote node within GUI wallet:

[https://web.getmonero.org/resources/user-guides/remote_node_gui.html#:~:targetText=Connecting%20to%20the%20node%20from%20the%20GUI%20wallet&targetText=Click%20on%20it%2C%20and%20you,you%20want%20to%20connect%20to.][1]

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