Internet Explorer won't display search

My wife's HP laptop computer is XP media center Service Pack 2.

Was working , but slow. I ran a disc cleanup, and obviously deleted something I shouldn't have.

Computer sees LAN and Wireless connections, but wouldn't connect to Internet Explorer. .After hours of System Restore, ( which says can't be completed), System Recovery from hard drive D:(tried to follow HP XP videos), and reading dozens of threads in forums, I finally got Internet Explorer to connect to which has all the latest news, etc. ( If I type google in search box, it brings up and www, click on that , says "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" Using IE 7

If I click on some of the old websites in Favorites , they come up OK. Hotmail and Outlook won't connect. She wants her email.

Can anyone help? I'm tired of sleeping on the sofa. Thanks. Gene
First, you need to be at sp3 and ie8

my last reply in the thread above has the links for sp3, once sp3 is installed and you have an antivirus installed then you need to go straight to windows update and update

ALSO you need to ensure that you have all your drivers for your pc installed also, from the hp site type in the model, and model number, and make into google and you will get to the hp site for your pc, then download drivers to a flash drive for offline install

also if you have an amd processor:

Before you install SP3 read this article:

If your PC is an HP Pavilion, Presario or Media Center and has an AMD processor you need to install this patch before installing SP3 (read through the whole thread)

Find out if you have an AMD processor:
1. Hold down the Windows key (between Ctrl and Alt) and hit the Pause Break key
2. Your processor type is shown in the Computer: section

you can get this patch at the hp site