Thanks electrotune1200 and Tews I have tried both of your procedures but unfortunately neither of them worked. Also thank you mitchell65 I downloaded the fixit program and ran it on the laptop but it didn't resolve the problem either. The runtime error message I posted earlier is one I'm getting as I start win 7 so not sure if it is directly related to IE.
here is a capture of the wireless network connection status... so you can see the internet is working but I can't connect with IE, FF, Action center or Office Beta install. But Security Essentials was able to download it's updates.