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Internet connection problems? Please help!

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I'm running Windows XP Home Edition and a couple of days ago I began to experience some problems.

First, my computer wouldn't stay connected to the internet, but a different computer in my house with the same internet connection was still able to access the internet. Also, many programs are crashing, especially Internet Explorer, and pages refuse to load. When I did a system restore, the internet began to work again, and I had no more problems for a couple more hours, and then they started up again. Another system restore quickly fixed the problem, and I shut down afterwards.
Upon restarting the next day, when I logged into the Administrative account, things loaded extremely slowly, and all that was visible was my desktop wallpaper with no taskbar, desktop icons, or anything else. Going into safe-mode, I did yet another system restore, and was able to log into the administrative account without any problems, and to run a virus scan...for a few hours, anyway. The virus scan came up with nothing useful...some spyware, and a few Trojans. My anti-virus software is supposed to restart to fully rid my computer of bugs, but it has errors every time it tries to do this, and fails.
I can't keep doing system restores every day, I imagine it can't be too good for my computer. It could be a hardware problem, but I'm not so sure. I'm thinking it's some kind of worm or virus, but I have no idea what kind or what to do about it...thanks in advance!

oh yes, and the Network connection is disabled for some reason, and it won't enable itself.
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Work your way through the malware removal guide at the top of this forum where it says "Do you suspect a malware (Spyware, Virus, Trojan) infection? Please start here. "
Once you have done that, if you still have trouble post a hijack this log in the malware forum at

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