My computer started acting strange this morning. When I booted up, neither the ZoneAlarm nor AVG icons appeared in the system tray, even though the processes were running. I rebooted, and ZoneAlarm icon came up, but still no AVG. My child's game (non-internet) wouldn't run, either, saying files were missing. So I updated and ran Malware Bytes, which came back clean. Spybot found some problems that it fixed, except for one, which it said I needed to reboot in order to remove. I have never been able to reboot successfully since, and now the computer can't find my c: drive.
I booted to Linux Puppy from a cd, and it sees the drive fine. I was able to copy all my important files off, at least, to an external drive. Ran Seagates hard drive diagnostic tools (both the short and long tests), and it said the hard drive was fine, so I really think this is a virus of some sort.
Can't do anything from the c: prompt, but I can move files around on the drive by booting to Linux Puppy. I tried copying files per a Microsoft article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q307545
because initially I was getting Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM. So I followed their steps, and now when I boot from my XP cd and go to the recovery console, then do a dir on the c: drive, it says "There is no floppy disk or CD in the drive."
If I try to boot normally or into safe mode, I get the BSOD.
I have had success with combofix in the past, and am wondering if there is any way to run it from a CD? Any other thoughts on how to save my computer? I really don't want to have to format and reinstall everything if I don't have to.