I have a friend's Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop with 32 bit Vista Home Premium that I was trying to clean up for her. She said it was running like crap so I said I would take a look at it.
She and her kids had installed a bunch of crapware on it (music sharing and the like) so I began by removing as much of that as I could. For what it's worth, she had AVG antivirus installed.
Once I was comfortable that I had removed as much as I needed to, I installed Malwarebytes and ran a complete scan in normal operation mode (not safe mode). I found and quarantined hundreds of infections and it did identify that there were issues with the boot sector.
I decided to then run a complete scan in Safe Mode. This scan found and quarantined a smaller number (~50) infections. Once that was complete, I decided to run another complete scan in Safe Mode. This scan again found approximately the same number of infections. After I performed the same action as I had previously (quarantine, clean up, whatever it does) and attempted to boot following that I got the "Bootmgr is missing" message and of course it won't boot. I ran the onboard Dell diagnostics and there's no indication that there are any hardware issues with the laptop.
I've called her to see if she has her restore CD that must have come with the laptop but haven't heard back.
If she doesn't, what options to I have (short of purchasing and installing a new OS)?
Thanks in advance.