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Cannot start XP


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#1
janetp721

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Hello. The computer in question is a Dell Dimension 2400 series with Windows XP Home Edition. My problems all started when I installed an HP Photosmart printer/copier/scanner/fax to the second computer in my home network. A popup appeared that said it had to get through the firewall and I said OK. Everything came in from the Internet and it only took a few days for the entire computer to grind to a halt. When the computer was turned on, the black screen appeared and then the next blue screen saying that XP was starting up. That's where it sat forever. We took the computer to the Geek Squad at Best Buy and they 1) Performed data backup and recovery 2) Installed memory/overdrive (we bought another 256K of memory) 3) Installed operating system 4) Cleaned out temporary files, ran scandisk and defrag, and cleaned inside of machine.

We got it home and even before we reinstalled any software, the computer seemed very slow. When I clicked on Start it might take 20 seconds or so for the popup to appear. And so on with the selections on the popup. This may or may not mean anything.

I installed Microsoft Office, set up the printer and a couple other non-Internet software programs and then tried to install Norton AntiVirus from the CD. Norton can't be activated without going to the Internet to do so. So I got the Internet back running on the network and before I could get to the Norton site to activate, the computer was completely infected again and within minutes again ground to a halt.

I have tried the F8 during startup to do things at the command prompt. Sometimes I can't even get the command prompt. Other times I do. Using this Safe Mode with Command Prompt I have done a restore to the point of the Geek Squad recovery and that seemed to provide me some flexibility to fix this. However, today I wanted to do that restore again to follow your Geeks To Go Malware Removal process but now that Geek Squad restore point is no longer showing up on the list.

Without a computer that works to some extent I don't know how to get back to a point I can actually try to fix the problems.

Let me say that I am not very skilled at PC work nor do I understand all the technical concepts but I am good at following instructions.

I am still very confused about the apparent Catch 22 where I have to be on the Internet before I can activate and/or install Anti-Virus or Spyware but as soon as I get on the Internet the bad stuff flows in and I'm dead in the water. Also, if I EVER get this computer working, I am fearful of trying the HP install again. I realize now that I should create a recovery point before that install which I will do but I would appreciate any help to get this computer back to the land of the living.

Janet
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#2
gerryf

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That is a remarkable story...yes, you can get infected quickly, but that quickly?

Seems hard to believe unless there was something already on there.

Malware is theother forum but let's do a little emergency triage....

On your working computer, download the following

http://www.sysintern...ssExplorer.html

Put it on a floppy then uUnzip, run it on the bad computer, then go to FILE > SAVE AS, and save the file to the desktop

copy and paste here, or attach it.
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#3
janetp721

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Thank you for the super quick response. I warned you that I was not at the top of the PC game! I did the download to a floppy but now I don't know how to run it on the bad computer since that computer won't start. Intuitively I started up in safe mode with command prompt. Was that right? From there I don't know how to execute the rest of your suggestions. Sorry to be so thick.
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#4
gerryf

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safe mode, but NOT safe mode with command prompt
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#5
janetp721

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OK. I started up in Safe Mode and when I had the choice I selected the Owner, not the Administrator. Now I'm in Safe Mode (black screen with "Safe Mode" in all four corners). I don't know how to do commands or execute stuff on this black screen. Can you again assist?
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#6
gerryf

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wrong choice


Posted Image

choose the one selected
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#7
janetp721

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That is what I selected. Safe Mode just like your screen print.
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#8
janetp721

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I don't want you to think I'm rushing the response but I wanted to let you know that my current situation is as stated in previous replies. I am in Safe Mode - a black screen with Safe Mode in the four corners. From there I don't know how to run the program on the floppy or then do a file save as to, I suppose, another floppy to take to my working computer to attach to this chain. Thanks for all the help.
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#9
gerryf

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Greetings Janet.

I was away for the past week. Given the above two posts, I would say that something very serious happened to your windows shell.

Please check to see if you have a windows disk that came with that machine....I have seen that model, but do not recall if it was a recovery cd, or a dell-specific oem copy of windows xp.

Furthermore, you have a second PC, obviously. Can you tell me what operating system it uses?

When your pc tech did a back up, did they give you the data on a cd, or did they back it up to a drive, reinstall windows, then put the data back on the drive?
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#10
janetp721

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Welcome back, Gerry.

To answer your questions:

The CD we got with the Dell Computer is for Windows XP Home Edition including service pack 1a and is issued by Dell for distribution only with a new Dell computer. When I try to start up with this CD I do have a choice of a recovery (I tried it and it didn't work) or a reinstall (also tried this and it didn't work either).

On my second PC (this, the working one) I have Windows XP Professional. This is also a Dell Dimension but model 4550 and about a year older than the problem computer. The working computer was set up from scratch by my company's LAN guys for me to work at home on occasion.

When Geek Squad did the backup they copied the files onto a CD. They reinstalled Windows using the Dell CD I told you about above and a series of other Dell software from the original CDs. They did not put the copied files back on the computer. We cherry picked some of the files on the CD and put them back on the C drive before I hooked up to the Internet and crashed again. The files were pretty innocuous. All .doc files and Kodak pictures - nothing else.

I hope this gives you something to go on.

Thanks again for your attention.

Janet
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