I'm sorry. I did not read your profile, so no, I did not know of your problem. I was just a little irritated because when I said that you should do something, it seemed that you didn't even want to try, and then Jimmy Greystone said to do something and it seemed like you didn't want to try that either. Then when Mark Flax asked for more information and you didn't give it, I guess I got a little irritated, and I AM sorry.
I am sure that you know that troubleshooting is a trial and error process and that sometimes, you have to do the most mundane things first, just to get them out of the way. What I am suggesting may not work, but for the symptoms that you are describing, if it were MY computer that IS the first thing that I would try, because it has always worked for me in the past, and late one night (my time) my dad, who lives in California, called me here in Norway, and described the same symptoms and asked me what to do. Then I told him to follow the same instructions that I told you, and he was amazed that I am halfway around the world, and yet I could fix his computer. LOL!
I do think it would work for you too, so please do ask your caregiver to do all that unwiring and reconnecting for you and I do hope it works. If it doesn't, then I would suggest that you give Mark Flax the "more information" that he was asking for. Maybe he has a trick that he could tell you, "something up his sleeve". He IS very good at troubleshooting too.
Oh, and what Jimmy Greystone said is true... ie8 is better than ie7 security wise. Yes, you do still need to run an anti-virus program. I don't think he meant that, but it is much safer and secure than ie7--but not as good as FireFox. In addition, since Microsoft has made it a critical update, every time you go to Windows Updates, unless you know how to tell it to "never tell me about it again" (and that doesn't always work), it would always be bothering you about needing to change.
I hope you get the problem solved soon.