Repair Local Area Network connection gives error renewing IP address

I have a Windows XP machine that was working fine last night but today when I turned it on it can't connect to the internet through my ADSL modem router. Another PC that uses the router is working fine.

Initially, the "a network cable is unplugged" message popped up in the system tray and kept flickering as if it kept getting disconnected.

I've tried reseating both ends of the network cable, and using a different port in the (4 port) modem router.
I've tried rebooting.
I've tried turning the modem router off and on
I've tried "Repair" on the Local Area Network connection, and I got the error "Windows could not finish repairing the problem because the following cannot be completed: Renewing your IP address"

What can I try next? Thanks!
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Terry WoodsIT GuruAsked:
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Have you tried using the same cable the working computer is using for that one?

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Terry WoodsIT GuruAuthor Commented:
Thanks - great suggestion

I swapped the working cable into the problem PC (PC1), and vice versa, and the problem followed the cable, so the working PC's (PC2) internet connection no longer worked.

I have changed the problem cable to PC2, and its internet connection works but is very sluggish. I have trouble loading a page in the browser (some pages partially loaded, then stopped). A reboot didn't help. Do you know how to check the network connection speed?

Note that the replacement cable may be a crossover cable, though I can't see writing on it to confirm that. It's cat 6 though.
Terry WoodsIT GuruAuthor Commented:
"I have changed the problem cable to PC2" means I replaced it with a spare (which may be a crossover), in case it was ambiguous. If I understand things correctly, modern network cards automatically detect crossover cables and they should work.
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Terry WoodsIT GuruAuthor Commented:
PC2 runs Windows 7 64 bit, by the way.
You can tell a crossover cable from a normal one by holding the ends next to each other and comparing the order of the wires, by color.  If the order of the wires is the same at both ends, it is a normal cable.  If the order of the wires is different, then it is a crossover cable.  Check a known normal cable and you will see what it is supposed to look like.  The actual colors of the wires does not matter as long as it is the same at both ends.
Some switches or routers automaticaly detect cross over.
Terry WoodsIT GuruAuthor Commented:
Once I found a better cable (an old cat 5 patch cable), both PCs seem to have good connections again. Thanks very much to all for your help!
Terry WoodsIT GuruAuthor Commented:
The problem recurred the following day - I ended up (mostly) resolving it by changing my 4-port ADSL router to my old 1-port (+USB) router (using the USB cable with the XP machine, after I loaded the drivers) which unfortunately doesn't allow networking between my 2 PC's, but at least got both connected to the web.
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