Odd Problem with IE8 & Networking & Sharing Center

I'm a noob to these forums but am a desktop support technician with over a decade of experience, but I'm havnig a problem I'm at a loss for. I recently did a clean install of the RTM on a fairly beefy homebuilt PC. The install completed fine without any errors.

However, after two weeks of using the operating system, I'm coming across a random problem that I don't know where to start to fix. When I reset the computer, it boots up normally, however upon booting the first thing I notice is that the Networking and Sharing center icon in the system tray shows the blue "busy" circle at the bottom of it. Clicking on it, or otherwise attempting to open the Networking & Sharing Center fails. At the same time, IE8 stops working. Clicking on it puts the circle by the icon for about ten seconds, but then it goes away without ever opening internet explorer.

I can temporarialy fix the probelm by going to uninstall programs, then turn windows features on/off, and uninstalling and reinstalling IE8, however when I reset the PC after fixing it, it goes right back to doing the same thing.

Oddly enough, (and I don't know if this is related or not) but the last time I fixed the problem I decided I should create a restore point so that I could easily get back to when it was working. However after resetting the restore point is no longer there.

ANY ideas from all of you experts out there?

Anyone have any ideas?


I randomly started my computer today to find the normal network icon doing the blue cirlce and then failing to connect to the internet. This only seems to happen when I have my pc plugged directly into my modem, but it connects to my wireless just fine. The problem is my wireless is much slower then my direct line.

Are there drivers that must be updated to support a wired connection? This problem, as stated above, seems to random.

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