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Red DANGER Desktop Background wont go away


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#1
wildcat114

wildcat114

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My desktop background has tured red and i have lost right-click capability. also, every file and shortcut on my desktop is gone and new downloads always come in duplicate form. Also, sometimes my computer just randomly restarts. if someone can help me, i would greatly appreciate it. i am getting desperate over here. thanks in advance. here is the logfile just in case:

Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 7:59:40 PM, on 3/30/2005
Platform: Windows XP (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 (6.00.2600.0000)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\AdvTools\NPROTECT.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\sistray.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\rnzvan.exe
C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe
C:\Program Files\AWS\WeatherBug\Weather.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\khooker.exe
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\NMain.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~1\navw32.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe
C:\HJT\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 auto.search.msn.com
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 search.netscape.com
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 ieautosearch
O3 - Toolbar: Norton AntiVirus - {42CDD1BF-3FFB-4238-8AD1-7859DF00B1D6} - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\NavShExt.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Advanced Tools Check] C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~1\AdvTools\ADVCHK.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SSC_UserPrompt] C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Security Center\UsrPrmpt.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SiS Tray] C:\WINDOWS\System32\sistray.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MSConfig] C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe /auto
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KavSvc] C:\WINDOWS\System32\rnzvan.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Symantec NetDriver Monitor] C:\PROGRA~1\SYMNET~1\SNDMon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [ntddetect] C:\WINDOWS\System32\ntddetect.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [] c:\WINDOWS\System32\
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AIM] C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe -cnetwait.odl
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Weather] C:\Program Files\AWS\WeatherBug\Weather.exe 1
O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\Office10\EXCEL.EXE/3000
O9 - Extra button: AIM - {AC9E2541-2814-11d5-BC6D-00B0D0A1DE45} - C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe
O9 - Extra button: PartyPoker.com - {B7FE5D70-9AA2-40F1-9C6B-12A255F085E1} - C:\Program Files\PartyPoker\PartyPoker.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: PartyPoker.com - {B7FE5D70-9AA2-40F1-9C6B-12A255F085E1} - C:\Program Files\PartyPoker\PartyPoker.exe
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {CD67F990-D8E9-11d2-98FE-00C0F0318AFE} - (no file)
O9 - Extra button: Bodog Poker - {F47C1DB5-ED21-4dc1-853E-D1495792D4C5} - C:\Program Files\Bodog Poker\GameClient.exe (file missing)
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra button: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {3BF62CED-6E7D-43A3-9C02-10F1DF4E42EC} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {3BF62CED-6E7D-43A3-9C02-10F1DF4E42EC} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {463E1D84-70A0-4A0A-8F3E-7C193031FE8E} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {463E1D84-70A0-4A0A-8F3E-7C193031FE8E} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {6685509E-B47B-4f47-8E16-9A5F3A62F683} - file://C:\Program Files\Ebates_MoeMoneyMaker\Sy350\Tp350\scri350a.htm (file missing) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: WeatherBug - {AF6CABAB-61F9-4f12-A198-B7D41EF1CB52} - C:\PROGRA~1\AWS\WEATHE~1\Weather.exe (HKCU)
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O12 - Plugin for .pdf: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\PLUGINS\nppdf32.dll
O12 - Plugin for .spop: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPDocBox.dll
O14 - IERESET.INF: SEARCH_PAGE_URL=
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.skoobidoo.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.slotchbar.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.windupdates.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.skoobidoo.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.slotchbar.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.windupdates.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted IP range: 67.19.185.246
O15 - Trusted IP range: 67.19.185.246 (HKLM)
O16 - DPF: {04E214E5-63AF-4236-83C6-A7ADCBF9BD02} (HouseCall Control) - http://housecall-bet...all/xscan60.cab
O16 - DPF: {15AD6789-CDB4-47E1-A9DA-992EE8E6BAD6} - http://static.windup...bridge-c337.cab
O16 - DPF: {2B1AA38D-2D12-11D5-AAD0-00C04FA03D78} (LocalExec Control) - http://portal.uga.ed...t/LocalExec.CAB
O16 - DPF: {30528230-99F7-4BB4-88D8-FA1D4F56A2AB} (YInstStarter Class) - http://us.dl1.yimg.c...nst20040510.cab
O16 - DPF: {74D05D43-3236-11D4-BDCD-00C04F9A3B61} (HouseCall Control) - http://a840.g.akamai...all/xscan53.cab
O16 - DPF: {AED98630-0251-4E83-917D-43A23D66D507} (WebHandler Class) - http://activex.micro...n7/dlhelper.cab
O20 - Winlogon Notify: PCANotify - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\PCANotify.dll
O20 - Winlogon Notify: Reinstall - C:\WINDOWS\system32\mv2ol9f31.dll
O23 - Service: pcAnywhere Host Service (awhost32) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Symantec\pcAnywhere\awhost32.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Event Manager (ccEvtMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Password Validation (ccPwdSvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccPwdSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Settings Manager (ccSetMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
O23 - Service: CWShredder Service - Unknown owner - C:\Desktop\CWShredder.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: Norton AntiVirus Auto Protect Service (navapsvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Norton Unerase Protection (NProtectService) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\AdvTools\NPROTECT.EXE
O23 - Service: SonicWall VPN Client Service (RampartSvc) - SonicWALL, Inc. - C:\Program Files\SonicWALL\SonicWALL Global VPN Client\RampartSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Super Ad Blocker Service (SABSVC) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\SuperAdBlocker.com\Super Ad Blocker\SABSVC.EXE (file missing)
O23 - Service: SAVScan - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
O23 - Service: ScriptBlocking Service (SBService) - Symantec Corporation - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\SYMANT~1\SCRIPT~1\SBServ.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Network Drivers Service (SNDSrvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\SNDSrvc.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Core LC - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
O23 - Service: SymWMI Service (SymWSC) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Security Center\SymWSC.exe


