I'm on Windows 7 x64 and the website in question is Hotmail. The problem is browser agnostic as I've tried with every browser installed on my machine (FF, Chrome, Opera, IE).

The kicker is, I can access is from inside a virtual machine. I have both Ubuntu and a Windows 10 virtual machine, and using these I can access Hotmail normally.

Every other website seems to work fine, and I have no problem playing online games either.

What I've tried:

  • Clear browser history/cookies
  • Run CCleaner
  • Rebooting
  • Flushing the ARP cache (netsh interface ip delete arpcache)
  • Flushing the DNS (ipconfig /flushdns)

Extra information:

Host file only contains commented out lines.

nslookup command, on the problem system, gave me (on another system i got the same thing except the 4 ip addresses were in a different order):

nslookup hotmail.com
Server:  UnKnown
Address: // <-- This is my router

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:      hotmail.com

ping command, on the problem system, gave me:

Pinging hotmail.com [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=65ms TTL=241
Reply from bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=241
Reply from bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=241
Reply from bytes=32 time=67ms TTL=241

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 64ms, Maximum = 67ms, Average = 65ms

On another system it used a different address, namely

What could cause this?

2 Answers 2


Try pinging the site from the problem system and a system that works. The IP address should be the same (usually).

If they are the same, I'm not sure what it could be.

If they are not the same, check the hosts file to be sure it hasn't been hijacked (it's a local DNS of sorts, stored in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and required admin access to get to). Then, check DNS to see which servers are being used to resolve hotmail.com (use nslookup on the command line to check this).

  • Actually in the case of hotmail, there are 4 possible IP addresses. Surprisingly you indicate how to find this out, but suggest "The IP address should be the same (usually)." In reality it might use any of the 4 during the ping.
    – Tyson
    Jan 2, 2015 at 5:24
  • ping hotmail.com gave me the 4th (of 4) ip address in the list from nslookup hotmail.com. I went and looked at the host files, all the lines start with # which I'm assuming means they're all comments. The server used to lookup was which is my router.
    – Borgleader
    Jan 2, 2015 at 5:36
  • So you're saying the IP address is the same on both systems (or one of the same four in this case)? If they are not exactly the same, try putting the exact same address that works in the hosts file on the system having issues. Perhaps there is a routing issue somewhere between your system and one or more of the hotmail addresses. That could cause this and other than this temporary hack there isn't much you can do about it other than wait for someone to fix it. Doing a tracert might identify where the route is failing if you're curious.
    – James
    Jan 2, 2015 at 5:43
  • @James I added more info in the question because I was running out of space in the comment.
    – Borgleader
    Jan 2, 2015 at 5:57
  • 1
    Did you try disabling antivirus? And test your system with antimalware (malwarebytes)
    – maudam
    Jan 2, 2015 at 11:34

Seeing the amount of trouble shooting already done (I agree with the analysis)

They have other sources of resolving names – [...] ,\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts on Windows, NIS, NetBIOS name resolution, caching systems like nscd – none of which are consulted by host or nslookup, but any of which may return conflicting information that the operating system may use.


NetBIOS, NIS, ncsd would be - weaker - leads then. Apparently it happens to real people:

Mukesh says

September 10, 2014 at 6:15 am

Thanks for the info. nscd was the culprit in mycase. Restarting it helped in resolver to work for ping and telnet

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