Can't connect to (everything else is OK)

Posted on 2004-03-30
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Since I bought a new PC and installed a fresh copy of XP Pro I have been totally unable to copnnect to the website Without exception, every time I attempt to connect I get the standard Internet Explorer error page "The Page Cannot Be Displayed - the page you are trying to connect to is currently unaavilable...". I know the site is up because I can see it perfectly from my work connection.

What would be blocking this? All other pages seem to work fine. Is it a security option in IE / XP? I tried with and without firewall installed and still no luck. I did have a couple of virus's but they have since been eradicated and the system appears clean.

Help! This is driving me nuts as I want to buy Norton Anti Virus!


Question by:retroshaun
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

LucF earned 125 total points
ID: 10712052
Hi retroshaun,

One of the virusses you had probably put a line in your hosts file. It's a hidden file at:

Open it in notepad and remove every entry except " localhost"


LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 10712748
Check again with stinger:
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 10712762
To take the hosts file one step further ...

The hosts file is the legacy way that users of the baby Internet used to resolve names.  There were no DNS servers - everyone used a file that their computer read through to change the name of a computer or a site to an IP address.  Systems still refer to host files first before going to DNS.

If you take this file, and put it in place of your hosts file (removing the .txt) then it will block A LOT of advertising, spyware, viruses, malware, and general cr@p.  

I love it - and have added my own to the beginning.  Any time you see an add you don't want - you can right click on it and go to properties to see if you can get the website - then just add it to your hosts file.  I put in this little section in the front of my hosts file, right under all the banner material:

#put in by me

For more info:

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 10716010
Glad to help ;-)

Expert Comment

ID: 10852592
wow, i was wondering why i can't get into the symantec website too. Luckily i came across this thread. Thanks to LucF for the tip.

btw, i only made a clean reinstall on my windows xp a day before, did some surfing around (without anti-virus protection) and my settings got changed. shows how safe the net is nowadays. everyone definately needs anti-virus protection =p
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 10852622

Expert Comment

ID: 10925763
hey guys,

thanks for this made my life easier when i was updating my antivirus.

got a virus previously and blocked me from going to the website to download the definitions.

furthermore, thanks for the tips pseudocyber. it somehow solved my problem on pop-ups....

installed a free pop-up killer to eliminate pop-ups when surfing the net. unfortunately, some legitimate pop-ups that i need (been using the site for identifying routes from one place to another)  were being blocked. after updating the hosts file in my computer, i am now able to see that specific pop-up.....

thanks a million guys.....

yo the BEST!!!!!!
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 10925776

Expert Comment

ID: 11313619
Cool. That just fixed my client's problem too. But I had to check it twice. The virus put about 30 blank lines underneath the correct localhost so at first I thought there was no problem with the file but when I rechecked it and tried scrolling down I saw that at the bottom it had added local redirection to many virus sites

thanks for your help
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 11313730
Great to hear :)
Good to see so many people are helped by it.


Expert Comment

ID: 11401707
seems to be

Scott Wiseman
<advertizing removed per http:help.jsp#hi106>

Expert Comment

ID: 11581915
Hey guys,

I was experiencing the same problems as the above users, where connecting to any known/popoular antivirus manufacturer's site was being redirected to, but I checked my hosts file, and there weren't any entries. I thought it peculiar, as I had just did a fresh re-install of this computer I was having the problem with. It turns out that the computer that was holding the internet connection on my LAN was affected with the virus, and that computer had the malicious host file lines in it. I deleted those, went to a networked computer on my LAN, and bingo, problem solved.

Also, prior to this, I did an active virus scan from, and it did not turn up any results. So, if you don't have a virus scan installed, give it a that website a try.

Expert Comment

ID: 11712584
Like onewheelhk, I believed that the hosts file looked normal at first glance....but then, prompted by his comment, I scrolled down to find that virtually any site with something to do with network security was redirected.  Tricky.

Expert Comment

ID: 11984931
At last-been looking for this answer for several months- the clue was to scroll down the hosts file and see all the other stuff dropped in there right at the bottom, presumably by a virus.
Thanks for this -I wonder why Symantec have not picked this up on their web site - I've searched there many times and never found any reference to this.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 11984962

Great to hear it also helped you :)
You're right, the closest I could find at symantec is:

Nowhere is mentioned this issue, pretty strange indeed.


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