PLLLLLEEEEEEEASE help me. thanks
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#2
wildcat114

wildcat114

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i got rid of the red background, but right click still wont work. also, comp. still restarts randomly, and desktop icons are still duplicated. any help would be wonderful. thanks again.
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#3
coachwife6

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We can definitely help you, but first you need to help us. The first step in this process is to apply Service Pack 1a for Windows XP. Without this update, you're wide open to re-infection, and we're both just wasting our time.
Click here: http://www.microsoft...p1/default.mspx
Apply the update, reboot, and post a fresh Hijack This log.
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#4
wildcat114

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ok...i did the windows update.

here is the new log:

Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 2:01:30 AM, on 3/31/2005
Platform: Windows XP (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 (6.00.2600.0000)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\AdvTools\NPROTECT.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Security Center\UsrPrmpt.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\sistray.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\rnzvan.exe
C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe
C:\Program Files\AWS\WeatherBug\Weather.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\khooker.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe
C:\HJT\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 auto.search.msn.com
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 search.netscape.com
O1 - Hosts: 69.20.16.183 ieautosearch
O3 - Toolbar: Norton AntiVirus - {42CDD1BF-3FFB-4238-8AD1-7859DF00B1D6} - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\NavShExt.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Advanced Tools Check] C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~1\AdvTools\ADVCHK.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SSC_UserPrompt] C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Security Center\UsrPrmpt.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SiS Tray] C:\WINDOWS\System32\sistray.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MSConfig] C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe /auto
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KavSvc] C:\WINDOWS\System32\rnzvan.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Symantec NetDriver Monitor] C:\PROGRA~1\SYMNET~1\SNDMon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [ntddetect] C:\WINDOWS\System32\ntddetect.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [] c:\WINDOWS\System32\
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AIM] C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe -cnetwait.odl
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Weather] C:\Program Files\AWS\WeatherBug\Weather.exe 1
O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\Office10\EXCEL.EXE/3000
O9 - Extra button: AIM - {AC9E2541-2814-11d5-BC6D-00B0D0A1DE45} - C:\Program Files\AIM95\aim.exe
O9 - Extra button: PartyPoker.com - {B7FE5D70-9AA2-40F1-9C6B-12A255F085E1} - C:\Program Files\PartyPoker\PartyPoker.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: PartyPoker.com - {B7FE5D70-9AA2-40F1-9C6B-12A255F085E1} - C:\Program Files\PartyPoker\PartyPoker.exe
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {CD67F990-D8E9-11d2-98FE-00C0F0318AFE} - (no file)
O9 - Extra button: Bodog Poker - {F47C1DB5-ED21-4dc1-853E-D1495792D4C5} - C:\Program Files\Bodog Poker\GameClient.exe (file missing)
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra button: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {3BF62CED-6E7D-43A3-9C02-10F1DF4E42EC} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {3BF62CED-6E7D-43A3-9C02-10F1DF4E42EC} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {463E1D84-70A0-4A0A-8F3E-7C193031FE8E} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Microsoft AntiSpyware helper - {463E1D84-70A0-4A0A-8F3E-7C193031FE8E} - (no file) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {6685509E-B47B-4f47-8E16-9A5F3A62F683} - file://C:\Program Files\Ebates_MoeMoneyMaker\Sy350\Tp350\scri350a.htm (file missing) (HKCU)
O9 - Extra button: WeatherBug - {AF6CABAB-61F9-4f12-A198-B7D41EF1CB52} - C:\PROGRA~1\AWS\WEATHE~1\Weather.exe (HKCU)
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\dolsp.dll
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\windows\system32\aklsp.dll
O12 - Plugin for .pdf: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\PLUGINS\nppdf32.dll
O12 - Plugin for .spop: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPDocBox.dll
O14 - IERESET.INF: SEARCH_PAGE_URL=
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.skoobidoo.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.slotchbar.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.windupdates.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.skoobidoo.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.slotchbar.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.windupdates.com (HKLM)
O15 - Trusted IP range: 67.19.185.246
O15 - Trusted IP range: 67.19.185.246 (HKLM)
O16 - DPF: {04E214E5-63AF-4236-83C6-A7ADCBF9BD02} (HouseCall Control) - http://housecall-bet...all/xscan60.cab
O16 - DPF: {15AD6789-CDB4-47E1-A9DA-992EE8E6BAD6} - http://static.windup...bridge-c337.cab
O16 - DPF: {2B1AA38D-2D12-11D5-AAD0-00C04FA03D78} (LocalExec Control) - http://portal.uga.ed...t/LocalExec.CAB
O16 - DPF: {30528230-99F7-4BB4-88D8-FA1D4F56A2AB} (YInstStarter Class) - http://us.dl1.yimg.c...nst20040510.cab
O16 - DPF: {74D05D43-3236-11D4-BDCD-00C04F9A3B61} (HouseCall Control) - http://a840.g.akamai...all/xscan53.cab
O16 - DPF: {AED98630-0251-4E83-917D-43A23D66D507} (WebHandler Class) - http://activex.micro...n7/dlhelper.cab
O20 - Winlogon Notify: MS-DOS Emulation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\g8lm0i31e8.dll
O20 - Winlogon Notify: PCANotify - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\PCANotify.dll
O23 - Service: pcAnywhere Host Service (awhost32) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Symantec\pcAnywhere\awhost32.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Event Manager (ccEvtMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Password Validation (ccPwdSvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccPwdSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Settings Manager (ccSetMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
O23 - Service: CWShredder Service - Unknown owner - C:\Desktop\CWShredder.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: Norton AntiVirus Auto Protect Service (navapsvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Norton Unerase Protection (NProtectService) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\AdvTools\NPROTECT.EXE
O23 - Service: SonicWall VPN Client Service (RampartSvc) - SonicWALL, Inc. - C:\Program Files\SonicWALL\SonicWALL Global VPN Client\RampartSvc.exe
O23 - Service: Super Ad Blocker Service (SABSVC) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\SuperAdBlocker.com\Super Ad Blocker\SABSVC.EXE (file missing)
O23 - Service: SAVScan - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
O23 - Service: ScriptBlocking Service (SBService) - Symantec Corporation - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\SYMANT~1\SCRIPT~1\SBServ.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Network Drivers Service (SNDSrvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\SNDSrvc.exe
O23 - Service: Symantec Core LC - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
O23 - Service: SymWMI Service (SymWSC) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Security Center\SymWSC.exe


