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Similar thing happened to my folks computer a few years ago. Brand new with the OS already installed as they are these days. No network connection, no internet, no nothing. Network adapter can't even get an IP address. The reason? Preinstalled McAfee.
If you thought that was bad, my brother had a McAfee trial pre-installed when he bought his laptop. When it expired, it blocked his internet connection. So, I thought, let's remove it, then.
Well, no. Going to control panel, selecting McAfee Security Center (or whatever it's called) and clicking Change/Remove did nothing, except making Windows Installer think it was running an installer, preventing me from removing anything else. I had to go through Safe Mode to successfully remove it.
A couple of years earlier when helping someone else, I had a similar problem with Norton Internet security, where removing Norton also removed the 'System Tools' directory in the Start Menu.
tldr; Seems like the Antivirus tools are becoming viruses themselves.
Despite me personally not liking McAfee, it has nothing to do with it. Hooking network level stuff in Windows at such low level is really nasty and hacky usually. Especially if you want to keep it compatible with windows XP. I've seen this 'no traffic allowed, even DHCP' error happening with everything from Norton to F-secure to Kaspersky to ZoneAlarm. Usually fixes with a complete reinstall of the software.
That's nothing. 9 years ago my sister tried installing (college mandated) Symantec Corporate AV on top of the Symantec Home AV her gateway came preinstalled with. The install failed catastrophically leaving her with no working AV, no networking, and no working AV Uninstallers. I spent about 4 hours of quality time with regedit manually scrubbing every trace out before things started working again.
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