Never-ending Acquiring Network Access

This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.


Thread Starter
Oct 28, 2011
I was told that I should also post this problem here since it probably originated from some malware:

I’ve been trying to fix this problem for the past three or four days but to no avail. I’ve scoured the Internet and find many things that seem logical but nothing works.

Basically, I’m pretty sure that I acquired a virus/Trojan(s) somewhere along the way (Security Sphere?) and it totally messed with everything. I’m relatively confident it’s gone but not 100% sure (It wouldn’t allow me to run antivirus software and would crash it after a few minutes. Then, the next time I tried to run the software I would get a message “Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have appropriate permissions to access them”. I’m signed in as an admin so I’m guessing the problem is that the registry keys have been messed with.

I was able to download some more antivirus software and transfer them to this laptop and did a complete scan and a couple of flaws (Trojans) were found so I’m hoping that was the end of them.

I tried doing a restore to a previous point, but no restore works unless I manually create one. Obviously the problem with that is that if I create one now, it reverts back to a time where the problem is still existent.

Some things I’ve noticed and tried:
1. In my Security Center, my Firewall is not on. I’m pretty sure it was on previously before getting the virus, I turned it off when I was having problems connecting to the Internet thinking that may be the problem and now I can’t get in to turn it back on again. When I click the “Enable” button, I get the message “We’re sorry. The Security Center could not turn on Windows Firewall… do it through the Control Panel”. The Control Panel gives me the error message “Windows Firewall settings cannot be displayed because the associated service is not running. Do you want to start the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Service?” and when I click “yes” eventually an error message says “Windows cannot start the Windows (ICS) service.”

2. For quite some time my Wireless Network Connection was ‘finding’ previous wireless networks and was able to connect to them but would stall out and get stuck on ‘acquiring network address’. If I went in to view the wireless networks in the area none would pop up even though it had already connected to different ones at different times (ones that I had previously had successful connections on). I tried re-installing all drivers for the PCI modem (which in the Device Manager was listed as ‘Unknown Device’ and the network adapters but this didn’t help. In fact, now out of nowhere the Connections that were previously made but getting stuck on acquiring the network address won’t connect at all anymore. [Update: I re-installed the driver for my modem and now I’m back at the acquiring network address part. I have ‘Very Good Signal Strength’]

3. When I go into my “Services” many of my Local services that are supposed to start automatically aren’t doing so. I’m really focussed on the Internet connection. I’ve narrowed it down (I think???) to the IPSec because many of the Services not running are dependent upon IPSec. When trying to start manually I get an “Error 10050: A socket operation encountered a dead network.” This message was being displayed even though I am connected and logged into the network. (Services that do work: Wireless Zero Configuration, DNS Client, Network Connections, Remote Access Connection Manager, Remote Procedure Call)(Services that do NOT work: IPSEC, DHCP Client, Net Logon, TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper, Routing and Remote Access(Disabled))

4. I’ve tried downloading Winsockfix but that didn’t help.
5. Many of the programs(antivirus software – MBAM, Avast, HijackThis, SuperAntispyware) that initially had problems because of the virus ran fine for awhile and now inexplicably stopped running (this may have been because of a system restore although it was restored to a few minutes earlier???). I downloaded Avast again just recently and did another sweep thinking that it’s possible the original malware was never properly removed but came up with nothing.

I’m kind of at wits end figuring this out. I feel fairly confident the malware is gone but who knows.
Basically I’m just mostly focussed with getting the Internet up and running again!

Here is the ipconfig/all:

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : blackhome
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection 3:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Dell Wireless 1370 WLAN Mini-PCI Card
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-14-A4-41-A1-CD
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 3:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-14-22-E3-58-BD

I am in Canada. I’m connected to various networks wirelessly throughout the day, and I know that each one has other computers connected without a problem and they all use different routers and I’ve never had a problem before.
I know my wireless is on and working because I’m getting a signal.

As you can see my Ethernet adapter is not connected but I don’t feel that is a problem considering I’m never hardwired into a network???

I’m also using Windows XP SP3

Thank you in advance


Mar 23, 2005
Closing duplicate. See here if you want to see my attempts to get networking working.
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online