XP Virtual Machine Browser & Skype Not Connecting to Network or Internet

Metal: Windows 7
Virtual Machine: Windows XP
VMware Player
Netgear Router
Anti-Virus: Avast & Malwarebytes

PROBLEM
1. Windows Explorer (file manager) cannot connect to the local area network.
2. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Skype cannot connect to the internet.

BACKGROUND
This virtual machine was fully connected 24 hours ago.
I ran a Malwarebytes scan and removed a bunch of "Sweet Packs" malware from registry.
When I ping the virtual machine from the metal machine, it receives all packets.
I can ping the virtual machine from a cmd window in the virtual machine, and it's all good.
Windows firewall is turned "Off".
Avast Virus scanner "Off".

QUESTION

Please guide me on how to diagnose and restore my connectivity.
Jerry LAsked:
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Marc ZCommented:
It's a virtual machine of win xp, correct?   Don't you have an earlier image  you can go back to?  One that wouldn't have the "sweet packs?"
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would try, Uninstalling Network Interface and TCP/IP stack, restart and re-install networking.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
mtz1of4 - Unfortunately, that is not a solution. I need to reconfigure my network connections and I need assistance with that process.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
hanccocka - Sounds like a good plan.

I don't set up the network often... Can you guide me step-by-step on how to do that?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Select Device Manager - Remove Network Interface and Reboot

then later, Control Panel - Networking - Re-Add TCP/IP and File and Print Services.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
hanccocka -
One thing, I only see a VMware AMD network, and not the typical TCP/IP component in the Device Manager. Maybe it's already been removed and I just need to restore it. In any case, I'm not sure how VMware handles the TCP/IP stack.

(BTW, I already tried re-installing VMware Tools)

Also, I found this article on Microsoft: Do you think I should try it?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357
netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Before I do anything, I'm making a backup of the current xp-vm files.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
SOLUTION FOUND
I disabled real-time scanning for Avast Anti-Virus on the METAL (host) machine (running Win7)

Do this by right-clicking the Avast icon in the "Windows System Tray > Avast Shields Control > Disable".

That allows the XP virtual machine to access the network.

I will have to explore what specific settings in Avast are causing the problem, but for now the main issue has been identified and resolved.

By the way: Evidence of the TCP/IP stack being operational is given by being able to PING the virtual machine (192.168.0.3) from the Metal machine (192.168.0.5). Further evidence is that from the virtual machine I was able to ping the internet, e.g., yahoo.com. This is not to in any way disparage the suggestions given by the experts, hanccocka and mtz1of4. On the contrary, I am grateful for their prompt replies to my original inquiry, and their suggestions provided useful insights that allowed me to think through the problem.

EE PROCEDURAL QUESTION
What is the procedure for awarding points, or not, for this EE post, since I found the answer myself, and specifically, the other answers would not be considered "correct" ?
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for WizeOwl's comment #a39450040

for the following reason:

My IT Technician discovered the problem, which is the one I posted.

The other two proposed solutions:
1) The TCP/IP solutions, while a good idea, would not have solved the problem.
2) Also, I did not have a recent enough backup to return to.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm going to object here, because you solution is not fixed, and then you opened another question, to fix Windows Network Browsing.

Please, lets carry on the discussion to fix your networking issue, not just internet access.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Using Ping is not a given that the TCP/IP stack is working correctly.

Did you reset you networking?

Did you remove the network interface and reconfigure all networking?
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Hello and apologies, I was not sure whether to post the new (but related) question here or not.

Since this was a critical issue that was impacting my ability to run my business, I had to pursue several methods of finding a solution, not just posting to EE. I do not intend to be disrespectful of anyone here nor to bypass forum rules.

Regarding access to the internet, I must disable Avast on the Metal machine. Yes, it would be nice to not have to do that. But I will have to explore it further.

By fixing the networking issue, I assume you are referring to not being able to access the shared network drive?

NEW ISSUE: SHARED NETWORK DRIVE
I had previously mapped a secondary hard drive on the Virtual Machine. The drive is shared with proper permissions from the Metal machine. This mapping had been working a few days ago.

RESOLVED
The problem was that the drive was mapped in the Virtual Machine using the explicit IP address which is subject to change due to the DHCP settings.

Another IT guy discovered this on my machine using TeamViewer remote desktop sharing.

We changed the drive mapping to include the "Name" of the network path instead of the IP address. This has resolved the problem.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So both these

PROBLEM
1. Windows Explorer (file manager) cannot connect to the local area network.
2. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Skype cannot connect to the internet.

are resolved, close and delete the question, or Allocate points to yourself as Correct Answer.
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