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Continuous reboot before windows xp loads, unable to enter safe mode.


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#1 guitardude1

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:47 PM

Hello everyone,

Recently my computer was infected with some malware. I used cCleaner, Ad-aware, spybot sd pro, and malwarebytes antimalware to get rid of it. after removing what i thought to be all of them, i found that i had also picked up the providefeed and thefeedwater browser redirect. i followed some steps from a reply to another poster who was having the same issue. i got super antispyware and modified the scan peramiters. i then ran msconfig and checked the safe mode box under boot.ini. I then found that my computer was unable to boot properly and after showing the windows xp logo and loading bar it would reboot again. I have already tried booting from disk by pressing f2 on startup and setting cd drive to first boot device. i have also tried taking out the coin sized battery that controols the date and saving of some settings for about 60 seconds. i would really rather not loose all my data on my hard drive as much of it is not replacable. My computer is a gateway desktop computer. my OS is windows xp media center edition.

thank you for your help and please reply.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:24 AM

i followed some steps from a reply to another poster who was having the same issue.

You should not be following specific instructions provided to someone else. Those instructions were most likely given under the guidance of a trained staff helper to fix that particular member's problems, NOT YOURS after careful evaluation of the malware involved. Before taking any action, the helper must investigate the nature of the infection and then formulate a fix for the victim. Although your problem may be similar, the solution could be different based on the kind of hardware, software, system requirements, etc. and the presence of other malware. Using someone else's fix instructions could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system.

i then ran msconfig and checked the safe mode box under boot.ini. I then found that my computer was unable to boot properly

Using MSConfig to access (force) safe mode with the /Safe boot option when there is malware on your system could have disastrous results and render your computer unbootable. The Safeboot option modifies the Boot.ini file by adding the /safeboot:minimal argument to your operating systems startup line. Some types of malware can delete or alter the safeboot key in the registry resulting in the inability to reboot fully into safe mode or back to normal mode. When this occurs, you may be locked in a continuous reboot loop afterwards where you cannot get back to MSConfig and undo your selection until the /safeboot argument is removed from the boot.ini. See Booting into Safe Mode safely.

If you cannot bootup or logon in normal or safe mode, then your options are limited.

...If a situation like this has happened to you it is possible to fix this problem by renaming your boot.ini file. The first step would be to use a boot disk to start your computer. If your computer does not have a floppy disk, then you can typically boot off the Windows CD that came with your computer in order to access the Windows Recovery Console...Once booted to a command prompt, you would simply rename your C:\Boot.ini file to another name like C:\Boot.ini.bak. The command to rename the file at the command prompt is:

ren C:\Boot.ini Boot.ini.bak

Once the file is renamed, you can then remove the boot disk and reboot your computer to get back to normal mode. When booting up after the rename, do not be surprised if you see an error stating that you do not have a valid Boot.ini file. When you get back to normal Windows mode, you can then rename C:\Boot.ini.bak to C:\Boot.ini file and run Msconfig again to remove the /safeboot flag...

Problems that can occur by forcing Safe Mode

If you don't have your XP CD you can download a Recovery Console ISO file and burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD which will startup the Recovery Console for troubleshooting and fixing purposes. This is especially useful for those with OEM systems with factory restore partitions or disks but no original installation CD. Also read Creating A Windows XP Recovery Console CD Image.

Other options to consider:Another option is to create a Bootable CD:You can try doing a "Repair Install with Recovery Console". The Recovery Console is a Windows utility that provides a DOS-like command line from which you can run some repair programs. If you have a Microsoft Windows CD-ROM, you can get to the Recovery Console by booting from that CD and pressing any key when you told to 'Press any key to boot from CD'. At the 'Welcome to Setup' screen, press r for Repair.If you don't have your XP CD you can download an ISO of the Recovery Console files:Burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD which will startup the Recovery Console for troubleshooting and fixing purposes. This is especially useful for those with OEM systems with factory restore partitions or disks but no original installation CD. If you are not sure how to burn an image, please read How to write a CD/DVD image or ISO and Creating A Windows XP Recovery Console CD Image.

Note: If you're using an IBM, Sony, HP, Compaq, Toshiba, Gateway or Dell machine, you may not have an original XP CD Disk. By policy Microsoft no longer allows OEM manufactures to include the original Windows XP CD-ROM on computers sold with Windows preinstalled. Instead, most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition for performing a clean "factory restore" that will reformat your hard drive, remove all data and restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. Also be sure to read Technology Advisory Recovery Media. If you lost or misplaced your recover disks, contact and advise the manufacturer. In many cases they will send replacements as part of their support..
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#3 guitardude1

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:39 PM

hey, thank you so much for your help.
i got my computer up and running again.
i found the boot.ini.bak and changed it back to boot.ini
the only thing is when i ran msconfig, there was no boot.ini tab anymore. i don't want to start all over again, so is there a way to get this tab back or modify the file to uncheck the safe mode option?

#4 quietman7

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:53 PM

Boot.ini tab is missing in MSCONFIG

CAUTION: This solution involves making changes in the registry. Always back up your registry before making any changes. If you are not familiar with working in the registry, then you should NOT attempt to make any changes on your own. Improper changes to the registry could adversely affect your computer and render it inoperable. ERUNT is an excellent free tool that allows you to to take a snapshot (backup) of your registry before making changes and restore it when needed.
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