thanks - it worked. like the other poster, I got one of these fake spywarescanners stuck on my pc (happened while browsing AOL discussion forums so watch out over there). after getting rid of the rogue program (booted into safe mode and used malwarebytes to get rid of it), but my ie8 kept failing to work. I even tired using an ethernet cable and connecting directly to the internet, but still no luck. tried commamnd line ipconfig/ release and flush dns and renew, still no luck in actually browsing, even though I was connected. SO I tried the above solution, and bam - surfing the www's once again. thanks again for your help/guidance, peace.