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I have an Acer Aspire One netbook (A0531h) that cannot access (or even ping) microsoft.com. I can access (and ping) any other site just fine. I just re-installed Windows XP Pro 5 mins ago (second time) so I know it's not infected with anything.

Ping request could not find host microsoft.com

It is using an Atheros AR5007EG wireless card.

What could be causing this?

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Are you using the same name server for both computers which reach microsoft.com and the XP machine which can not reach it? Did you double check that the cleanly installed windows is not infected? (Read: It is probably fine if you did this at home. At uni reinstalling mostly resulted in an infected laptop before you finished downloading windows updates). –  Hennes Sep 18 '12 at 19:25
    
Yes, both computers are on the same router with DHCP. I have a home copy of XP and I've used it on other machines just fine. –  Xeoncross Sep 18 '12 at 19:32
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1 Answer

You don't receive responses to ping, because Microsoft's servers don't respond to ICMP echo requests. You should be able to access microsoft.com in a browser, though. Check the output of nslookup microsoft.com on your system. If it returns an IP address, try telnet IP_ADDRESS 80 to see if you can connect to the remote server. If it doesn't return an IP address, you need to check your DNS settings.

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I ran nslookup and it responded with the IP '64.4.11.37, 65.55.58.201`. I then tried to telnet at port 80, but it just showed a blank page so I guess it worked. –  Xeoncross Sep 18 '12 at 19:30
    
Yes. Had it not worked you would have received a connection refused or connection timeout message. Since the raw connection works, it may be a problem with your browser (do you use a proxy?) or with some overzealous "security" software. –  Ansgar Wiechers Sep 18 '12 at 19:38
    
There is no security software or anything installed, and I tried with the built-in IE 6 and a new download of Chrome. –  Xeoncross Sep 18 '12 at 19:43
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