As umbongo(uk)says enable your windows firewall. I would not revert back to factory settings untill all other avenues have been explored. If you feel that you are not up to umbongo(uk)suggestion by editing the registry, have a look at this link, which will give you sfc with very only a very minor registry alteration. click here scroll down to get instructions for sfc directly from your C: dreive
Can I also just say that I cannot always access the lunks that you are all advising me to click on, I just get one of the grey boxes coming on and then loads of IE6 pages opening up and have to start accessing the internet again.