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no internet - but windows updates are downloading

Last Modified: 2015-09-29

i am reinstalling an older Compaq NX9420 laptop - 4 GB ram
with a 320 GB disk drive
and Vista business 32 bit; no SP - yet
all is ok - all drivers are installed - no errors in device manager

However -  i cannot get on the internet (page can not be displayed)
but when i check windows updates, these are working and installing ok (hundreds)

i tried stopping the Anti-Virus (panda), lowering safety settings
ipconfig showed first media disconnected  -  or no gateway address

what can be the cause?  old internet explorer (7) ?  or do i need further downloads ?
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