Browsers stop working

For simply no reason at all my browsers stopped working. At first I thought it was a network DNS problem - but then I connected a laptop to the network and all is working fine. From the desktop I can do an ipconfig, get an ip address. I can also ping externally - www.yahoo.com - etc. and get a reply. But neither Internet Explorer, nor Firefox will work! What do you think is the problem before I format?
Starquest321Asked:
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greenaspCommented:
Are you using a proxy?  If not, can you check you connection settings under tools, internet options, connections . Make sure never dial a connection is selected, then click on lan settings and make sure nothing is selected. then report back.
rockiroadsCommented:
have u a firewall? did u check that nothing in there is set to prevent it?
did u check the connections tab on both ie and firefox? do they go thru some proxy? if so then is that proxy correct and working okay?
you could try another browser like opera or chrome or safari as a test.
radnbneCommented:
Also try resetting your winsock.

Open a Dos Prompt
Type the following:
net winsock reset
and press enter
exit the dos prompt and reboot your computer.
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Starquest321Author Commented:
I don't think netwinsock reset is the syntax. . . I get an error.
radnbneCommented:
Sorry my mistake - fumble fingers

should be netsh winsock reset

TonyStCommented:
If you can ping an address on the outside and get valid replies then your system can "see" the internet.  If you can not open any web page then your system cannot find the DNS servers it is supposed to use. Try all of these things.   First goto Internet properties and make sure that the "internet proxy" under "Lan Settings: is not checked. Sometimes malaware changes these settings.  Then do these steps.

1.  Seach your system for file named "HOSTS" in them and delete them.  Windows  will recreate them when needed. (sometimes malware writes redirects to these files).   2.  Delete all of your temporary internet files and cookies.  3.  Go to network properties and set your primary and secondary DNS servers to a public address:      primary;  208.67.220.220   secondary  208.67.222.222

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