Hello everyone. First time posting here. I have a major issue here which I'm pretty sure is unique. The computer not starting in Normal mode is just one of many symptoms. First before describing the problem, a little back story that may help I posted on another site.
This is for a computer running Windows XP SP 3
This is kind of silly but maybe this will illustrate what I'm dealing with. My mother's business computer was giving her problems with the software out of no where. She has Norton 360 on this computer and it was working just fine, but supposedly quarantined some of her programs. Later on she clicked something like "download AOL 10.0". This thing screwed up her computer. Now here is where things get dicey:
She called some company to help her fix it, because it popped up with a "tech support" suggestion. I'm pretty sure it is from urtechies.com or an alleged Aol affiliate and they charged her $250 to fix this new issue.
They dialed into her computer at some point and had her on the phone. I already think this is a scam, but she recently told me they had her on the phone, while dialed in, and made her type in her AOL password to make sure stuff worked. This of course set off alarm bells. The computer doesn't work as well as it did a week ago.
At the end of the day, the computer is experiencing various problems.
-Malware Bytes crashes when I run it from a flash drive. I can not open Chrome, IE just started working.
-The computer can only be started in safe mode. Trying to let it boot normally, it gets stuck on the splash screen. Booting from Last Known Config is also a crash.
-Norton will do a full scan but takes forever to start, sometimes won't even run. Norton Recovery will not run.
-I can not run System Restore. I get a "System Restore is not able to protect your computer. Please restart your computer and run System Restore again." dialogue box.
-If I try to right click and run it as an admin I get an error box saying the service can not be run in Safe Mode
-I can't load services.msc without an eventual crash of the computer, or sometimes Microsoft Management Console (which crashes with malware bytes too).
-trying to launch System Restore through msconfig gives me the same error as doing it through Start Menu. Trying to change the start up services I get an error that I am denied access
Stuff I've done to fix some symptoms:
1.) IE works a bit on this computer. I was able to download Malware Bytes and it is currently running but hasn't found anything in 1 hour, 15 minutes.
2.) I've got System Restore to work partially. When I load it there are no restore points. I can't access System Restore settings either. The fix I used must be done every time I re-log into an account.
I hope this isn't too confusing and I tried to be extremely thorough. I have no clue what these people did to her computer so I'm just going off primarily what I've gotten down to in the last few hours. Thank you all in advance.