Network settings not working after weird Windows 7 activity

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My Windows 7 Pro desktop (up to date with all Windows Updates) recently started acting strangely. It all started after my sister plugged in a USB flash drive to print some documents, but couldn't get the printer to work. I discovered that Windows was asking to troubleshoot the printer, yet couldn't fix it. After trying to uninstall the printer driver, things got weirder: neither My Computer nor Task Manager would open. I had to resort to a previous System Restore Point which brought things back to normal... almost. After reboot, the LAN connection wasn't being recognized and I had to re-install that, but I now discovered that my custom static IP settings no longer work for this NIC. I have to use auto, which is OK, but it interferes with the firewall rules in my router.


Apparently, this USB flash drive has been used on a public computer and I shudder to think what might have been vectored to my desktop. I have run Avast and MBAM full scans as per the recommendations of the stickies in the Malware Removal section of this forum. Nothing is being detected. I'm in the process of running the other applications and saving the logs, since I'm not sure if they might be useful at a future date as more weirdness is discovered.


Does anyone know what might be the problem with the network properties that it can't utilize the static IPs that I insert? I have double-checked them and "validation" is disabled. Not really sure what is going on.



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I executed a Winsock reset by running the following command at the command prompt and the IP settings are holding even after reboot! Yay! Thanks for the suggestion, TT.


netsh winsock reset

Edited by Falcon1986
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