For those of you that are technical, you might find this interesting. Probably not, but you might. The rest of you should probably save yourself from wasting precious minutes of your day and just ignore this... unless you're looking for some help getting to sleep, in which case read on.
Wednesday night I decided to download a bunch of software for my laptop (a three month old HP Pavilion dv9700z if anyone cares) - trial version of Visual Studio 2008, an XBox Live-to-twitter status adapter, and other things. At the same time I started cleaning up my machine by uninstalling software that I was no longer using. So I start deleting, downloading, and installing; one of the things I had to install was .NET Framework 3.5, and the new VS is a behemoth 3.5GB download.
Somewhere along the way, I needed to reboot, so I did, and after that my Wifi stopped working. Interesting. Works for my iMac, works for my T-Mobile Wing, works for my old iMac. So let's investigate.
Looks like it can connect to my wireless router but cannot get to the Internet. That's interesting. Everything else can get to the internet, including my XBox and my Vonage phone. So I reboot my router, my Vonage adapter, and my broadband modem. Usually that fixes weird networking problems in my setup.
No such luck.
Hmmm, so let's look deeper. I open up a command prompt, and sure enough I can ping my routers, and I can even ping my Comcast DNS servers. When I run a tracert, the resolves IP address to domain name as well (of course that information was probably caches in Windows somewhere).
So, I can reach the internet from my laptop, but I can't get there from my browser. I conclude that the problem must be with SafeEyes (I'm so upset with them and their support that I won't even link to them because I don't want them to get a backlinking or traffic benefit), an Internet parent/child control program to hopefully keep Spencer from wandering to the wrong sites on the internet. My trial had expired, and I tried to uninstall it (the program was highly intrusive and blocked lots of legitimate sites which left me looking for a better alternative) but their uninstallation didn't work. So, I simply deleted the folder. That looks to be the culprit of my problem.
I contacted them to try and fix their bug, and they said "reinstall it then uninstall it." So I did. Same problem - their uninstallation doesn't work. So, I try Vista's/HP recovery, where I can roll back to a previous version of my system. To make a long story short, I did that a few times (rolling back to different versions), but none of them worked. To make matters work, I can no longer connect to my wireless router!
HP doesn't ship source Vista CDs with their system (they do advise you to create them when you first get your computer... seeing as I have never needed them in 20 years of computer ownership I didn't take time out of a busy day to do that), so I had to order them from HP. $30, ouch. Hopefully I get them in a couple days, and hopefully that works!