They are running Vista Basic (pre-installed with purchase) on a Dell Inspiron 1525 and there were no recovery disks included with their purchase. I had installed MalwareBytes, CCleaner and Spybot on their unit when purchased, which they ran on a regular basis, and were pretty good at keeping up with it.
Thanks to this amazing site, we managed to bring most of it back from it's condition by using RKill and unhide (downloaded on USB from my clean laptop). It seemed to be successful, as the desktop icons mostly came back, and the above anti-virus, cleaning programs were run several times at this point and during rkill. At one point on his own, my father tried a restore point through safe mode, as there was still a couple of crazy things (for one, Google toolbar pop-up installation he couldn't get rid of). I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not, but it was done.
When the laptop is fired up now in a normal manner, the black and white Windows Error Recovery Screen comes up, then a few seconds later, an sort of abnormal large looking "Please Wait" starts and circles, then it goes into the dreaded 'Other User' Screen that looks fake. If you press Enter then, another bogus screen comes up that says User Name and Password. No matter what, there is no way in getting past this. These fake screens look 'different' and the text is large and blurry. I'm not sure what particular name this virus may have or if it's an off-shoot of another one.
The bottom line is:
-Dell will ONLY send recovery disks within the U.S. (We're in Canada)
-F8 Safemode attempts (any and EVERY option on that page) always takes us back to the bogus User Name Screen.
-Tried burning a credible (?) recovery CD - boot disk for Vista and booting from BIOS, placing the CD/DVD option first..it was looking promising until I eventually got a pop-up message saying it wasn't compatible. It was the right version...maybe a poorer choice website.
I'm at my wits end with this nasty 'User name' thing that nothing, but nothing can get past. Perhaps I have a good use for the hammer in our toolbox now.
As I mentioned, I'm not really that computer savvy, but can take some direction, even though I'm still learning computer-speak. Any help is sincerely appreciated.
ADDED: I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I just tried various F keys upon turning the beast on. I came into:
"EDIT BOOT OPTIONS"
Edit Windows boot options for: Windows Vista
Hard Disk: 80
[ /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN IN/MINT
Edited by eyerin100, 19 June 2012 - 10:12 AM.