So, Firefox was running somewhat erratically (sporadic hiccups/network timeouts/slow startup), so I foolishly did two things at once.
I downloaded regrun and ran its virus scanner and hastily deleted suspicious files (6 of them). To confound the issue, I, noticing some SVCHOST process taking up a lot of cpu load, proceeded to disable and stop "Task Scheduler" and "Help and Support" on services.
Around this time, while deleting the files from virus scanner and disabling the services, the 60 second shutdown warning displayed and proceeded to reboot. On the first reboot, an error page was displayed, noting that some processes could not be started.
Although the rest of bootup was normal, when I finally got to desktop, I realized that none of the local services (those that would have Username or System under the User Name tab on task manager) was running except system idle process. Only ctfmon, mmc, explorer, lsass, services, winlogon, crss, smss, system are running on bootup. None of SVCHOST processes were running, not surprisingly.
On services (accessed by run ->services.msc) , everything but "event log" and "plug and play" did not run, although many of these are set to automatic. When I attempt to manually start some of these (such as system restore) I encounter the error 1068: the dependency service or gropu failed to start. Right click-properties on these services do not work at all (does not respond).
Doing the same things on safe mode yields identical results.
Thank you for reading; I hope I can get this resolved.
Edited by shoenberg3, 26 July 2009 - 06:33 PM.