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My laptop's Wi-Fi never worked when I had Windows XP installed. After I installed Windows 7, Wi-Fi did work.

Now, after six months, Wi-Fi has stopped working, and Ethernet has stopped working also. I've tried changing drivers for Wi-Fi, but that didn't seem to work.

Is this problem probably hardware or software-based? What would be a good next step?

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Some viruses set up a proxy that disables internet access to stop you from downloading what you need to remove them. –  Kevin Aug 23 '11 at 0:41
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The problem with it being hardware is that the wired chipset is probably integrated on the motherboard where the wireless typically is a seperate card. So the likelihood of both hardware devices failing is low. That and the fact that it didn't work, then DID indicates the hardware is probably good, but somehow the software installation was bad.

When you say both stopped working - only at your home or everywhere? If you hookup a wire, do you get the indication that there is no wire connection? If you open a command prompt and type in IPCONFIG, do you get an IP address or is it an APIPA or some other address?

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Even if both WERE integrated, they'd be different chips, so it's still not especially likely. –  Shinrai Aug 23 '11 at 0:09
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Boot to a live CD if you have one. Then if you have internet access is is definately software or a virus proxy.

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