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IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Over the past few weeks I have had sporadic access to search engines like Google, Bing and other major search engines on my laptop.  I can browse to without a problem but if I try to browse to I get the following:

Quote (IE8):

  Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
   What you can try:
    Diagnose Connection Problems  
     More information

This problem can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

•Internet connectivity has been lost.
•The website is temporarily unavailable.
•The Domain Name Server (DNS) is not reachable.
•The Domain Name Server (DNS) does not have a listing for the website's domain.
•There might be a typing error in the address.
•If this is an HTTPS (secure) address, click Tools, click Internet Options, click Advanced, and check to be sure the SSL and TLS protocols are enabled under the security section.

For offline users

You can still view subscribed feeds and some recently viewed webpages.
To view subscribed feeds

1.Click the Favorites Center button , click Feeds, and then click the feed you want to view.

To view recently visited webpages (might not work on all pages)

1.Click Tools , and then click Work Offline.
2.Click the Favorites Center button , click History, and then click the page you want to view.
I have McAfee AV installed and up to date and it detected no suspicious content.  I've also tried Firefox (installed prior to the issue beginning) and it also failed to load the page leading me to believe this is not browser specific.

I have also tried the following tools to see if it was something McAfee was missing:
  • Trend Micro RootKit Buster
  • Trend Micro HouseCall
  • Trend Micro HijackThis
  • SpyBot Search & Destroy
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
none have turned anything up other than the typical  browsing activity tracking cookies like double-click.

I've flushed the DNS, checked for rouge host files or edits to the legitimate host file, and many other steps suggested online.  Network issues were ruled out as other machines on the same network were able to connect to Google without issue and when I try to access Google from my home network it still fails to load.

I'm at a loss, any help is appreciated.

Machine info:
Windows XP - w/ Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 8

let me know if you need anything more...

thanks in advance for any suggestions!

RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

What happens if you do Start > Run > cmd > ping


RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

I cannot reach the destination...

Quote (command line):

Ping request could not find host Please check the name and try a
tracert could not even make the first hop.

RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Did you check your primary and secondary DNS settings?


RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Have you checked if a proxy server has been set? Control Panel>Internet Options>Internet Properties/Connections/Local Area Network (LAN) Settings> make sure "Use a Proxy Server..." is not checked. uses the IP address

Can you ping or browse that address?

What happens if you turn the firewall off?

There are browser hijackers. HijackThis may help. The folks on the Virus and Spyware forum here may be able to help analyse the results if you can't, HijackThis produces a long, and difficult to decipher, list of things that are on your system.


RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Sorry for not responding sooner... as I said this issue keeps comming and going, and today it came back after just over a week of Google working just fine.

I just tried to browse and ping the IP FlyBoyTim posted and it failed in both cases - IE reported the address was invalid, so on my other machine I pinged Google and got this IP ( which loaded the google page just fine.

When I submitted a query I got the page cannot be found issue again but simply swapping with and the results were returned which tells me this is a DNS related issue.

The thing is other machies using the same DNS work just fine so could I have some malware on my machine that is set to periodicly allow certain sites to load and block them at other times?

And if so, how do I find it when all the tools listed in my OP failed to find anything?

RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Try changing you DNS settings to OpenDNS


Robert Wilensky:
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.


RE: IE8 cannot open most search engine pages

Thanks for the suggestion Sympology but it didn't help.

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