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unable to connect to internet, IP address issue

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I have a home network with an ATT router and maybe 10 devices on it. One device, a dell latitude laptop running Windows XP is the issue here. This PC has always connected to the wireless network just fine, but today will not. I have worked with ATT, no help at all, but have gathered the following.

- my laptop IP address is 169.254.xxx.xx. This IP address does not change when I reboot, and does not change when I do ipconfig/releanse, or renew, or when I do a dnsflush. (I dont know what these are, the ATT guys had me do them).
- the router is not seeing this IP address. It assignes 192. ip addrsses to all other devices. I am almost sure that used to be the ip range for this laptop as well.

To a layperson, it seems that the router cannot assign an ip to this laptop, and does not recognize the one it has.

- when I open network connections, it says signal strength excellent, but also "limited or no connectivity". The message also says "This problem occurred because the network did not assign a network address to the computer".

- Yesterday, I did a ccleaner where I deleted a couple of programs (an ATT toolbar, a printer software thing, and I think that is it, but I must have done something to cause this laptop to suddenly not connect after 9 months of flawless performance.

- I did a system restore to take me to a state before I did the ccleaner, but I dont think that helps with removed programs (if that is even the issue). I have also looked in my recycle hoping to find something there to reinstall, but nothing.

I am sorry if this is poorly worded. I am not a technical person, and am at a loss. Att said to take it to Office Depot. I am hoping someone here might have better advice, and can get me out of a mess I am sure I created.

Thank you for any responses.
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169.254.xxx.xxx is the default IP address assigned when none is provided by your router/modem. Basically means you are not connecting to either.

The first thing I would try is to Uninstall the Wireless network adapter from Device Manager then reboot. Windows will rediscover the device and reload the device driver. That often fixes the problem.

Click on Start then Run.
Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
Expand Network Adapters:
Right click on your wireless adapter and select Uninstall.

Reboot. See if that helps.

It will take a minute or two for XP to detect the wireless adapter and reload the drivers so be patient.
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