|Alright, here's most of the answers:|
I have cable internet (through Time Warner Cable) and a cable modem (motorola Surfboard - SB5101).
I have a wireless router (Netgear RangeMax -WNR834B v2).
--This previously worked for wired and wireless connections as the computer has built in wireless.
The modem is connected to cable & to router (using an ethernet cable to connect router). Several peripherals were also connected to the router. Our Xbox 360s were connecting wirelessly, as well. <-- this is the curious part. Because the Xbox 360s have continued to be able to use the signal without fail.
Okay, there is a wireless network adapter (Broadcom 802.11n) and this is what is apparently having issues.
There is (in Device Manager list) an "ethernet controller" but I see nothing other than that that has obvious labelling. It has no driver from what I can tell. I have tried getting my old computer online, but its like the router is stuck on this computer as it's host.
Unless the wireless adapter is the NIC, I dont see one. There is one unknown device listed and 3 "base system devices" listed.
I didnt mean to not give pertinent information. But the tech that came out to swap the drives said that the tornadoes that caused a big power outage here may have started a short. The power fluctuated about 2 weeks ago and seemingly thats what finished off my hard drive. That was my only other track of reasoning: maybe this Broadcom wireless device was damaged as well. I hate having to get help. But beleive me it is much appreciated. My only internet access now is from my iPhone. It lacks functionality, suffice to say.