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limited or no connectivity

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one night while i was using the interenet it disconnected and i got the error message "limited or no connectivity"
my computer is on the top floor of the house and there is a LAN cable running all the way down to the basement to where the DSL and Router is, along with the other computer. The other computer ( a mac) still has an internet connection.
We thought that maybe something was wrong with the wire running up to my room so we took my desktop computer and brought it down the basement to connect it with a shorter, store bought LAN cable. And it worked, it was connected to the internet.
we figured that the wire running to my room was damaged so we cut off most of the slack, and that still didn't work, started to recieve the error message "unplugged". Then we hooked up a Mac Laptop to verify there was no connection. Finally my father took a better look at some of the left slack and found out that most of it was melted from being too close to the heater! we cut all of that off and then connected to laptop again and we got a connection!
brought my desktop back upstairs and i'm back to receiving the error "limited or no connectivity"

i don't know if my desktop Windows XP is more sensitive than the Mac or what? i'm confused that i can get a connection from the same cable on the Mac Laptop and not my desktop, which i did not change any settings to cause this problem.

any help to get closer to a solution is very much appreciated!
i'll provide any more information if needed
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