Running Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit. I have an HP desktop with a Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller. All was working fine until I got the automatic Win 7 critical update issued 2/15/2011. That is the only thing I can think of that changed. Now for the problem.
When my PC boots it appears that the NIC driver is not being started giving me no access to my Netgear WNDR3700 router and thus no internet connection. If I uninstall the Realtek Controller using device manager then restart the system it finds a new device, the Realtek controller, and installs it and I can then access router and the internet. When I shut it off the next time I start it up again I have no access to the router.
I did restore my system back to 2/14/2011 using the restore point created by the 2/15/2011 update and it worked fine until Windows automatically installed the critical update again. That is why I blame the update. Since then there have been two or three more critical updates but the problem persists. Also I can no longer go back to the 2/14/2011 restore as it seems the system only retains the latest restore points and 2/14/2011 is gone.
One other thing is there is another listing under Network Adapters in Device Manager. WAN Miniport (PPPOE) it has the little triangle with the exclamation point in it. I tried to reinstall it searching both my hard drive and the internet for a driver but it can't find one. Under Properties it also says, "Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the drivers required for this device. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source. (Code 52)" However this does not stop me from accessing my router using the method described above.
Any suggestions on how to fix this problem would be greatly appreciated. I'm tired of having to uninstall the NIC and then reboot in order to access my network and the internet.