Hi everyone - new to the forums

Here's my problem - it has me so confused.

I recently built a new machine, new everything including the OS which is XP profession that came pre upgraded with SP2. The first weird thing I did was buy a motherboard that did not have on-board ethernet - no big deal I went and got a linksys nic-card stuck it in a PCI slot and windows took care of the rest. However my internet connection isn't working right. After I had everything installed and all the drivers were updated I restarted. Then I opened Internet Explorer (IE) and up comes msn.com - so I'm thinking great everything worked out. I close IE and finish installing some audio and video drivers. Then I go to activate windows via the internet but no connection is detected. I try to open IE again and I get a page cannot be displayed. I check my network connection and it looks fine. So I shut down and restart. After boot up I open IE and it comes up fine and I can surf around to a few other pages - then after like 5 min of surfing it stops working again. I called up my broadband provider and everything checked out on their end - they have offered to send out a tech but that will cost me and would rather try my luck on some of these forums first. Anyone have any idea whats going on?