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XP won't load - Safe Mode freezes - panicking child!


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#1
chrisg6152

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Hi, and many thanks in advance for your assistance.

I am experiencing problems with my Dell PC and am becoming increasingly frustrated. There is one document my son needs (a school project), but he can't get to it.

During a download, my PC froze and the only way to re-boot was to use the on/off button. I am running WinXP.

When the PC powered up, it would not start up; all that happened was a blank screen. I tried to start up in safe mode but it always stops at line "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\Drivers\DRVMCDB.SYS" without the quote marks.

I have run Dell's Diagnostics and all hardware tests come back negative

I recently had problems with malware, which was sorted out by geekstogo (Salulabang) and thought that it may be related to this. I have run AVG Rescue CD but this was clean and so I don't think it's malware related (but I'm not an expert)

I have tried using Recovery Console as directed in Post 8 of http://www.geekstogo...startup-problem but when I entered the del boot.ini command, a line of text that no related files can be found appears.

The PC didn't come with installation discs - I have a utility section that is accessed on startup but the only 'restore' is back to factory settings, which I don't want to do if I can avoid it.

Please, please, please can you help!!??
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#2
rshaffer61

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Hello Chrisg6152, My name is Ron and I will be attempting to help you. The first order of business I believe is to try and get your sons document for him.
To do this we will use a Linux Live cd to access the data and allow you to retrieve the document in question for him.


Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data:

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-520.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!

Posted Image

Posted Image

If you're doing this to recovery from a virus or malware infection, (or even if you're not), DO NOT copy executable files (.exe, .scr. etc...) if any of these files are infected you could be copying the corruption over to any new device/computer. just copy documents, pictures, music, or videos.

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#3
chrisg6152

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Hi Ron

Thank you SO MUCH for the expedient, and extremely helpful reply - success. The project has been retrieved and has now been saved in two separate locations! No tears at bedtime! PHEW!

Any ideas/suggestions as to the next step to try and get my PC started?

Thank you in anticipation.
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#4
rshaffer61

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The next option would be to do what is called a Repair Installation.
The problem is that the recovery disk for the Dell will not allow for this.
You will need to borrow a XP OEM installation disk from someone to do the Repair Installation.
The other option is to do a restore point as I'm sure the malware tech did have you set one during your work with them. This will take the system back to that point and hopefully correct the issue.
You can enter it through the recovery console by doing the following.

If you have Windows XP CD...

1. Boot from the CD.
2. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Select the repair or recover option by pressing R:

Posted Image

3. You'll find yourself at this screen:

Posted Image

4. Once you are at the Recovery Console you will be given at least one choice of Windows installations. Normally the choice you want is the number 1 choice. Click the number 1 key at the "top" of the keyboard and click enter.

NOTE: at this point your numbers to the right of your keyboard are turned off. If you insist on using these keys for your numbers remember to hit the Numbers Lock key before clicking a number over there or your computer will automatically reboot and you will have to wait through the previous steps to get back to the console.

5. You will be given a message asking for the administrator password. Unless someone or something has messed with your computer there is no password so you just click the Enter key.

6. This will bring you to a prompt that says:

C:\WINDOWS>

7. Type:

cd \

Press Enter

Note: between "cd" and "" there should be a "blank space" otherwise the command won't work

8. The prompt should now say:

C:\>

9. Type:

cd system~1\_resto~1

Press Enter.

Note: If it gives an error "Access Denied" while accessing the folder, follow the method below

Type: cd \

Press Enter

Type: cd windows\system32\config

Press Enter

Type: ren system system.bak

Press Enter

(note the spaces between ren and system, and then between system and system.bak)

Type: exit

Press Enter

now the computer should restart, then follow steps 1-6


10. Type:

dir

Press Enter

NOTE: When you hit enter it will list all the restore points folders like "rp1", "rp2" we have to see the last restore point to copy the file from a recent backup. If the restore points have more than one page then you have keep on hitting the key to view the last restore point folder.

NOTE: It is a good rule of thumb to choose the files from the restore point folder which the second to the last one.

11. Type:

cd rp{with the second to the last restore point number }

Press Enter

Example: cd rp9. if rp10 is the last restore point

12. Type:

cd snapshot

Press Enter.

NOTICE: Now the command prompt will look like this:

c:\system~1\resto~1\rp9\snapshot

Note : restore point 9 assumed for clarity of the content.


13. Type:

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

Press Enter

14. Type:

Exit

Press Enter.

Final note : If the above procedure won't solve the problem, repeat all steps, but in step 13 type:

copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

Alternatively, select different restore point.



If you don't have Windows CD...

Download Windows Recovery Console: http://www.thecomput...om/files/rc.iso
Download, and install free Imgburn: http://www.imgburn.c...hp?act=download
Using Imgburn, burn rc.iso to a CD.
Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

Follow steps 3 - 14.

