I am back home for the holidays and brought my desktop back with me that runs Windows 7. After I got it all set up I realized I could not access the internet, and that I was connected to an "Unidentified Network". After looking into it more I found that I was getting a 169.XXX.XX.XX IP, and I was unable to renew it. After searching the internet for a while I found many people with similar problems and tried many things that were suggested such as
"Clean Boot", by making sure that Norton and Bonjour, which apparently can cause these problems, were disabled at startup
Updating the Drivers on my network adapter
Reinstall the network adapter
Reset the router and modem
switched out ethernet cables
Set my own IP
Tried to do a system restore (whole restore failed, tried to update then lost all my past restore points)
Tried starting in safe mode and safe mode with networking, neither worked.
and finally restoring my computer to factory settings (Windows Vista), which I thought would fix it but did not, leaving me with very little hope.
Nothing really changed between it working and not working, and all the other computers on the network still work.
I have what I consider slightly above average understanding on the software side of things, and limited when it comes to hardware. So I'll probably need an explanation of what to do. This computer is barely two years old.