Limited to No Internet Connectivity on Win XP Pro

Hi Experts,

I'm running Win XP Pro, SP2.

Suddenly at the beginning of the month, my internet connectivity failed.  When I open Firefox (FF), Opera or IE6, I can browse 2-3 pages, then I get time out errors.  Often when I open FF, I get a time out error trying to connect to google.  This occurs in the browsers listed above.

I have ZoneAlarm Firewall, anti-virus and spyware.  I also run PCTools Spyware Doctor.  I ran "deep" scans with both products without success.

I downloaded and installed Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, a-squared Anti-Malware, and Your Trojan Hunter.  Ran scans with all products without success.

I also restored my C drive from a Shadow Protect backup I took on 2009-02-09.  I did get my internet connectivity back.  However, I had to reactiviat windows.  Once I did that and rebooted, internet connectivity failed as before.

I don't believe it is an issue of max of 10 connections with Win XP Pro.

I suspect one of my networking files has been corrupted/replaced.

I do suspect some sort of malware.

Right now I am reloading Win XP Pro.  However, I can always restore with Shadow Protect.

Any thoughts on how to resolve this issue?

Thanks very much.

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johnpittConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I think you are already doing it. Reinstall Xp.
johnpittConnect With a Mentor Commented:
And I do not think XP pro has a 10 connection limit.
JMorganReadConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Are you getting a normal IP?  The thing with Malware (usually) is that it wants your internet connection so, if it's written decently, it doesn't stop your connection but piggy backs it to do its dirty work.  It seems odd to me that you lost connectivity after activating windows.  Have you tried giving Windows a call to ensure that your activation code hasn't been stolen and locked.  Sometimes they do that to make you call them.
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IT79637Author Commented:
1. Regarding the 2nd comment, the information about max 10 connections came from here:
Windows XP SP2 tcpip.sys connection limit patch.

2.  I've had this xp install cd so many years and upgraded hardware so many times that I must now call microsoft and tell them why I have to reactivate windows and confirm that the OS is on a single pc (25 activiations, then must call MS).  Loosing connectivity at that time may have been coincidental.

jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
IT79637--The half open connection problem is real, but the symptoms you report suggest you are not having that problem.  (What you would see is a string of uncontrollable openings of new instances of IE.)
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johnpittConnect With a Mentor Commented:
10 connections per second. Got it. I assumed you meant total. My bad.

Anyway, it only takes 6 minutes or so to re-activate, usually you will not even have to speak with a human, just hope the automatic listener can understand you. (I am sure you know. Sounds like you have done it many times) At least I have never had to talk to anyone. I just confirm the install is only on one PC via voice and all is well. But either way, even if it is a pain, it would be worth it to start fresh. Some malware just can't be cleaned off to my satisfaction.

johnwaynenoblepiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree with jcimarron. A winsock error will definately keep you from accessing the internet. There is a program out there called winsock fix. It is freeware and may solve your problem ie TCP/IP errors. Here is the link: It is from Snapfiles.
IT79637Author Commented:
I put over a week into fixing it and decided to cut my losses and reinstalled XP and my applications.  

I think everyone provided accurate and relevant information.  I've increased the points to 500.  I am distributing points according to the number of replies by person.  If anyone objects, please send me a private message or contact me through an administrator.

Thanks to all very much!!!
IT79637--You are welcome.!!
You're welcome- take care of yourself.
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