Can't access the internet via web browser, but can ping domain names that resolve successfully

I'm having a unique problem I think.  I'm working on a Dell Optiplex 740 w/windows XP Pro installed with SP3.  According to the client approximately 4 weeks ago, he became unable to reach the internet via his browser.  I've ran anti-virus and spyware scans to no avail.

I am able to resolve domain name pings (e.g. successfully and can ping other workstations via plain name and ip address so I don't think this is a DNS issue.  All suggestions would be much appreciated.
Who is Participating?
pblendeConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I've decided to just reload.  Thank you for the effort.

Firewall on/off?

Also, does this system have to run through a proxy server before viewing web pages? is the proxy server address entered correctly?
What kind of browser is using in this PC (Internet Explorer)?

In control panel:
Check the Internet Properties / Connections settings maybe there is configured the use of a proxy that not exists.
Check the settings in network connection.
Review if the XP firewall is configured to block the browser.

If there is installed another security software running: firewall, etc. maybe if configured to block the browser.

Maybe is a new kind of malware that cannot be detected by the current AV and spyware scans.
Get an run hijackthis and post the results:

You can try to install another browser and check if you can navigate (Firefox or Opera are good options). If you install a new browser maybe the security software ask for permisions for this browser.

You can disable the addons and run Internet Explorer without any addons.

    * Go to Start > Run
    * Type iexplore -extoff
    * Press Enter

Test and tell us the results.

Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

pblendeAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the suggestions.  

The firewall is on and running with the appropriate exceptions for internet explorer.

The browser is internet explorer and running it with the addons turned off made no difference.

 I've already loaded Firefox in an attempt to see if it was just the browser, with the same results.  

Also, I've attempted to fix the winsock with no change in results as well.
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Start.. Run.. SFC /scannow, and have an xp cd handy.

Tried System Restore?  Windows Update?  

With a proper domain and external firewall setup, I'd recommend not using the xp software firewall.  

Any eventlog errors of note?

Any saved passwords in CPanel.. User Accounts.. Advanced?  If so, delete them, and reboot.
If you can see other computer and "browse" the local network, the problems is the source of your internet: proxy, gateway, etc.

You check the connection settings too?
Try to disable for a while the firewall and check again.
If you are using a network cable to connect this computer try to change the cable, move the connection to another port if you have a switch in the local network.

As @L3370 says, if you are using a proxy/gateway/etc, check that the PC have the permisions for use the ports need it. Don't take lightly this is a common mistake. I always block myself when test new security options. If the http protocol in the proxy is blocked you can ping but can't navigate until you allow the port for this PC.

Sometimes the NIC hardware/driver can be damaged (in rainy days we got discharges that play with us).

Can you try this other two options:

* Get a new NIC and install in this computer (just to check if the failure is only related with the NIC or Windows)
* Check if the network driver was updated and rollback or get a new drivers from DELL (maybe this don't apply to you now).

Use the dell diagnostics to check your hardware, if the computer is on warranty with DELL you can get new parts (motherboard).
We got this issue once, DELL send a new Motherboard and the error disapear (I check the PC with another harddisk, install windows and the error exists, so DELL cannot refuse to replace the MB)

Jackie ManCommented:
I think it is a kind of rootkit virus. You may need to re-install XP.


You need to run a full scan for virus in safe mode.
Jackie ManCommented:
A simple check to see whether XP is infected with rootkit virus - Can you update the virus definition?
Jackie ManCommented:
Maybe you need to boot your computer with a CD for an anti-rootkit tool to do a scan first. For details, please see the URL below.

pblendeAuthor Commented:
System Restore is Disabled.  Can't get to Windows update because the explorer is offline.  I've turned off the firewall with no change in results.

NO erros in event log.

NO saved passwords in Cpanel or user accounts.  
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.