I am new to the site and could not find a forum specific for troubleshooting so thought I would place it under the respective OS that the problem is occurring under. I don't think it is OS related so if any mods feel it more appropriate in a different one, by all means please move it for me!
This is actually for a customer for the company I work for (which we will end up refunding but still want to resolve - so there is no personal gain other than to hopefully get rid of this headache I am getting!)
....Started off with good intentions to get a system running a little nicer and have had some adverse effects that have stumped me so here I am!...I have searched this and many other forums so far with no success so crossing my fingers here!
I would say I will try and keep it short but there is a lot of info I want to put down to help save obvious questions being asked and answered. To start the system in question is a HP Pavillion desktop 6??? series, running Vista x64. Ask if you need anything else.
The main issue is that the system will no longer get on the internet by itself. What I mean by that is, if I uninstall and reinstall the network adapter from Device Manager, it lets me get online, but as soon as I restart the computer it loses that ability. It is connected through a switch and a wireless bridge to a other wireless router. It shows a local connection to the network, which was set to public, but have tried changing to private, just in case, no change. Anyway, all of these components have been power cycled to ensure they are not part of the issue even though all other computers hooked up to that set up are not having any connectivity issues.
To give some background:
I was basically cleaning the system out - Ran Norton System works which cleans out temp files, fixes registry issues, CHKDSK, defrag etc. etc. I also downloaded updates for some Logitech webcam software, Kodak easyshare, windows updates, including Vista SP2. I replaced Adobe reader with Firefox, disabled Norton 360's backup feature. I also ran MSCONFIG to remove any unnecessary startup programs. Just typical maintenance.
Everything in general went fine. When they stopped by to pick it up, they had brought their webcam with them as they had said that the people they were video conferencing could not hear them so assumed that the audio in Skype needed configuring and so went to load it and could not connect to the net and thats when the problem started.
Despite all the changes I made, everything was still working fine with it when I had finished working on it, this is what is so baffling.
Anyway, this is what I have tried so far:
Uninstalled the driver for the Realtek RTl8169/8111 network card that had been updated via windows update. restarted no difference (I restart after every change mentioned)...I then tried downloading the original driver from HP's website. Nothing. I even tried downloading the latest one directly from Realtek. Still no joy.
Safe mode with networking makes no difference, which pretty much ruled out 3rd party conflicts in my mind, but just to be safe, I tried disabling the Norton firewall/AV and even uninstalled it completely with the removal tool for good measure as I have seen that cause problems like this before but not the culprit this time.
I've tried resetting/defaulting/reinstalling TCP/IP protocols, WINSOCK, DHCP,DNS, etc and tried a bunch of different MS fix it tools for these typed of issues. Disabled NIC's power save mode, tried using google's DNS just in case, none of this made any difference.
I ran a malware check just in case with Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro, no trace of anything.
I ran a Windows File Protection (SFC) scan, which apparently detected some errors but was unable to fix them - didn't even prompt me for the OS disc...go figure!
One interesting thing was that even when I uninstall and reinstall to get temporary connectivity i can browse online just fine but I still cannot ping any sites.So seems like a low level issue of some sort??
I do not know all of the necessary windows services that are required for getting online, but checked some of the previously mentioned, DNS and DHCP to ensure they and their dependencies were started/auto starting on boot and they are/were. However ipconfig reports that DHCP is disabled...so that might be something right there.
When this sort of thing happens, I like to try and fix the issue but if it is can't be resolved with all the typical above approaches, then despite all the time spent on making all these changes, I would resort to System Restore to a day before I started. However, in this case, it seems to have lost everything it had (I know it was enabled and working as I checked before I started and actually made a restore point) - I know I didn't purge any folders like that, so wonder if I can find any of those whether that will save me some hassle.
I know ultimately, the common sense thing to do is to go back and uninstall each of the updates one at a time, even though the computer was working fine even after finishing them all, but I would hate to undo everything unless completely necessary, just as I am trying to avoid a factory recovery as there is a fair bit of data and programs on there.
The way I see it is there has to be a simple reason or setting that has caused this, I just don't have a freaking clue what to try next. I am desperate and need to try and get this resolved by tomorrow noon
If you read this post all the way through than I applaud you and not to sound demanding but you you are kind enough to reply, please, please only put something specific, such as a setting to change or what might be triggering the adapter to reset after reboot etc. etc. Vs you should just format!!, etc., etc.
Thank you all so much!