recently I was forced to update to windows 8.1, and now neither my WiFi nor Ethernet works at all. I have a Qualcomm atheros Ethernet adapter and an Intel WiFi one. I've tried changing drivers multiple times on both the wifi and the ethernet but it seems to have no effect. I really need internet access, so any help is appreciated.
So, the windows update from yesterday (10/29/14 pst) seems to have solved the issue, it took a little while after logging in to be connected to working Internet again, but it eventually started working.
The situation that you are currently running into could have several to many possible reasons. If your network settings show that you are connected to a network, then your hardware should be fine (so no need to install more drivers).
I suspect incorrect network settings, either in you Windows Network Preferences, or in the browser (or in both).
As an idiot check, using something you know can connect to the internet, try to visit Google. Make sure that the network you are on is actually an internet connection, not some internal network.
If that works, then check the settings.
First, check the Windows Network Settings by:
Open Control Panel
Go to Network Connections
In the Network Connections window, right-click your network connection, and then click Properties.
On the General tab, under "This connection uses the following items", click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.
In the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box, check to see if you are trying to go through a proxy, or some other thing. This might be in an "advanced" tab or window.
Next, go to your browser's (Chrome's) network settings by:
Click the wrench icon in the top right corner (under the bookmarks toolbar).
Go to "Settings" in the drop down.
Select "Show advanced settings"
In the "Network" field, click "Change proxy settings" and make sure you are not using a proxy.
If all settings are correct and you have verified that your network connection is an internet connection, then it should work.