Question Computer loses internet connection and requires restart

Feb 15, 2020
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Okay, I'm going to try my best to explain the situation. I received an email from my ISP about a netBIOS vulnerability originating from my PC. Shortly after this email, I began having connectivity issues. After 30 minutes to 6 hours of the PC being turned on, it will "lose" internet connection. I say "lose" because according to my network adapter (ethernet), there are still bytes being sent and received. If I ping an IP address or website URL in my command prompt, I get a response. If I send packets to my router, I get a response. Yet, no programs or internet browsers seem to have an internet connection, except for google.com.

When I diagnose the Ethernet adapter using the windows troubleshooter, it says it can't get a DNS response. Following several "solutions" online, I switched to google DNS, no dice. I've done a number of refreshing and renewing in ipconfig, I've verified and repaired broken system files, I've done several full scale virus scans. Once the internet cuts, resetting the Ethernet adapter only restores connection for about 10 seconds. A restart is required. I tried resorting my PC to an earlier date, but was only met with an error no matter what date I chose. I tried turning off all firewalls to see if that solved it, no issue. Booting in safe mode with networking seemed to be stable, no internet loss, but virus scans were only met with errors.

Before I completely factory restore my PC, I wanted to come here to see if any of you had a potential solution. I've never had a problem on my PC this severe, and I've never had to go to a tech support forum, but I'm all out of ideas.
 
Being able to ping a website but not browse it usually means DNS isn't working. If manually setting Google DNS and verifying and repairing broken system files doesn't fix it, then the cause is usually some malware which hijacks your DNS (the benign ones simply use it to insert ads, the bad ones do it to launch a man in the middle attack to try to steal your banking username and password). The fact that a virus scan in safe mode produced errors suggests you have a particularly stubborn virus installed.

You can try different antivirus software. Sometimes different software has better luck removing an infection. Definitely try Malwarebytes. You can also try antivirus software which runs off its own boot disk (frequently called a rescue disk). These have the advantage of not booting the OS so the virus doesn't have the opportunity to load and try to protect itself.
https://www.malwarebytes.com/
https://help.avast.com/en/av_free/17/securityrescuedisk.html

If you have access to another PC, you can remove the drive from your working PC and add it to the other PC as a second drive. Then you can scan the infected PC's drive that way. Sometimes that can get the infected drive cleared enough to get it working again. However, I mainly do that when the virus makes the system unusable and there's data we need to get off the drive. With particularly nasty infections like this, a completely wipe and reinstall is recommended just for peace of mind.

It's even possible the virus has infected your recovery partition. So I'd create a Windows 10 install USB drive (on another, clean, PC) and use that to reinstall. Backup your data to an external drive, then plug that drive into a clean PC and immediately scan it to make sure the virus hasn't spread itself there.
 
Feb 15, 2020
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I did a full system scan with windows defender once again, 0 infected files found. Did another with the latest version of Avast, 0 infected files found. Did the same with Malwarebytes, 0 infected files found. Finally, I installed an Avast Rescue Disk from another PC onto a USB drive (Just to make sure the virus didn't get into the USB), and it also found 0 infected files. Is my only option here to do a complete wipe and reinstall of windows? And if so, are any files safe to backup and reload onto the new install?

Edit: I should also note, the error given in Google chrome, I believe, is ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED. Also, is there any chance the virus could save itself from being wiped and survive? Since nothing is really 'wiped' it's simply labelled as empty and the computer is told it can be overwritten. Could it survive?

Edit 2: Even when the PC is rebooted now to restore internet connection temporarily, it is painfully, painfully slow. Internet speeds are fine on all other connected devices.
 
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Have you tried a different browser? Or Chrome in incognito mode? It could be a problem with a browser extension or proxy setting.

Edit: re-read your first post and saw you're having the problem with all programs. What do your proxy settings look like? Settings => Network & Internet => Proxy
 
Feb 15, 2020
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Update: The PC has ran all day with regular internet connection and speeds after several more virus scans with some other anti-virus software, and noticing something had reset my DNS servers back to default, so I set them back to google again. Despite this, upon activating a free trial for Malwarebytes premium, I get notifications almost every 3-5 minutes about it blocking a connection to various websites for trogans, malware, etc. despite these not popping up in any of my browsers. So something is definitely going on in the background, and I have a funny feeling my passwords and other data are still far from safe. When diagnosing my ethernet adapter, I still get the same error, even though it appears the DNS servers ARE responding, despite it saying they are not.
 

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