problem solved (for me anyway)
I am a paranoid geek freak that is convinced uncle Bill is spying on all of us so I had turned off stuff that I forgot I had turned off
The Remote Access items in msconfig > services tab were the culprit in this case.
How I figured it out ..
Internet Explorer > tools > internet options > connections .. nothing was there .. and when i went to add one, the error specifically said that I'm d dufus .. well ok, it said could not access Remote Access utilities or something along that line.
I was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to doing a restore from day 1 .. whew !
Great benefit of all this .. I found this forum
hope my info helps someone