Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:20 PM
Hello, I hate to say it but this is the first of several questions I will likely be asking here at bleepingcomputer.com before all is said and done. I like to think I am fairly computer savvy, and while I have used this forum as a reference in the past I have never felt so far gone that I needed to actually log in and ask a question-- until now. I am running Windows Vista SP2 on an Acer Aspire 5630 laptop, using Microsoft Security Essentials as my main antivirus program.
I have a problem in my system, and I am not sure yet whether it is virus/malware-related or if I have just goofed the regsitry or some other key part of my OS to the point that I can't get back to a decent boot. Up until a day or two ago, my computer would only boot properly into safe mode, without crashing less than ten minutes after booting up. I elected to set my Boot Configuration to boot with bootlogging enabled and (foolishly, i now fear) checked the box to make my boot config "permanent." Now I know it isn't actually permanent, only persistent until I can get in there to change the configuration. But the problem is, my system will not boot in this mode. I get the screen that informs me that I will be booting in safe mode w/networking and that bootlogging is enabled (i thought this would help me gain insight into what was crashing my system) and then I get the ol' BSOD.
System Repair from a Vista Recovery CD cannot fix the errors in my system, and chkdsk will not run from the X:\ command prompt that I can open in the advanced options. My question is this: Is there a way for me to change the boot configuration in order to boot into regular Safe Mode from the command line? At this point, I just want to get my data off of my E:\ partition before reinstalling Vista from scratch using the Acer eRecover DVDs I made when the computer was bought. I could do this now, of course, but I would lose tons of important personal data and files, including backups of all settings and installed programs.
I have tried getting into my system with the Avira Recovery System boot CD, but it hangs up after the virus scan runs. All the virus scan shows is one single .ico file in my "Icons" folder (i have lots and lots of custom icons, i desgin and collect them) which is apparently actually a Trojan Horse of some sort (sorry, I didn't write the file name down but I can run the scan again if necessary.)
I have also tried Ultimate Boot CD ver 5.0 but I am afraid it is a bit over my head and I can't seem to get access to anything on my system using its myriad options.
There are plenty of other strange things happening inside windows that I will happily screen shot and ask questions about, should I be able to get back into my system. Just in case some of them might ring a bell for users/techs here at the site, I'll say that my main user profile has TWO logins to click on when at the "Switch User" login screen. Two user account pictures, two identical user names and passwords, and the same sets of privileges assigned to each. It doesn't seem to make a difference which I log in with. Also-- there seems to be several sets of user folders in the "My Computer" section of my system, which normally don't even exist other than inside the C:\Users\username folder. Also, in the "My Computer" folder, there are several (anywhere from 9 to 27, depending on the day) mysterious "blank" files with a simple white-page default file icon and no name. They can be selected with one click of the mouse, but they cannot be clicked on, named or renamed, moved, deleted, or otherwise altered, and there is no information available in the Details plane about them. I can't even tell how large they are.
Some of my problems seem to be related to a failed install of ZoneAlarm that I have had considerable trouble getting rid of, but I'm just not sure at this point if that is the main cause or just one of them.
tl;dr - How do I change the boot configuration from the command line inside the Vista System Recovery Options? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!