Thanks to Broni for the instructions
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#5
chrisg6152

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Hi, and thanks again for trying to sort me out.

I tried the restore point method with mixed success.

I burnt off a Recovery Console disk but when I tried to type in the little squiggle (~) in the command line, I got what looked like a colon with vertical dashes rather than dots. So I tried that Access Denied route, and when I typed in the ren system system.bak command I was advised that a directory or file with the name system.bak already exists. Not to be put off, I proceeded to the next step, trying to find any restore points, but unfortunately there were no files rp1, rp2 etc.

I seem to remember seeing that when the malware issue was sorted, part of the tidy up programme had a command line clearrestorepoints.

With regards to not having an XP Disc - I do have the XP Upgrade disc (from Win98) that I used on an old computer - will that be any use to run a repair installation?

Thanks again for your assistance.
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#6
rshaffer61

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With regards to not having an XP Disc - I do have the XP Upgrade disc (from Win98) that I used on an old computer - will that be any use to run a repair installation?

Doubtful it will work as the point is you have to be able to boot with the disk.


I tried to type in the little squiggle (~) in the command line, I got what looked like a colon with vertical dashes rather than dots


Top right of keyboard right under your ESC key. To get it to work you have to hold the shift key down then click the key. :D
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#7
chrisg6152

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Hi again,

Found the squiggle! Stll no joy - I got to the same point again with no rp1 etc.

I have been in contact with the representative who dealt with the malware issue to establish if any restore points were left and await his reply.

In the meantime I shall canvas people I know to see if they have XP Discs that I could borrow.

I will post when I get one! (may be a short while - most people sem to have a partition on the HDD these days)
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#8
rshaffer61

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Ok it sounds like the malware tech set a restore point but it is the only one there. That is why you can't restore back to anything right now.
The next option would be a Repair Installation but this does mean you will need a OEM XP installation disk to do it.
You will have to borrow one from someone but it has to be the same version as you have Home, Media or Pro and the same SP you have installed.

Once you have that then I will post the instructions for doing the Repair Installation :D
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#9
chrisg6152

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Please see the reply I received below.

There should be a restore point created Feb 23rd when we did the clean up process and ERUNT registry backup on Feb 22nd when you ran Combofix and ERUNT backup when we first started.

Not sure if these will be of any use - ERUNT and Combofix aren't accessible.

Still looking for an XP Disc.
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#10
rshaffer61

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Are there any RP's showing at all when you do step 10 above?
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#11
chrisg6152

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Hi

No RPs unfortunately but I have managed to get hold of the correct XP Disc to use.

Just to confirm - a repair installtion wil leave all user accounts intact and all data files, e-mails etc unaffected?

If so, I think we are ready to proceed.

Many thanks
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#12
rshaffer61

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Just to confirm - a repair installtion wil leave all user accounts intact and all data files, e-mails etc unaffected?

Correct. In 99 out of 100 Repair Installations everything is left intact. In that rare 1 it is normally because of something other then a OS issue that causes the loss of data.


Repair Installation Instructions

· Insert your Windows XP CD in your CD-ROM and then Restart your computer.

· At the first post screen start tapping the Del key to enter System Bios
· Find the Advance Options or Boot Sequence screen.
· You will need to change the boot sequence so that the CDrom is first and the HD is second.
· Press F10 to Save and Exit and then press Enter to accept.
· The system will now reboot
· When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
· When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER
· To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
· At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed. DO NOT SELECT THIS OPTION.

· On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
· Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected and highlighted in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP.
· Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

You can also go HERE
to read a step by step tutorial with screenshots.
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#13
chrisg6152

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Hi

Not good news from this end? :D I have tried running the XP Repair Installation and everything appears to go OK until it tries to restart after saving the configuration. The PC behaves in exactly the same way.

It tries to start but all I get is a blank screen, or if I try Safe Mode, it freezes on the line as described in post #1

Any suggestions - could it possibly be a malware problem that wasn't picked up with AVG Rescue?

Your thoughts greatly appreciated
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#14
rshaffer61

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Surprising I found some info on the error you are getting.

drvmcdb.sys file information

The process Device Driver belongs to the software Simple Backup for My Pictures or Sonic DLA or Sonic Backup MyPC or drvmcdb or HP DLA or Sonic Backup MyPC Deluxe or IBM DLA or Stomp Backup MyPC or Sonic Backup MyPC Special or Roxio DLA or Roxio Drag-to-Disc by VERITAS Software, Inc (www.veritas.com) or Sonic Solutions (www.sonic.com).


Do you have something like Roxio,Sonic, My PC or Veritas [is part of symantec]?
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#15
chrisg6152

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Hi

I don't recall having Roxio programs, but looking at the program files on my HDD, I do have a Roxio folder with various DLA and Record Now folders inside. It's not a program I use but I think it may have come pre-installed when I bought the PC.

As for MyPC and Veritas - No.
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