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(re)activate virus damaged win xp home


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#1 Michael Carter

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:28 AM

I have a Dell Dimension 3100 on my desk. After being infected with malware it would not start properly in full or safe mode, hanging before the keyboard or mouse is recognised.

I removed the HD, scanned with AVG from a clean computer, quarantined about 120 files identified as nasty, and returned it to the Dell box. It still wouldn't start, so I ran a repair install with a Win XPHome SP3 CD. Now it will sort of start in safe mode, but there is a message saying I cannot log in without activating Windows, which needs to be done in full mode. In full mode it hangs before explorer.exe has loaded, the mouse and keyboard are alive, but ctrl alt del does nothing, so nothing can be started.

Is it possible to activate windows in safe mode, or by some other means?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 07:18 AM

FWIW:

a. IMO...running a scan for malware by using a second system...has no impact on registry items affected by malware. Windows will not allow registry entries to be removed unless the registry is being used by the system employed, ditto for system files.

b. Doing a repair install...is not a useful strategy for dealing with an infected system. Such may be useful when the system is clean, not before.

Louis

#3 Michael Carter

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:09 AM

Thanks for the thoughts Louis.

a. IMO...running a scan for malware by using a second system...has no impact on registry items affected by malware. Windows will not allow registry entries to be removed unless the registry is being used by the system employed, ditto for system files.

You make a fair point here, but I wanted to do something to get the system started. My intention was simply to nobble the malware executables.

b. Doing a repair install...is not a useful strategy for dealing with an infected system. Such may be useful when the system is clean, not before.

From my OP the keyboard and mouse (bog standard USB) were not recognised by Windows on startup. Again, my intention was simply to fix that problem, so that I could run scans on the local machine in safe mode. And that problem is now fixed. I can use the KB and mouse, but Windows won't let me log in.

So my question remains: How do I activate Windows on this damaged system?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:25 AM

<<Is it possible to activate windows in safe mode, or by some other means?>>

That sounds like a question for Dell. Dell is responsible for your activation/installation methods for that system.

I've never tried to activate a system in safe mode...but it seems that activation requires a telephone or Internet access...and a system where user has use of a keyboard, monitor, and a Windows install.

There are only two procedures that I'm aware of...telephonically and/or online.

If you cannot do either of those, I'd say that a clean install would be the obvious next thing to try.

Relevant Links

Louis

#5 Michael Carter

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:20 PM

OK, it was my fault. I used a generic Win XP Home CD slipstreamed with SP3, to save time.

When I went back and used the Dell CD (with only SP2) there was no problem with activation.

I have now run a six month old version malwarebytes in safe mode, but I can't access the Internet to update it.

If I type ipconfig /all at the command prompt, I just get:

C:\Documents and Settings\Shane and Susana>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration


C:\Documents and Settings\Shane and Susana>


I have tried removing and adding back networking services, but it makes no difference.

Should I start a new thread in a security forum, as this has now become a malware damage issue?

#6 hamluis

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:06 AM

Well...if it were me, I'd start a new thread in the http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum103.html '>Am I Infected Forum.

The fact that Internet access is blocked/denied...could still indicate the presence of malware or changed settings due to mawlare. IMO, it's best to eliminate that possibility in the appropriate malware forum...before attempting to diagnose other possiblities which may contribute to then-existent problems.

Louis

#7 Michael Carter

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:53 PM

Thanks Louis. This is the new thread:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic405158.html

MCart




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