Another problem solved, but I don’t know why

When trying to visit Microsoft’s connect.microsoft.com site earlier today, I was consistently getting the error message:

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

This was using IE8. Firefox and Opera both worked fine, so I was a bit perplexed. My impetus for using IE8 (I use Firefox whenever possible) was that a destination site was not working properly. So, I decided to try IE8 to see if it would work correctly. Ultimately, it did, verifying my guess that IE8 isn’t fully disposable quite yet. Along the way, however, I was hitting the “cannot display” roadblock.

I Googled the problem, got a lot of hits, and tried going through a whole shopping list of things to try to resolve the “cannot display” problem. Nothing worked.

Since Firefox and Opera were working, it didn’t occur to me that it might be some kind of DNS issue. Otherwise, those would have been having problems as well. So, I didn’t pursue that angle.

Ultimately, in a whim of desperation, I did an NSLOOKUP on connect.microsoft.com, and tried plugging the IP number into the address field in IE8… and bingo! It worked. I logged in and all looked normal after a detour through the live login site.

After closing and restarting IE, it now works using the name of the URL, as well.

Go figure.

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