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XP virus infestation - Safe Mode not working


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#1 tom_oftheplains

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:26 AM

Hey, folks. I've been an avid reader of this site for a while now and always find some helpful information regarding the removal of viruses. But now I'm really stuck.

I'm running with Windows XP, SP3.
A while ago, I got this virus that took over my wallpaper that said spyware would "Break my life". A screenshot of a similar virus is here:
http://www.computercourage.com/2009/06/16/...reak-your-life/

Anyway, I did all the usual stuff and removed it with my malware and avg tools. Then the thing came back with a vengeance, and I wasn't able to get anything to run. Msconfig, regedit, any program I double clicked to start once booting up my computer wouldn't work. It was the usual spyware stuff that claims your system is infected, and says "click here" to solve the problem. Which, obviously, leads to the REAL virus. Only problem is, I can't click on anything else, either, because the virus contains another popup that claims the .exe file of whatever you're trying to open is corrupted.

So I tried going into safe mode to run additional scans. The computer wouldn't boot into safe mode at all. It would start to, then come back to the boot screen and say basically "sorry for the inconvenience, but we were unable to boot into safe mode". Then I'd be given a choice of whether to boot into safe mode again, use last known good config, or boot Windows normally.

Seeing that booting into safe mode put me in this neverending loop, I decided to use last known good configuration. As the computer was booting up, I was able to finally get into the start menu and get msconfig to show up before the virus hijacked my wallpaper again and everything stopped working.

I went into the boot.ini tab and selected safe boot. Now, the problem is worse.

When the computer tries to automatically boot into safe mode, I get a BSOD that flashes for an instant, then I'm presented with the boot options as I was before: safe mode, safe mode with networking, last known good, etc. If I select safe mode, I'm once again in the neverending loop that won't boot up the computer. If I go with normal boot, or last known good, I get the BSOD and am sent to boot options once again.

Obviously, this is pretty frustrating as I'm used to getting rid of viruses with a simple safe mode scan. But now that I can't even boot into safe mode, and the msconfig setup is set to go into safe mode automatically, I don't know what to do. I'm running the diagnostic utility, but I don't know what good that will do. Any advice is appreciated.

Edit: Moved topic from XP to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:21 PM

Go to the very bottom of this page:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-start-windows-in-safe-mode/
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

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#3 tom_oftheplains

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:01 AM

Thanks, Garmanma. The bottom of that tutorial completely described my problem. Since I couldn't get into safe mode or get the computer to boot up at all after changing the boot.ini file, I just took it in to a repair center. I'm not sure where my boot cd's are, so hopefully they'll be able to run an anti-virus suite from an external drive. At least, that's the best I can hope for.

#4 garmanma

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:01 PM

Sorry it ended that way
Just remember from now on, if you suspect you're infected do not use safe boot
Good luck
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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