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Windows won't boot - even in safe mode!

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This is kind of a two part question, and I know that it is my own fault - so please don't flame!

I got infected by the command line trojan (as detected by Spybot S&D). Tried to remove it manually from the registry (oops!) then XP refuses to boot in any of the safe modes. I tried to re-install Windows, but after it refuses to let me log on until Windows is activated. My code is "invalid". Here I should explain how I accquired this copy of XP. A friend of mine bought a laptop which came with 2 XP disks, one in English and one in Hebrew. She didn't wan't the English, so I took it and installed it on my own machine. I didn't activate it because I wasn't sure if I could or not, and instead found and installed a patch which has worked till now. When I got the new computer, I did the same thing - installed with the patch. I've even had to re-install Windows on the new computer, but I've never gotten the message that I have "0 days left to activate"

BTW - I managed after re-installing to start in safe mode, and found that the trojan was still there! All of this headache for nothing!

Do I have any option short of buying and installing a new copy of XP?

Sorry about the long post - I appreciate any ideas you might have!

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hmmm sometimes believe it or not viruses have the ability to create a side partition or somehow back themselves up to perform on your pc again and again even after formats, in some cases it is also the master boot record which gets infected...

As for the virus, I reccomend a tool called Super Fdisk Partition found on www.download.com
it will allow you to format, clean and securely clean, as well as if you look in the options it will erase the master boot record for you and allow you to start fresh.

You will need to burn it to cd and boot from it just like a windows cd... You could give that a try. As for your activation. Sometimes you have to call in to activate windows, sometimes they have to change your key, I wont rule out the possibility that the trojan/virus stole your keycode... However if you call microsoft and inform them you were reformatting for a virus issue etc... they will usually generate a new one for you, I have done this in the past about 5 times.

So give the partition thing a try for the virus, and attempt to call micro to activate, ( you should have the option to call them via the activation window when it comes around )

I also highly recommend that when you do format and partition, UNPLUG your network cable, I have seen times where someone could format and boom a virus is on once again because a cracker had found the pc, its exploits were not updated yet because it was just formatted and boom you keep getting the same virus...

Also try whatever keith says if he posts.
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