ok guys, issue has been solved. i got *some* advice from MS people, but not much. I posted the solution here:
The solution was found via a google search here:
When I talked to geek squad about the issue the agent said that the network card had probably gone bad and claimed to have witnessed many network cards going bad after just 10 days of buying a computer. I don't believe that one bit, as every person I've talked to that's told me they've gone to geek squad to help them fix a problem, have said that they told them the thing that was having the issue "was bad" and it had to be replaced. That's a great way to suck people in to spend money! I'm sure they're very profitable if that's all they say.
A friend that I work with named Alex took her machine into geek squad and they told her that the motherboard had gone bad. But another person we work with, Ryan, check her machine out and the issue was indeed marginal and the motherboard was fine. So I spose if any visitors to this site consider going to those geeks, be wary of what they tell you.