<<I followed the link from EV to the MS help thing and discovered that nvport has something to do with nVidia.>>
That can be correct...however, that particular file is not the only one which reflects nvport as part of the filename.
Note that I said "part"...without the file extension, a user cannot be sure just what file is represented by the first part of the filename. Which means, in simple terms, it could be malware.http://antivirus.about.com/b/2004/09/07/en...n-viewing-2.htm
The nVidia chipset (if your system uses it) installs all sorts of drivers on a system, with particular attention to any onboard functions.
If you have/use a nVidia-chipset based video card, not an onboard chip, I cannot tell you why a video card would install port drivers. But I do know that my ATI capture cards install such, so I would not be surprised if a regular video card does the same.
Port drivers seem to be implemented routinely by video cards, from what I see on the Web, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=v...mp;oq=&aqi=
As for the question of why a video driver should be able to interfere with Internet access...well, there are some things I just cannot explain because I don't understand them...but I know that we have words which try to describe such.
If drivers for different devices...can present problems for other drivers (which they can)...and if damage to a file in Location A is manifested in Location ZZ on a computer...I can believe that the most seemingly probably relationships...can exist among files interacting in a PC.
Interesting link (just an illustration of what I'm trying to say) at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/174858
It is also general knowledge that video drivers can also routinely interfere with computer functions (e.g., hibernation/standby) which seemingly are unrelated.
I guess that's why we call them "systems"....there really is nothing that is "unrelated" in the sense that a system is a vast number of files/functions interacting as a whole.
As for file data...you need to always remember that malware can adopt/assume any filename or make it appear that it is a legal file. Blinding yourself by turning off the file extension feature of XP...is not (IMO) a smart thing.
If I wanted to determine whether a given file is what it appears to be, I first Google for info on file size, normal location on the system, and a brief description. If all three match up or are close enough (I don't worry a bile size differential of a few KBs nor do I worry about having multiple copies of valid files, depending on where they are), I accept the file for what it appears to be.
I would have done a clean install long before now, at the first sign of problems after a lightning strike/power situation. I like to find out if the system has been damaged by such.
If you do a clean install, you would be able to see whether your hardware has been damaged. You would also be able to move forward with a less troublesome system situation, if there are no hardware problems.