thanks again for your help.
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#5
coachwife6

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It's still not showing that it's updated.
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#6
wildcat114

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hehe...ok...i got a tricky one for you....

so i obtained the real service pack this time, and tried to install it; however, at the end of the installation, for some bizzare reason, its telling me that my product key for XP is invalid. so...i obtained the key changer program through system registry and attempted to change my product key (which i am looking at on the sticker), however the stupid thing is telling me that its incorrect still. apparently, without a valid copy of XP (which i have) i cannot recieve the service pack 1a. any ideas on how to go about solving this? thanks again for your help
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#7
coachwife6

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Can you follow these instructions and report back.

http://www.microsoft...hyValidate.aspx
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#8
wildcat114

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alrighty....well....

apparently the guy that sold me my custom machine loaded a fake windows xp on it (this is the only logical reason i can come up with). i contacted microsoft by phone and told them the problem also. they pretty much said that i would have to buy a new license of xp from the store. howerver, i have a new laptop with a real product ID on it, that wouldnt work, would it?. am i completely stuck or is there a way out? thanks again for your cooperation.
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#9
coachwife6

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This is really out of my area of expertise, I'm more of a malware kind-of gal. I did read something about this this morning in the Fort Worth paper. It is not the same situation but kind of similar. I can transfer you over to the xp forum where you could receive more assistance from guys who know a lot more about doing this.

Dear Dr. Bombay: I changed jobs, and I purchased the computer that I used in my former one. The software was set up by the IT folks and included proprietary stuff as well as Windows XP and MS Office 2000. The only way I know of to remove the proprietary setup will also wipe out everything else. I have bought an external hard drive with hopes of moving everything I want to save to it. However, I'm not smart enough to know how.

-- Office Repo

Dear Repo: No, those IT boneheads are the ones who aren't terribly smart. You bought the hardware, but unless they gave you the installation disks and licenses for Office, XP and whatever else was on the machine, they gave away the store. Meanwhile, you're stuck with hot software. Gee, that kind of makes you a fence, doesn't it? Hope the FBI isn't reading this.

At a minimum, these guys should have wiped the hard drive. They didn't even uninstall stuff that belonged to the company. And the proprietary stuff? I'll bet competitors would love to get their hands on that machine.

You ought to go ahead with your first instinct and start from scratch, reinstalling Windows XP. Don't even think about trying to move Office to an external drive, though. It just doesn't work like that. Windows programs have bits and pieces of themselves scattered in several different folders on the hard drive. You're never going to find everything you need to transfer. And even if you did, you'd never make all the correct changes in the Windows Registry so the programs would work. The only things you actually can move to another drive are documents.

As for Office -- unless you have the installation CD -- you'll have to bite the bullet and buy your own copy. I'll tell the FBI to cancel that midnight knock on your door


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