Sorry I couldn't have a more descriptive title. It's just that everything is so inconsistent, I can't condense it. I've had a brand new, built computer up and running for about two weeks now. Until today, everything has been fine. Today, however, it all changed. First, my google was being redirected to some BS website. I scanned my computer, cleaned it all out, and then restored to an image from a few days ago. Accessing Google was fixed, but then suddenly I kept getting "invalid url" pages whenever I tried to access Youtube, TomsHardware, or Bing. I restarted my computer, and these were fixed, but now I can't load random Wikipedia pages, and none of the Wikipedia images, and many websites take two or three attempts to load successfully (but after the first successful load, they're fine from then on, except Wikipedia). I've changed my router password and encryption to no avail. I simply have no idea what's going on, and it doesn't seem like anything is consistent. I even did the ol' uplug the modem/router bit out of desperation. Any suggestions, guys?
Are you sure your backup image is clean? Are there other computers on your network? If so, if they are infected, they can reinfect other computers on the network. Make sure all your computers are clean. Your "hosts" file may have been corrupted. Make sure your internet connection isn't set to use a proxy.
These are just a few things to check for. Also, your browser caches web pages which is why it can pull them up faster once the site gets visited. To make sure you aren't viewing cached pages, clear your web cache and restart your browser.
I removed literally everything else from my wireless network, even my printer, for over six hours, then did a fresh install on this machine. Unfortunately, it was all good for about half an hour, until the same issue started occurring again. Just as experiment, I copied over a hosts file from a friend's machine that hasn't ever connected to this network and replaced mine with it, to no avail. I've even tried shifting around through static or dynamic IPs (with power cycling, of course), and that changed nothing. The only thing that made a difference was flushing the DNS-- that fixed the problem for about 30 minutes or so.
It's just so...perplexing. But I'm guessing it might be a DNS issue, then.
I changed my DNS to 126.96.36.199 earlier, and for some reason couldn't connect at all for a while. A few hours later, I came back and found I mysteriously could, but couldn't successfully so much as ping a website, so I switched the DNS back to default and magically, have had no issues since.