After downloading a windows update late yesterday afternoon, I could not connect to the internet.
I checked cable modem (unplugged for 1 minute, etc), checked connection to my desktop PC, etc., all to no avail.
I reinstalled a newer Realtek 8139 Ethernet (fast NCI) card driver. Still nothing.
I do notice that I have a "1394 Net Adapter" right above my ethernet card in device manager. It has a yellow circle with an exclamation. However, I don't know if this is a problem, because I've read that this 1394 Net Adapter does not really affect internet connectivity.
I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the 1394 Net Adapter as well as resetting my TCP/IP stack.
I have IP address to be automatically assigned but I get an IP address of 169.254....etc., which I know is not good.
I will use the malware, etc tools you have suggested tonight when I get home. Emachines tells me that I'm at the end and need to reset my PC (major hassle).
Does anyone have any initial thoughts?
I will post results of my work tonight.