I finally got around to rebuilding my system with Windows 7 RC at the base. The installation itself went off without a hitch and so did all of my software installs. Or so I thought. Upon rebooting my computer I got an unusual warning that although I was connected to my local network I did not have an internet connection.
Don’t get me wrong: This has happened before – when my modem goes down or Shaw decides to mess with their internet service – but a quick check on a different computer connected to the same router and the same modem showed all the peripherals working properly. The problem was rooted in my newly upgraded computer.
After about an hour of troubleshooting I came to the conclusion that the dropped and/0r blocked internet connection had something to do with one of the other applications I’d installed. After all I used the internet to download a lot of them so it was most definitely working at some point.
A quick uninstall of all the apps showed that this wasn’t enough – the problem was deeper rooted than that. So I turned to the excellent System Restore feature to start moving backwards in my installation process, restoring my system to states previous to each of the installs. And after 5 steps I found the problem:
Office Auto-Update is the culprit!
When I restored my system to the state just previous to my installation of Office 2007 my internet connection was restored. Thinking back on the install I remembered I’d checked off the option to enable automatic updates at the end of the installation process. By a simple process of elimination this is the only feature in Office 2007 that can have an impact on the internet connection itself. So after reverting to the state before Office 2007 was installed I reinstalled it from scratch making sure to uncheck the auto-update feature. And after a reboot my suspicions were confirmed: The internet connection was still working.
But this doesn’t always happen…
What’s bizarre about this story is that when I installed Office 2007 under Windows 7 RC on my laptop, this problem never materialized and both my wireless and wired networks are working fine. So this problem seems to be affecting only some network cards and/or drivers. Werid stuff.