Internet Explorer 8, loses Connection. Mozilla Firefox shuts down randomly

Both browser are installed on a Dell Optiplex 320 machine. Internet Explorer has a habit of losing connection to the Internet and typing url in the address bar no longer does any good. Restarting the browser doesnt help either. What does help is restarting the computer which happens about 3-5 times a day. (Unacceptable in workplace ).  Mozilla Firefox works a bit better, however Mozilla now has a habit of shutting down unexpectedly with no errors, pop up notifications or prompts of any sort. Also very incovnenient.

I have tried Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as well SUPERAntispyware. both came up empty in terms of adware,malware,etc.

I have recently upgraded the network driver to the latest version off the Dell's web site, however the person using the computer is unable to tell me whether these problems have occured before of after. (I'm an IT guy here at a small company). I also flashed the BIOS to latest on the same machine. Once again taken off DELL's web site.

My next step probably will be sfc /scannow, TrendMicro HiJackThis and attempting to reinstall both browsers mentioned.

However I would like to get a second opinion (and maybe a third and fourth) before I proceed any further
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Try this Sophos anti-malware scan.  This has helped me in the past- 
I also think its a good idea to reinstall the applications.

Have you updated both of the browsers to the latest patches? This may play a part as well.

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I would restore your internet explorer settings back to factory default settings, open up internet explorer, under tools select internet options.  Under the advanced tab select restore advanced settings, also hit the reset button to cleanup cookies/history.  Apply the settings and restart internet explorer.

Try that and see if IE will crash on you.

Also if you have to you can download and install cleanup utility which will flush out you IE cache and delete temporary internet files, recent files, cookies, history ETC.  Cleanup can be found here:
Have you checked Event Viewer?
Anti-MhzAuthor Commented:
reinstalling ie8 and setting all settings to default (including advanced) worked. thank you both.
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