I took on a basket case for a friend. Machine hadnt booted for months. I got it running in normal mode after it churned for 2 hours and found outdated Norton Internet security and AVG running. Unable to uninstall them using uninstall, so got in registry and deleted all mentions of AVG, Norton and Symantec. Managed to download and install Windows updates and SP 3 for XP as well as IE 8. Tried to install Microsoft security essentials but it won't install. Ran Malware bytes which found about 15 threats which I let it delete. I then installed while online Avast! and it seems to run.Tried to install Word viewer, got error message, then ran Malwarebytes again, one more threat found. Now only boots in safe mode with networking, so tried installingword viewer again, same error (install failed). IE now won't start.
I think I must have accidentally deleted something I need while going through registry deleting Norton stuff. I tried System File Checker but it wanted original install CD to proceed and I don't have it.
I have tried running Combofix in safe mode without letting it fix anything just for info, but Combofix won't get past the opening autoscan screen. I tried letting it run for two hours, but no scanning takes place.
Any hope other than complete system restore and loss of owner's data?