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Consider a computer has been hit with a spyware bomb and it has destroyed the internet connectivity in almost every way. (no ethernet, wireless, or dial-up)

Because it would take forever to backup everything and re-install windows, is there a way to just un-install all the internet drivers, and then re-install them again to fix it?

If so, what would be the quickest and easiest way to do this?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

netsh winsock reset c:\winsock.log
netsh int ip reset c:\ipreset.log

That being said, your best bet is to flatten the computer and reinstall. You never know what else might be lurking around.

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+1 on the reinstall as best bet unless you're REALLY CONFIDENT that you got it clean. Any spyware that disrupts connectivity would seem to be destructive as opposed to the usual "rootkit/botnet" which leaves connectivity up so it can do its biz. – hotei Aug 9 '10 at 4:53
+1 on the reinstall and +1 @hotei for his reasoning. There's no telling what else it broke. (EDIT: I'd just add that the original answer is correct as to how to reinitialize the stack, IIRC) – Shinrai Aug 9 '10 at 19:33

This is the official microsoft way but if you have any remnants of the malware leftover, it will just reinfect.

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I would assume you have some assurance the system is clean now. If not then forget this answer and clean it first. And I'd back up everything you "can't afford to lose" now, since you never know how well the restore process is going to go...

Then I'd probably just remove the hardware's drivers using the control panel, reboot and let XP reinstall the drivers. You should have your IP/netmask/gateway/DNS settings available since you're going to need to reconfigure them.

If that fails and you've got the original XP disk(s) you can boot up with them and try the repair option. I wouldn't expect this to work if the previous didn't but you never know and you've said that a full re-install would be painful so its worth a try.

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If you ever want to do online shopping, banking or read you e-mail you'd better backup your date and wipe everything.

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