Perplexing win98 networking problem

Background: I work for a university and part of my job is to help student machines connect to our LAN.

I have a win98 machine that I can’t get to resolve web addresses. I’m sure it’s a DNS problem, but I can’t figure out how to fix it. When I check winipcfg he gets all the right numbers from the dhcp server (DNS/Gateway/IP) so it appears to be working correctly. I can ping ip addresses (including both dns servers) but trying to ping web addresses or browse web addresses (local or not) gives a dns error.

I have:
removed all dialup adapters
reinstalled the ethernet card.
Removed winsock2 and uninstalled/reinstalled dial up networking (twice-once using a utility and once manually)
uninstalled and reinstalled tcp/ip (twice)

I’m at the end of my win98 rope. What else can I try?

Some malware redirects DNS requests thru their machines in order to do Their Evil Business. It could be such a malware problem. Removing and reinstalling winsock is a good idea since they usually modify that. But check for malware using the usual tools listed in the sticky just in case.

Also check the HOSTS file.

I didn’t think of checking the hosts file. Thanks, ftg. I did not install ad-aware or any spyware removal tool yet. Will spyware really redirect a ping? I would have blamed spyware for the web browser not working, but I didn’t really think that it would affect a ping.

Definitely look in the hosts file.

Can it ping other objects on your network by name?

Can it ping Internet addresses by number? Stuff not local to your network? A good one to try is

I’m heading there soon.

No, not dns names, though it will ping WINS names.

Our network has port 445 blocked to and from the internet to prevent worms from entering the network, so pinging doesn’t work.

Thanks for the ideas. I’ll see if I can get him working. I’m also bringing a usb network adapter to see if I can get it to work through another device.