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First off, pardon me if this is not where I should ask IT questions. If there is another StackExchange site (or site in general) that I should go to by all means let me know.

The Problem:
One of our employees came by saying that his computer will not access the internet. He attempted with Chrome, Firefox, and IE, to no avail. But he found that he could access (and log into) Facebook, Gmail, and his college's email account. But he could not even access Google or CNN.

We managed to get Spybot S&D and MalwareBytes on his computer and scanned it. MalwareBytes found nothing, and Spybot found the usual tracking cookies.

We tried the same thing while in safe mode and also tried restoring to an earlier point.

Nothing has worked so far, and we have been left scratching our heads for answers.

Thank you in advance.

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How do you access the Internet on your network? Do you have/use/need a proxy? –  Massimo Feb 22 '12 at 20:47
    
1. "One of our employees came by saying that his computer will not access the internet. He attempted with Chrome, Firefox, and IE, to no avail. But he found that he could access (and log into) Facebook, Gmail, and his college's email account. But he could not even access Google or CNN." - This makes no sense. He can access the internet or he can't, which is it? Or is it that he can access some sites and not others? –  joeqwerty Feb 22 '12 at 20:51
    
2. "We managed to get Spybot S&D and MalwareBytes on his computer and scanned it. MalwareBytes found nothing, and Spybot found the usual tracking cookies." - Why do so many people break out the malware tools at the first sign of computer trouble? –  joeqwerty Feb 22 '12 at 20:52
    
The computer is connected to the internet. Websites can be pinged, but no browser will open up said websites. People break out malware tools because spyware and malware are a common cause of trouble. It is a good habit to have I believe. If not to fix it, it's always good to clean up. –  npiani Feb 22 '12 at 21:53
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2 Answers

Try updating the DNS cache, Start->CMD: type ipconfig -flushdns

If the problem persist, try to use other DNS like the Google ones:

Primary DNS: 8.8.4.4 Secondary DNS: 8.8.8.8

After setting those, flush the DNS cache again with ipconfig -flushdns

Let us know, and never trust in cheap security products :)

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Thanks for the quick answer. I tried flushing the DNS and changing the DNSs and reflushing and the only thing that happened is that we cannot access the websites he could access before anymore. But thank you for the idea. –  npiani Feb 22 '12 at 20:01
    
looks like it's time to pull out Wireshark –  Safado Feb 22 '12 at 20:53
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This might be better for Superuser...but can also be covered here.

It seems clear that you've lost DNS on the client somehow. If you can connect to sites/servers by IP, but not via domain name, that would confirm it. Check your network settings and make sure that there is a valid DNS entry in there for your DNS server.

You can try using the Google DNS 8.8.4.4, but bear in mind that if you tried this on many corporate networks, it may not work. You may only be able to use the internal DNS, since a firewall may stop outbound DNS from all but the internal DNS servers.

If you truly think it's malware, you might also want to check the hosts file and make sure it's not redirecting all of your traffic to who-knows-where.

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Tried this and many other solutions, nothing worked. Thank you for your time though. –  npiani Mar 5 '12 at 21:25
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