Startup was fine and remains that way. It was logging in that wasn't so peachy. Logging in normally just wasn't possible, safe mode was the only option. Sometime during the series of system restores, I regained the ability to log in normally. The functionality problems that follow were discovered before logging in normally became a problem and were all still there after being able to log in again.
Internet Explorer only starts in safe mode and its variations. In a regular boot-up it will open and perpetually load. However, it now has a minor quirk when working right in safe mode. Many icons that appear in the space before web addresses have been switched around.
Firefox is one of the few functional programs I have left, the others freeze like Internet Explorer. My antivirus, Windows Live OneCare can no longer start properly. It will load, then a message containing "Windows Live Onecare service is not working or has been stopped. To correct this problem, try restarting your computer. If the problem continues, click below to get help." Restarting the computer and following the instructions from the link below have yielded no results.
Attempts to uninstall programs freeze, with messages telling me to "wait until the current uninstall finishes before (I) continue uninstalling programs" appearing and allowing further browsing of the program list but freezing the start menu. I can bring up the start menu and minimize it again, but I cannot interact with it otherwise.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool and My Vaio's pre-programmed C Drive checker both find no abnormalities.
A program I have never seen before, presumably because it usually runs in the background has appeared in Task Manager, frozen. It's called AutoLauncherWLASU and I think its frozen state may be linked to certain programs' inability to run.
When the problems began, my firewall was mysteriously turned off. Thankfully, I was able to turn it back on in safe mode. Attempts to bring up security settings in any mode but safe mode cause the start menu to freeze and bring up no new windows,
The online scan available from Microsoft's official site could not start. It suggested checking firewall settings, but I tried this before I realized the firewall was off and again after I turned it back on.
And System Restore, which has saved me a few times in the past, had no effect on the problem whatsoever, even when reverting to a date months before the problem began.
At this point, I'm considering using my computer's system of reverting to the "fresh-out-of-the-box" state with only Vista and few starter programs on it (accessed by pressing F10 while starting up, just for reference if it helps you at all). However, with the C Drive scan returning no reports of problems I worry that doing this will set my computer back to the beginning... with all of these problems. If anyone knows if this method will work or knows a safer/easier/guaranteed method or one that will let me retain more than just the factory programs, I would love some confirmation/advice.
Yes, I am fully prepared to lose all of my files and downloaded programs. If it ends my OneCare subscription, oh well.
Edited by Nitpickery, 24 January 2010 - 03:44 PM.