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#1
Togii

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Heading home for Easter, my father-in-law informed me that his computer was "having a few problems" and wondered if I could just take a look at it real fast.
If only :)

The computer wont run for more than a couple minutes without restarting.. and most of that time is spent waiting for it to boot up. It usually restarts itself at the XP Login screen while I'm attempting to type in his (quite short) password. The one time in ten I get lucky enough that it lives long enough to actually log into Windows, it restarts itself sometime in the next minute or five.
It's really frustrating! :)

A couple of the times I got it to log into Windows, it gave the "Remote Procedure Call Terminated Unexpectedly" type countdown message that Google searches attribute to the Blaster worm, but I wonder if it has that. Will that cause it to restart before you've even logged into Windows? (<---- GeekU student, asking about malware. Maybe you shouldn't answer that part :) )
I tried changing the service so that it would take no action instead of restarting, but that didn't seem to change anything (actually, it restarted pretty quickly after I applied the setting, so I'm not sure it took).

The computer is very old, but was reformatted recently, and while he's not very tech-savvy, he's responsible about keeping everything updated and not messing with the kind of things that get you infected. I'd be a little surprised to find he had a virus, although of course it happens to everyone.
It's nice and clean inside, so it's not overheating or anything.

Anyways, he lives a couple hours away, so I wont be back in front of his computer until next weekend, but I thought I'd try to gather some ideas before then.
Any suggestions?
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#2
Macboatmaster

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If you think it may be Malware, it should of course be posted in that Forum as you will know, however qualified I may be (or not of course) I cannot give Malware removal advice on this forum.
Does the same happen in a Safe Mode boot on F8 normally of course, - depending on computer.
Also, if you do get in, does the same occur, after a Clean Boot via "msconfig"

Edited by Macboatmaster, 09 April 2010 - 06:13 PM.

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#3
Togii

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I can't get it to boot into Safe Mode at all. It acts like it's going to do it, but then sometime in the process of loading it up.. it crashed somehow.
Whatever it was, it did it twice, and left me with the impression that Safe Mode wasn't currently an option.

The clean boot idea sounds promising; I didn't try that. Looks like an awful lot of steps, though. I cringe at the idea of restarting twenty times in order to get lucky enough for Windows to stay up long enough to uncheck all those boxes. Every half a second counts XD

I will add it to my super-tiny list of things to try, though :)
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#4
Macboatmaster

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Sorry I do not understand what you mean - read this please

Manually starting XP with a clean boot

To manually start Windows XP with a clean boot, follow these steps:
Step 1: Start the System Configuration Utility
Click Start, click Run, type msconfig, and then click OK.
The System Configuration Utility dialog box is displayed.
Step 2: Configure selective startup options
In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Selective Startup.
Click to clear the Process SYSTEM.INI File check box.
Click to clear the Process WIN.INI File check box.
Click to clear the Load Startup Items check box. Verify that Load System Services and Use Original BOOT.INI are checked.
Click the Services tab.
Click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
Click Disable All, and then click OK.
When you are prompted, click Restart to restart the computer.
Step 3: Log on to Windows
If you are prompted, log on to Windows.
When you receive the following message, click to select the Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows start check box, and then click OK.

Of course this can only be tried when you actually get in Windows.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 10 April 2010 - 12:18 PM.

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#5
Macboatmaster

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Further to the last, before you try going to Malware, and anyway it will be good training for you to solve your problem, have you tried unplugging everything, except mouse and keyboard, presuming not laptop, including any internet and then starting on F8 and trying Safe Mode. Not of course Safe Mode with Networking OR Last Known Good.
Other than that it is the XP installation CD and Recovery Console.
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#6
Togii

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What I mean is:

I turn on the computer, it takes maybe five minutes to start up.. then finally it gets to the Windows login screen. While I'm the process of typing in the password, the computer suddenly turns off and restarts itself.

Repeat the above maybe five times.

Eventually, finally, it will refrain from restarting for long enough that I can actually finish typing the password. I log in, Windows starts.. I hit the Start button, hit Run, type "msco" ...and then the computer restarts.

It makes you want to cry. I'm so not looking forward to spending an hour watching the computer restart a billion times until it finally happens to log onto Windows and stay up long enough for me to make those changes.

I do know how to do a clean boot, and I will try it.. but like I said, it will be a week until I'm in front of the computer again.. so I'm just collecting ideas until then.
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