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Internet is MIA

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where do i begin?... when i boot up Firefox i get a server not found screen(or unable to find proxy server). this has been happening for almost a year and for a while a quick fix was to go to tools>options>advanced>network>settings>and choose Direct connection. i could live with this small hindrance at the time and i did until it no longer worked(no idea why). So after trying everything in my limited arsenal (google) i reformatted. still, the same problem persists. a few other things i've tried are a manual proxy config with info from my isp, auto detect proxy, i installed a network adapter from another computer (ive also tested the connection with a laptop to confirm that the problem was in my computer), i tried some software that cleans or fixes your winsocks, ive also tried to fiddle around with internet explorer and opera,

at this point i will try anything, please help
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What about updating the driver for your Ethernet card or whatever you use?

Sounds like its your card making the mess. If the driver-update doesn't work,
try with another card. They can be purchased from 10$ and up.

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