On a laptop running Windows XP, I can't seem to view webpages or actually connect to any server. Going to pages in IE or firefox give me unable to connect/cannot display errors. Trying to ftp to a server through windows explorer or filezilla gives me simmilar errors. Everything I do seems to indicate that I'm not connected to the internet... except the fact that I can ping other sites (google.com, yahoo.com, etc...) and the pings come back fine. When I disconnect the ethernet cable from the computer and try pining, it doesn't work. Does anyone know why none of these programs can connect to the internet, but my pings are going through?

Have you scanned for malware? if so, with what?

This might be a longshot...

Try disabling Norton? (Or any other Anti-Virus/Firewall/Security Software -- Try disabling all of it)

If that doesn't work, then my next guess would be that perhaps your HOSTS file is compromised.

Sounds like a possible DNS issue - look things over closely...

Check the proxy setting on internet explorer properties