i am unable to download anything. some of my software that needs to connect to the internet cannot connect. ie7 was not working however opera and firefox still work. i am unable to view some flash and some hyperlinks dont work at all. i tried to use the system restore but at first when i would pull it up it would just be a blank screen. so i uninstalled ie7 and now system restore pulls up and i select a restore point and on the screen where it says to save your work and close all open programs then click next, when i do click next nothing happens and i am unable to restore.
also when i attempt a download the download is fine but when i try to install it says that it is unable to install and to make sure that i have the appropriate permissions. i am logged in as the system administrator and i really have no idea what to do next.someone please help me!!!

i have a very similar problem... my system restore does nothing when i click next in the "confirm restore point selection" i just recovered from a virus and i have accidently deleted some registry keys (i think). i used the program WinTools.net Professional (trial version) to do a registry scan and it found like 5000 problems with the registry... ever since (i beleive) system restore stopped working...
HEELP please! i need system restore to work to be able to recover the registry keys!!!

See the backups tab in Scan Registry? Hit it, select the backup made for the 5000 job and Restore those entries.
Registry cleaning does have its place.. just where, I am not sure. 5000 sounds like a lot, some of those would be removed in the course of time because they are merely "last used" pointers to files etc that many pgms incl Windows keep a record of...., some ,yes, are the remnants of slack pgm uninstallers.
Think of the registry as a lawn the size of a tennis court - you took the scissors to a few square inches of that lawn.... if you must clean then do first review the items your cleaner is going to remove. Here is a free one:
==Get CCleaner from http://www.ccleaner.com/ - and install it in a new folder. You should keep this one for general use. I set the installation checkboxes only to open from the recycle bin. It's neater that way.
Now run CCleaner from the recycle bin rclick menu using its default settings [if you set up CCleaner as i suggested, rclicking the bin icon should give you the Open CCleaner option...].
If you have FireFox open the Applications tab and ensure at least that Cookies and Cache are checked.
Select the Cleaner icon, press Run Cleaner.
[For future quick temp file cleaning select the options you wish to use via the Windows and Applications tabs ..]
[Note that CCleaner is also a free registry cleaner. Explore all its options, but skip the prefetch folder cleaning option. That one is unnecessary because windows automatically dumps old unused entries anyway, they can do no harm, and further, if there is no prefetch entry for an app you wish to load then your sys will just be a lil bit slower loading it. And an entry will then be generated anyway.]
...it's a great, configurable cleaner.
Okay, back to your problem.... now do you have sys res? Btw, if you don't have enough free space on the drive where windows lives it will not make restore points.... a couple hundred Megs will be sufficient for a couple of points.