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Microsoft Word/inability to access Internet sites


QUESTION: hi Suzanne!

I hope the new year finds you in good health.
I'm asking for your help in directing me to an expert who can help with a new problem- inability to access Internet sites.
I have two computers,connected with a Cisco router. One is 7 years old, the other 2 years old. The older one uses Windows XP, the younger one uses Windows 7.
My internet service is provided by Verizon with DSL.
The two have operated trouble-free for years. But in the last day or two, I cannot access most of the Web sites that I have used for years.
Using Internet Explorer, I can access Google and gmail, but I cannot access, nor nor amazon and many other sites that I been using.

Can you help?
Thank you.

ANSWER: Needless to say, this is so far outside my expertise that I don't really even have any idea where to start. Since you're experiencing the problem with two different versions of Windows, I suppose we can eliminate Windows as an issue. It's possible that there are some security settings in Internet Explorer or in your antivirus software that are preventing you from accessing those sites, but this seems very unlikely. When you get Google, if you search for, say, "Bloomberg," do you get a link that is usable, or are you unable to reach the Bloomberg site that way, too?

Assuming that you are accessing these sites via Favorites, could it be that the Favorites are just corrupted? It seems unlikely that this would be the case on two separate machines, however. In fact, none of the above seems likely to apply to two different boxes.

All that being said, I'm thinking perhaps the people you should be talking to are the support techs at Verizon. They'll likely want you to connect one of the machines directly to the DSL (without going through the router) to eliminate the router as the problem. OTOH, since this isn't, strictly speaking, a connection problem (since you can get online), they may not be able to help, either.

As you can see, I'm really just grasping at straws, and I don't even know where to point you, but I guess you could at least try asking about this at There's always the possibility that one of the Internet Explorer experts there will have seen this sort of problem before and have some sort of explanation. Be prepared for at least one person to suggest that you download FireFox to see whether you have the same problems with it--I imagine that the "get a real browser" crowd probably don't exempt the IE forums from their recommendations!

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QUESTION: Suzanne,

Your reply hit the nail on the head in every respect.
I got hold of a Verizon tech in out-sourced land who removed some cookies.
Since my troubles continue, I can't see that we're making progress.
What I'm hoping for is for you to suggest an expert within the allexperts group who can help me.

thanks again.


I have no familiarity with other experts at this site, and, as I say, I don't know even what area to refer you to. I just googled "cannot connect to some websites," and, judging from the number of hits, this is not an uncommon problem. Among the offerings is one from Microsoft (, but it doesn't seem very helpful. Many of the problem threads are marked "solved," so you might look at some of them to see whether they might be helpful. Here's a link to that search:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1357700187,d.dmQ&fp=acbfb5709eb9abcc&biw=1264&bih=856.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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