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Access by IP address but not URL?

1056 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2012 5:38 AM by fane_j RSS
James Knight3 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 14, 2011 4:26 AM

One laptop on our network exhibits strange behaviour occasionally. It will be working fine, then will suddenly lose the ability to access a website or any other server by its domain name.


Using Network Utility to lookup the address, the DNS responds with all the correct information. And in Terminal, nslookup and dig both correctly resolve the domain name to the IP address.


However no other application seems able to use this information. Safari, Mail, Software Update all fail to connect to the requested servers.


Mac OS X 10.6.8, MacBook Pro 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i7


Hope someone can assist





  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 11:24 AM (in response to James Knight3)

    Try using different DNSs.  Two are OpenDNS (, and Google DNS (,

  • Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2011 10:29 AM (in response to James Knight3)

    Check /etc/hosts


    You can override normal lookups by setting a hostname in /etc/hosts to give it a different IP address.

    Safari (and just about every other application) will use the system resolver to resolve the hostname, and that first checks /etc/hosts to see if an entry exists. If it does, it uses that address rather than whatever DNS would say.

    However, dig specifically queries the name server, so will return whatever DNS says, completely ignoring /etc/hosts and any caches.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,195 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2011 11:46 AM (in response to James Knight3)



    dscacheutil -flushcache


    Hope that helps.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2012 5:38 AM (in response to James Knight3)

    James Knight3 wrote:


    does anyone have any more ideas on this?

    Create a new user account on the same machine and test it. At least it will give you an idea on where to look for the trouble. If Safari and Mail don't display the same issue in the new user account, then the problem must be somewhere in the other account's Home folder.


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