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Cannot load pages from specific Web Sites

Q: I have created the following home network in my new house (in the UK).

DSL internet from Virgin LingSys Router WAG54GS

Ethernet connection to Win 2000 Pro Laptop (and then thru VPN)
Ethernet connection to XP Desktop
Wireless connection to another XP Desktop

PROBLEM: the two XP machines cannot load pages from specific Web Sites, for example microsoft.com!  Other websites load fine, although eventually some link to another page won't connect.

The W2K Laptop connects fine to all sites, hence my ability to post in this  forum.

I have tried removing all firewalls and have scanned both for spyware, but
no luck.  Both XP machines worked fine in the USA thru another LinkSys router.
 
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as the LinkSys, Dell and Virgin
support sites have all given up!

A: We have seen many DSL lines have similar issue because of MTU. I would check MTU first. this link may help,
 
Troubleshooting i.e. issues Can't run IE Can't access some web sites Can't access some secure web pages ∑ Canít access the Internet via USB after enabling NIC for network ...
www.chicagotech.net/troubleshootingie.htm 
 
Bob Lin, MS-MVP, MCSE & CNE
Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on http://www.ChicagoTech.net
 How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on http://www.HowToNetworking.com

Q: when I set my routers MTU to Automatic, instead of the 1458 required by
Virgin DSL, suddenly the XP machines worked fine, accessing those troublesome
pages.  Even my VPN (which I temporarily lost) came back, and seems to
connect fine.

So Thank You Very Much

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