US Uh Oh! Another "computer Reboots" Problem... - Am I infected? What do I do?

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Uh Oh! Another "computer Reboots" Problem...


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#1 suzbwise

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:11 AM

Hello! I have been searching for hours - first on the 'net, now on this site - I chose to post here, because you seem to be the *best*! I hope you can help me, too...

First, my son's PC kept rebooting. (He recently got a sinlge player game so he hasn't been online for weeks.) I found many places that indicated overheating. We found a problem with one of the fans, so I replaced it. Still rebooting. We couldn't go into SAFE mode, either. We booted from the XP CD and could only go to Recovery Console. Got an error message with DIR (about 'directory enumeration') - not good. Since he has many files (large ones that wouldn't fit on CDs - he would transfer them to my PC to use the DVD burner) - we decided to install his drive as a slave in my PC to save his files.

Second, started backing up files to DVD - so far, so good at this point. Got 4 DVDs done (out of 10) - then shut down my PC for the night. Big mistake! Now my PC won't boot at all. :thumbsup: I get the 'hp' startup logo then blank - it seems to read the HD(s) for a long time, try the floppy, then blank. f8 doesn't work.

So - advice? I have a spare (new) HD available - my plan (I'm open to suggestions!) is to install the new HD, winXP, DVD s/w then connect one of the bad HDs as a slave to backup the files. (We have many things backed up already, but there are many things I'd like to retain.) I also have McAfee VirusScan 10 (which was on both machines, so I didn't think we had a virus, etc.) is there's a different way to scan/fix - ??

I'm willing to reformat and reinstall to the new HD a *second* time (assuming it will get 'infected'), then use the second HD as a slave, and repeat - backup, scan, whatever. Am I backing up a problem??? I don't know how to determine if this is a virus, worm, trojan, etc... We plan to backup video and photos, mostly - although need to grab my latest Outlook.pst.

Here are some details - let me know if you need more info:

Son's PC - Dell 4550; my PC - HP Pavilion 9790;
Win XP Home, McAfee VirusScan 10 (both)

THANKS for your time and patience!

- Suzanne.

PS - since my PC is down, I'm using anoher one - have to use my Yahoo email - I will also get the Yahoo IM going (suzbwise) - what a mess! Thanks, again.

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#2 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:08 AM

Welcome to BC! :thumbsup:

Well, let's see. Where to begin?

First, remove the offending hard drive (slave) from what used to be your working computer. Then try to reboot that computer into safe mode. If successful, use system restore to set things back the way they were before. More info on this can be found HERE.

If not successful, then try to boot into safe mode w/command prompt. You can run system restore from there.
~~~~~~~~~
How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP
Restart your computer, and then press F8 during the initial startup to start your computer in Safe Mode with a command prompt. Then follow the instructions found HERE.
~~~~~~~~~

Let us know how you make out.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#3 suzbwise

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:40 AM

Dear Albert Frankenstein -

Thank you for your prompt post! I will try your suggestion of disconnecting the offending drive and (hopefully) I'll be able to restore my own HD... I will let you know how that turns out.

Just so you know, I see your link for making a contribution using PayPal. In searching this site, I found so many helpful posts by you, I intend to make a contribution (regardless of what happens in my case. Things are a little busy for me at the moment, though!) I appreciate your knowledge and attention to the forum - so THANKS!

- Suzanne.

#4 suzbwise

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 12:32 PM

Hello again -

Here's where we stand -

I disconnected the slave drive; tried to boot my PC - same problem ('hp' logo then blank screen) - f8 still does not work. I was able to get into setup - changed the boot order to start with the CD; used the Win XP (home) CD - I had hope when it said 'starting windows' at the bottom of the blue screen - alas - it went to the 'other' options:

<enter> to set up XP
R for recovery console
f3 to quit

Per one of your links: " Windows XP includes the System Restore tool, but you cannot start the System Restore tool from a Recovery Console prompt." It says to use f8 and go to safe mode. What now? (f8 doesn't work!)

