I recently had a situation where Internet explorer stopped working – at start time a blank page would be displayed with “connecting” shown as the status of the tab(s). Checking that the site could be pinged I wanted to check if Safari could access if and it appeared to be the same. Firefox on the other hand worked fine !!!
After rebooting and check all the settings including DNS – I still had not got IE able to browse. Outlook 2007 also appeared to be having problems with html emails containing images not yet downloaded.
So the solution surprised me a little …. repair the network connection. So through control panel – select your main network connection – rightclick and repair. Once finished restart IE and voila.
The interesting this here is that whatever had gone wrong was able to persist through reboots!!