After I think I got rid of the malware, I test basic computer functions including the Internet and everything worked fine. I was connected and it was fast. I then started downloading some antivirus software. While I was downloading Avira I stepped away and the computer reset I believe as part of the installation. I cam back and Avira was installed but the Internet connection was down. In the task bar it said I had limited or no connectivity. At first I tried to continue to scan for other malware. Then I decided to enable all system and boot items that I disabled through msconfig. No effect. I tried using the Internet diagnostic tool to renew the IP address, disconnected and reconnected the cables. I should mention that my ISP is AT&T and for my desktop I use a plug link device that hooks to a wall outlet for Internet connection. During this entire time my laptop wireless is working perfectly fine.
I contact AT&T tech support and we go through making sure all the wires, lights, and plugs are on and in their right positions. I tried using different wall outlets, different cables and tech support refreshed my router. We try to renew the IP address through the cmd prompt but it fails. The IP address I get when I type in ipconfig is 169.254.170.221 with a subnet mask: 255.255.0.0 Next we tried releasing and renewing the IP addresses. We tried going into the TCP/IP Internet Protocol to manually put in an IP and DNS address but during this entire time I still see limited or no connectivity. However I do see that when I look under the status of the connection, it says under activity that about 50 packets are being sent and eventually as we fiddle with setting it says 3 are being received. Going through device manager indicates that the adapter is working fine. I've deleted the Avira program and restarted the computer multiple times. After more than an hour with tech support he says that the only thing he can think of is that the hardware might be defective. I'm just not convinced of that because of the very recent malware activity and the fact that the connection was working fine after I thought I removed the malware. All other programs and functions appear to be working as well.
When I was dealing with the malware, I had started the computer in safe mode with connectivity and even then I was able to use the Internet however since I eliminated the malware and installed Avira I am not even able to access the Internet or renew the IP in safe mode.
I just need some help, advice, or options. I'm starting to spend more time trying to restore Internet to my pc than dealing with the malware lol. I don't want to try anything drastic like wiping out and starting over from scratch. I can't seem to access any earlier restore points. I'm also using windows XP Pro 32 bit upgraded to service pack 3.