I see a few commands on recovery console - FIXMBR, for example - do I risk losing my data? I'm willing to go the long way (if I have to)... I look forward to new suggestions!

- Suzanne.

#5 suzbwise

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 01:17 PM

More things I'm considering:

This link Computer stops responding with a black screen when you start Windows XP says to "Create a Windows XP boot disk to start the computer" and "If you can start the computer from the boot disk without receiving an error message, the damage is limited to the master boot record, the boot sector, or the NTLDR file."

Now I have to hunt down a working computer with a floppy drive! Both PCs that are down have floppy drives, but I cannot get to windows to make the disk. The other computers I have are newer and have no floppy drives. Ouch.

So, is there a way to do the same thing on a CD? I can't seem to find that (going in circles)...

Also, I am confused about the above article. It says if you can boot with the floppy, backup everything and then scan for viruses before repairing with recovery console - but an alternate way to repair is to use the Win XP setup - do I need to be as cautious using that??? (can I safely attempt the repair there without risking the data, without scanning for viruses first?)

Thanks again...

- Suzanne.

#6 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:44 PM

Create a Windows XP boot disk to start the computer

This is done when your computer is working. It can be done from another computer, theoritically, but it probably won't work.

I have a spare (new) HD available

Let's put it to work! I think your original plan is a good. Take out your old hard drive, use this spare hard drive to install Windows XP. Then install one of the other hard drives as a slave and start unloading the data. Then repeat for the last hard drive.

Once you have burned all of your data to your DVDs, then it is time to clean up the hard drives by following this regime:
~~~~~
Run Killdisk to delete everything including any infections. This is a free progam and can be downloaded HERE. Put the program on a floppy disk or a CD.

Then run a DOS disk, such as a Windows 98 start up disk, when the computer boots to DOS, type "C:" (without the quotes), push ENTER. Then type "fdisk" (without the quotes), push ENTER, then just push ENTER at each selection that you are prompted to make (in other words, just accept all defaults). You can download what you need HERE. This step requires a floppy drive.

Then reboot with your XP CD in the cd drive and reinstall Windows, being sure to choose "Full Format" instead of quick format when prompted.
~~~~~
Of course, you only need to install Windows on one of the hard drives, but you could use Killdisk and fdisk on ALL hard drives to fully clean them.

Be careful about reinstalling your data as it may contain a virus or other malware.

I found so many helpful posts by you, I intend to make a contribution

Thanks for the kind words.

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 21 April 2006 - 03:51 PM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#7 suzbwise

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 02:58 PM

OK - here's where things stand...

My son's PC is back in action! He was very happy to have his stuff on DVDs, anyway - so it's a bonus.

My PC, on the other hand, wouldn't reboot - f8 never worked (once the problem started). So now it is a slave drive; I have a new, clean drive C with XP home - now the question is to SP2 or not. (I only had SP1 before, and various updates after that) because I read about too many issues with SP2 - at least to 'upgrade' to it. Now that I have to start from scratch (thank heaven my data is intact - but it took months to get all my s/w installed and configured, etc. arrrggghh!) I have to decide quickly before I install everything.

So, I appreciate all the help and support - it made the situation much easier to tolerate!

If anyone has a suggestion about SP2, I'd love to hear it. I will try to find the appropriate place to post this new question - I haven't had any luck finding existing posts, however - you have to use more than 3 chrs to search (and 'service pack 2' doesn't work, either.) I'll keep looking :thumbsup:

THANKS again!

- Suzanne.

#8 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 03:39 PM

SP2 is absolutely necessary if this computer is going to be on line.

In my experience, SP2 installs much better from a disk than it does from a download. You can order a disk HERE. This, of course, would especially be the preferred course of action for someone with a slow internet connection as it is a huge download.

Also be aware that there are about 40 updates available after you have installed SP2.

Start > All Programs > Windows Update

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 22 April 2006 - 03:40 PM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!





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