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Cable internet, Cannot renew IP address

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I'm not sure if anything serious is going on with my internet connection or not and was hoping someone here could tell me. I have cable internet through an RCA cable modem (no routers or wireless or anything like that) that is connected to just one computer, my desktop PC. (I've been using this modem and IP for years.) Yesterday, I noticed my connection was acting funny: every 4th or 5th page I would go to would come up as "page not available." Usually, it would finally come up after I refreshed a time or two. Other times a page would take way too long to load. However, it was inconsistent because sometimes pages would load immediately. This issue did not seem to be connected to any particular website. Having been through the cable internet troubleshooting process a time or two in the past, I tried unplugging my modem and restarting the computer with no result. Next, I went into Network Connections and tried to run the "repair" option on my connection. The message I got was that the repair failed because the IP address could not be renewed. In the past, that has meant that I needed to get help from the cable company to fix the problem, or that they were having a problem on their end. So I called them, and they tried reseting my modem and checking my IP address and doing a ping test and said everything looked OK. Next, they had me go into Safe Mode and see if the internet worked any better in order to eliminate the possibility that my McAfee firewall was causing the problem. But things worked no better in safe mode. I had to hang up without finding a solution, but I was still hoping the problem was really on their end and would clear up on it's own. I did try restoring the computer to a an earlier date, but it didn't help, so I put it back. I can't think of anything that we have installed or changed in the system recently that could account for this problem.

Well, today the internet seems to be responding just fine (so far!), so maybe there is no real problem. But I tried running the repair function again through Network Connections just to reassure myself that everything was OK, and it still won't work because it won't renew the IP address. Should I be concerned about this? What if I need to repair my connection in future and the repair function is permanently disabled?

FYI, I have the McAfee security suite and scans are clean. I also have always used Spyware Blaster and Adaware and Yahoo's Anti-spy. I delete my cookies and temp files periodically as well. I like to keep my system clean.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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