For a couple years I have had to roll back certain Windows security updates,, because they would prevent my browser from connecting to any websites. At first I thought it was a networking issue, but I was able to ping Google with cmd and able to access Windows updates, so clearly the connection itself is fine. So, as I said, for years I have rolled back any updates that caused this problem, which were usually about 1 per month. A few months ago I tried to install and us FireFox, but it could not connect to the browsers, even though ie could. I read somewhere that ie9 could possibly fix any issues. I was using ie7, and in order to download ie9 I had to download a lot of the updates I had restticted in the past to maintain connection to browsers. So I did and now nothing works aside from pinging and windows updates. I shouldn't have to restrict OS updates to use my laptop.
I posted this on the Windows forums when this first happened a few months ago and they were less than helpful, often ignoring the fact that I am connected to the internet, just unable to connect to browsers or update my AntiVirus or any other programs. I have checked the firewall and there are exceptions for the browsers, and I have even disabled it temporarily with no success. I used the diagnosis tool in ie9, but it says there is no problem.
I am at a loss, and wondering if it might be easier to reformat. Any help would be greatly appreciated.