Here's how it all went down:
Three days ago, my wireless connection suddenly stopped. It could still scan and detect wireless access points, but it could never connect. It would either stay on "identifying" for what seemed like forever - or it would connect but state:
"No internet access".
Sounds like an IP conflict. But this isn't my immediate problem. I scoured the forums, trying solutions, all to no avail. I did find out, however, that the problem arose after the latest Windows Update was installed, about 15 minutes prior. As a last resort, I uninstalled my wireless driver
and the software belonging to it - with the intention of re-installing. I had already downloaded new drivers
from the manufacturer's website before hand.
As I booted into my Windows 7 partition, the screen displayed "Windows is loading files" - and it then booted into Startup Recovery Mode. I attempted the automatic repair, but it failed. I tried to use System Restore to the point before I uninstalled, and it refused to do so. I even went into the registry to see if I could disable it from there, and I couldn't even find the driver (which makes sense, I uninstalled it completely).
I honestly am confused and annoyed. My faith in Windows is going down - fast. Every time an issue occurs with it, it's almost always because of the most recent update to the OS.
I have a dual boot of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I know the issue isn't my router because Ubuntu connects to the network immediately without any problems.
I know this is all because of that stupid update. I don't understand how a NETWORK driver would affect the OS's ability to boot properly... it's not as critical as a video card driver or even a processor driver.
Thank you for any input.