Internet Explorer 6 - Can't find local (intranet) web addresses by computer name

This issue is so bizarre that all the symptoms point to a virus but according to Norton Antivirus that is not the case.

A few days ago I was working on my computer and needed to access the corporate Intranet. When I typed the address into the address bar (in the format http://myintranet) in Internet Explorer and it redirected me to http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=myintranet. I quickly realised the same was true of every local web server address on my network, including http://localhost which now redirects to http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=localhost. No configuration changes took place to make this happen, it just did.

After much investigation I discovered that whilst http://myintranet is not recognised, http://myintranet.mydomain.com (the server's full address) does work and points to the correct place. Futher to this, I can ping myintranet with no problems whatsoever, and http://myintranet works perferctly in Netscape. It also works fine under Internet Explorer on every other PC on my network. If I type the server's IP address instead of it's name, ie. http://10.4.100.1, this also works. Interestingly, ftp://myintranet also works just fine. And if that isn't weird enough, try this: http://myintranet/index.html DOES work and so does http://myintranet/mypages/index.html but http://myintranet and http://myintranet/mypages don't, same for my own machine - I can access http://localhost/index.asp or http://127.0.0.1 but not http://localhost.

And today, for around 5 minutes while I was downloading a Windows Update security patch, these local computer names all worked again, but as quickly as the problem solved itself, it came back again.

I use a proxy server at work and I have 'bypass proxy server for local addresses' checked. At home I have a DSL direct internet connection and I experience the same problem (it's a laptop which I use in both locations). I'm running Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1. I've tried resetting all my Internet Explorer settings, and I've tried reinstalling Internet Explorer - neither worked. It's as if Internet Explorer is recognising local computer names and deliberately choosing not to read them unless they are part of a URL which points to a specific file, not just the homepage of a web server or to a folder on that server. It's driving me mad and I would be extremely grateful for a solution, hence the points...

-William
LVL 1
wwarbyAsked:
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wwarbyAuthor Commented:
Found the answer...

MailBook.exe. A horrible little peice of ad-ware that I had picked up somewhere along the line which was loading with Internet Explorer and causing that problem (and who knows what other problems).

Problem solved.
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irieiamCommented:
That sounds like the 'auto search' feature is turned on.  The fact that a specific 'page' (index.html) works but a folder url will not says the browser is accessing the search feature instead of polling the actual site.
In IE:  Go to "Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Search from the address bar" and select "Do not search from the address bar"
Then close and reopen IE and try again.

-irieiam
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wwarbyAuthor Commented:
Nah, that wasn't it but thanks all the same. I did acutally look at that as being the problem but to no avail, it turned out to be a nasty peice of software I had picked up on my travels which was interfering with things.

-William
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PashaModCommented:
Question closed and points refunded

PashaMod
CS Moderator
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