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Suddenly cannot acquire an IP address.

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I went through today to see if I could find any updates to undo and could not. All the while my desktop has been happily connecting to the internet through the same router.

Finally, I started reductionism and began to eliminate as many of the differences as I could. Desktop was hooked up via wired connection, so I made that the first step.

No luck. But it didn't take long before I discovered something that got the laptop connectivity restored. A few months ago, I gave the desktop a static IP and I'd since forgotten all about doing so. As soon as I assigned the laptop a static IP, things began ticking over just fine. Once I had the wired connection working in Safe Mode, I unplugged it, assigned an IP to the wireless card and it began to work. Rebooted into normal XP running mode and everything still works.

I'm still not sure why it quit working in the first place, but I'm happy enough to have the wifey with a working laptop again. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful replies; they got my thoughts straight and sent me to the problem I needed to fix.