This is my first post in this forum and it may be a rather long one but please bear with me as I need your expert help. I help my friends with computer problems using my limited but above amateur experience. I am usually presented computers with run of the mill viral infections.
So-- I was presented an old Dell with XP service pack 3. The browser was highjacked, could not run antivirus, could not run any .exe due to no file association. I removed the hard disc drive and scanned it with another computer using Norton 360 and Windows Defender. Found many, many viruses and removed them. I reinstalled the drive and then was faced with the file association problem. Having never encountered this before, I found a solution on the Microsoft forum that involved copying a sequence of instructions and merging them as a .reg file. This seemed to work. Now I could run Spybot already installed on this computer and this found many problems. As i requested Spybot to remove the problems it did so and hung up on the restart screen. I finally got a restart, it began to boot, went through the Dell screen and to the "Welcome" screen for XP and then the BSOD error xxxxxxxx7b. Booted up under f8 many times using all options, same result. No mouse, no anything just BSOD 7b.
I really hate to tell my friend the disc would have to be reloaded and XP reinstalled if she even had a copy of XP. I'm stuck. About the only thing I can offer her now is to take the drive back out and copy her files somewhere to save. She currently has a boat anchor for a computer and I am feeling foolish and maybe I should have kept the hell out of the registry.