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XP Only Boots In Safe Mode


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#1
Atomic Robot

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Greetings-

We're having problems with our home PC (Dell P4 / XP Media Center SP2 / running SBC antivirus & firewall) which will only work in safe mode at this point. Here's what happened as far as we can remember...

A couple of weeks ago I believe we got infected with some malware which kept opening windows and telling us to install Malware Alert (or something like that). As far as I know, nobody actually clicked the pop-up, but with 2 kids and 2 adults using the computer, I can only speak for myself. The machine was bogging down and after lots more pop-ups I did a system restore and everything seemed fine for a while.

A few days back, my wife turned on the computer. It booted to the login screen as usual, but when she clicked her login icon several windows labeled "EXPLORER.EXE- Bad Image" opened with the message "<filename>.tmp is not a valid windows image. Please check this against your installation diskette." Another window asked for the install disk, which I loaded and then the windows closed. Everything seemed OK.

The next day I turned on the computer and the same thing happened. THEN multiple blank windows labeled "16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem" opened with the message "The NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction" and buttons to <CLOSE> or <IGNORE>. My wife noticed that some of her software was not loading (AIM & Myspace IM). I reinstalled them and they worked fine until a logout- each time she logged on, the software needed to be re-installed.

At this point I tried several antispy/antivirus programs which deleted lots of infected files.

Today at power-up, the computer booted normally to the login screen, but when you select an account icon, the user's background appears and then the machine hangs up. I can boot through to an account and reach the internet in Safe Mode With Networking, but I don't know how long that will last...

So I got here and read the "You Must Read This..." post and did the following:

1- Ran ATF Cleaner
2- Tried to create a system restore point, but am not given the option when I open the System Restore Tool.
3- Ran AVG AntiSpyware
4- Unsuccessfully tried to install SuperAntiSpyware; I get the error message "The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation"
5- Ran Panda Activescan It found a couple of virus files, but didn't indicate that it had removed anything.
6- Checked for Windows updates. None found.
7- Ran HijackThis and saved a log file. Tried to save an uninstall log, but when I click the <SAVE> button, the application closes.

Let me know if I should post the HijackThis file.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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#2
Murray S.

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Howdy:

I suggest you go to the Malware Forum and run all the steps located in the START HERE. These self-help tools will help you clean up 70% of problems on your own. If you are still having problems after doing the steps, then please post a HiJackThis Log in THAT forum. If you are unable to run and/or post a HJT log, then post that in your initial post in the topic you create in that forum.

If you are still having problems after being given a clean bill of health from the malware expert, then please return to THIS thread and we will pursue other options to help you solve your current problem(s).

Murray

Edited by Murray S., 02 January 2008 - 10:13 PM.

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#3
Atomic Robot

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Will do.

Thanks!
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#4
Murray S.

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No problem and good luck.

Murray
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