The problem occurred immediately after installing the latest version of iTunes (may or may not be related). I uninstalled iTunes with no change then reinstalled just to see if there was a difference: nope. IE 32-bit crashes after launching. Firefox opens but gives a "Server Not Found" error for all requests, local or internet. Filezilla will not connect to local or remote FTP servers. VNC will not connect to local servers - gives error "Unable to initialise Winsock2". I ran WireShark while making requests with Firefox. No http traffic was seen at all. The requests aren't even hitting the wire.
IE 64-bit works fine and command line tools like ftp and telnet to internal and external sites works fine - this is not a DNS, Firewall, or Routing issue.
I just installed the 64 bit version of Firefox and it works fine as well.
Unfortunately I just discovered that System Restore was not enabled so I can't roll back.
Same results in Safe Mode
Same results with a diagnostic startup via msconfig
Same results on wired or wireless network
Same results on different networks
sfc /scannow runs clean.
netsh int ip reset gives:
netsh winsock reset gives:
Reseting Interface, OK!
Restart the computer to compete this action.
Sucessfully reset the Winsock Catalog.
You must restart your computer in order to complete the reset.
Needless to say things are the same after rebooting.
I'm currently running a full system scan with Symantec Endpoint (I received an update earlier in the day and have their most recent defs), but I am 98.53% sure this is not malware related: I use Gmail filtered through Postini, I have Symantec Endpoint, I run SpyShelter Premium, I only use Firefox with AdBlock and NoScript configured to the point that browsing sites not normally frequented is annoying because most don't display properly without making exceptions in the aforementioned programs.
Please! Does anyone have any suggestions? I see plenty of posts on other forums about similar issues but either they never get resolved, the winsock reset worked, or the user reinstalled the OS. I really don't want to go that last route.