I took the laptop out of it's bag and turned it on. The screen was extremely dim so I tried adjusting the brightness using the keyboards built-in control. This didn't help. When it booted into Windows my antivirus (Avast! Home) alerted me that something was wrong but I couldn't make out what it was saying on the screen.
I freaked out and forced a hard reboot. Upon booting, the screen still being very dim. I made out that there was an error registering the /System32/Software folder (or something to that effect) and that a memory dump was in progress. After completing the dump the system rebooted and I got the same error.
I connected a CRT monitor to the VGA port so that I could see what I was doing.
Then I booted from the System Resore disc that had Win XP Home and restored the computer. It booted into Windows, the screen was still very dim, and I received an error message that a driver was missing or an uninstallation did not complete. There was no indication as to which driver or program was having the error.
After truing to track down the error, I gave up tried to run the XP Pro upgrade again. It seemed to do fine but I still get same error message and the screen is still dim.
My next step is going to be to perform a low level reformat of the hard disk and a complete installation of XP Pro.
My questions are:
- Could a virus have caused all these issues?
- If so, could such a virus survive the reformatting done by the manufacturer's restore program?
- Could it be causing the issue with the dim screen as well or is it the screen itself?
- Could the virus be hiding im the system memory, and if so, could pulling the RAM chips clear the virus?
- Are there any suggestions?