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Internet Connection Induced Headache

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I've worked myself into a pounding headache trying to figure out how to fix my internet connection problem. I have a Toshiba M35-S320 laptop running Windows XP SP3 that I haven't used in ages. Unfortunately, my wife has agreed to "lend" this laptop to her sister, and we're trying to get it up and running. My problem is that we can't connect to the internet except in safe mode. After I start up in safe mode, I have to go to the connection properties, then click OK, and only then can I connect. If I start up in regular mode, I just get the "Limited or no connectivity" message (which, IMO, could be shortened to "No connectivity), no matter what I've tried. Someone please help!
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I had this a while back and found that it was related to the amount of things I had starting up when Windows started.

Can you press the Windows key and the letter "R" When the run box pops up, type msconfig and press enter. If you did it right, a box will pop up with a few tabs such as general, boot, startup. Can you click on the startup tab and clear all the check boxes.

Once you have done this, click apply and then restart. What you have effectively done above is stopped all the items in the list from starting when you log in.
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