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Windows Only Lets Me Access Internet Explorer. Nothing Else!


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8 replies to this topic

#1 dragonember

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:49 PM

My apologies for the rather long read but there is a bit of a story behind my problem that might be of use in figuring out what's wrong.

Okaaay so about a week ago my computer started randomly rebooting itself and steadily got worse as time went on. Backed up all my files to be safe, then tried system restore several times, going further and further back, as that has almost always fixed any problem in the past. Nooo good. So after trying a couple other things I decided to completely reinstall windows. Here's where it got weird. The setup would be nearly complete and then... reboot. Grrrrr. I tried this about twenty times, tried different settings in the BIOS, deleting partitions, reformatting, ...you name it I tried it. So eventually I tried putting in an older harddrive. Waddayaknow...it works. So I decide to go with that but then decide my other harddrive must just have a bad sector, seeing as it always got so far in setup before it died. So I put it in as a secondary harddrive and everything is working peachy as long as I'm putting windows and all drivers on the good harddrive.

Brand new squeeky clean Windows XP. So Internet Explorer has no problem working immediately, and I download Mozilla Firefox. Shortly after, the computer starts rebooting itself again. I uninstall and delete Firefox, and everything is fine again... for about ten minutes. At which time everything except Internet Explorer denies me access. I can't get into My Computer, any Programs, Documents, Settings...nothing. I click and nothing happens. And they don't show icons either, just that little page with the box in it thing that means "not recognized".

I can't figure out what's wrong cuz I can't access anything. I'm wondering if it is the second harddrive? But there is literally nothing on it so I really don't get it. Any suggestions would be immensely helpful. This is driving me crazy!

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#2 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:03 AM

Have you reninstalled your data? If so, it is possible that your data contained some malware.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


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


#3 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:23 AM

You either have a malware infection as Albert suggests, a heat problem, a power supply problem or faulty Ram.

First, disable the automatic reboot so you can get an error screen.

To do so, please perform the following steps:
1. Right-click My Computer.
2. Select Properties.
3. In the System Properties, select the tab Advanced.
4 In the box called Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
5 A new window will open:

6. Uncheck the box "Automatically restart" in the group System Failure
7. Confirm the changes in both Windows by clicking OK.
Whenever a critical system failure occurs now, you will see a blue screen with a cryptic description of the error. However, the content of this message might help in finding the appropriate solution to the problem.

Note: Most of the critical errors are due to faulty driver installations or incorrect BIOS settings. Especially in case of misbehaving drivers, the blue screens often list the filename of the driver that caused the crash.

Post everything the error message tells you here.

Start with the malware checks:

Run The Windows OneCare Free Scan (on-line scan)
To run the Windows One Care Free Scan
Go to Windows Live Onecare Free Scan site using Internet Explorer.
It will say "Get a free PC safety scan"
http://safety.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm

Make sure you click "Full Service Scan" in the middle of the page and
not the "Try It Now Free" offer on the right side.

Allow the download of an Active X component.
Choose "Complete Scan" in the window that opens
Click "Next"
Do not click on anything else that offers you a free trial or to sign up if you live in the US.

Allow it to scan - it may take quite a while, possibly two hours or so depending on the size of your hard drive is and how fragmented your registry and drive may be.

After completing the Windows OneCare Free Scan run both Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy from safe mode, updating each program’s malware definitions before you reboot into safe mode to scan and allowing both to fix what they find.

If you do not already have these freeware aps installed on your computer, you can get them at the following sites:

*AdAware SE:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download506.html

*Spybot S&D:
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Following that that I suggest you post a “HijackThis” log in the “Hijack This” Logs and Analysis Forum for expert assistance with your malware infection.

Read the pinned post in our “HijackThis Logs and Analysis” forum,
here
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/
Carefully read and follow all directions carefully.

Following the instructions create a HJT log, and POST THE HJT LOG THAT YOU CREATED IN OUR HJT LOGS AND ANALYSIS FORUM – not in this forum,
at this link.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/posthjtlog.html
Include the specs for your computer (i.e., what processor, amount of RAM, brand or motherboard, etc, and briefly describe the problem you are experiencing.)

Unless you are expert at editing the registry, Do not use the Hijack This program to try to fix anything by yourself as even what may seem to be a small mistake can render your operating system inoperable.
Some files when in the correct folder for them may be fine while in another may be malware hiding.


A member of our expert HJT Team will analyze your log, make recommendations and offer assistance, walking you through the complete repair process.

It may take a short period of time to get a response to the log you posted because the members of our HJT Team are kept very busy.
Posting your Hijack This log anywhere but in the Hijack This Logs and Analysis forum will delay their response as it will require a moderator to move the log there before the HJT Team will see it and it will fall behind other logs posted after yours was posted, so be sure to post your log in the Hijack This Logs and Analysis forum.

Please be patient as this team is manned by volunteers. They will help you in order received as soon as possible.

NOTE
Once you have posted your HJT log, please DO NOT make any additional posts in the HJT Logs and Analysis forum thread you created until you get a response from a member of our HJT expert team, and do not make any additional changes to your system (changes, including any attempted repairs, will make your computer to be different than as represented in the log you posted and therefore make your log inaccurate).

The first criteria the HJT Team has when looking for logs that need replies are posts showing 0 replies. If you make an additional post, it will show as having had 1 reply.
A team member, looking for a new log that requires help might well assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and might not open the thread to respond.

So, post your HJT Log in our HJT Forum (not here in this forum) and wait for a response from a HJT team member.

After you post your log, please do not make any changes to your computer. Discontinue trying to delete anything with any program as changes will make your HJT log obsolete and waste valuable time spent by our HJT experts analyzing the log made inaccurate by changes and therefore their plan formulated to address the problems will also be obsolete.

If after 5 days you still have gotten no response, then post a re-request and a link to your HJT log HERE.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic14717.html

Make sure you post your HJT log in the HJT forum, not here, because if you post it here in this forum the response from our HJT Team will be delayed because the post will have to be moved before they see it and it will fall in line behind many others posted that same day.

Edited by Enthusiast, 18 October 2006 - 07:25 AM.


#4 dragonember

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 01:48 PM

Thanks for the replies. I haven't reinstalled anything. There is literally nothing on my computer but what XP put on it. I already know it is definitely not a heat problem, or anything to do with the RAM. Malware is I suppose possible but I haven't downloaded anything or even been on here much so I'm doubtful, though it is a possibility. The power supply I think is ok as well, but that could be the problem. I'm having a friend come check stuff out tomorrow so hopefully he can peg exactly what's wrong...

Otherwise., I tried what you suggested, Enthusiast. Sadly, none of it worked cuz like I said I can't access anything but the internet. I can right click My Computer and hit properties but nothing ever opens...so I moved on to the PC safety scan stuff. I did everthing it told me and couldn't get it to enable.

I can't get the AdAware or Spybot cuz I can't download anything. Same goes for Hijack This.

I literally cannot access anything but Internet Explorer, but at the same time cannot download anything from it.

Any other ideas?

#5 Tim64

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 02:29 PM

If your computer at one time was rebooting itself at random then it sure sounds like a malware issue. Even though you restored to a earlier time and such the malware could still be there. The files you backed up could be infected.

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:16 PM

Why are you sure it is not a heat problem?

#7 dragonember

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 05:23 PM

Well I backed everything up on my iPod and haven't put anything back on the computer so none of those files could have done anything. So I don't think there's a problem there.

And about the temperature question: my computer is in a really cold basement, everthing is normal in the BIOS, even after flashing the BIOS so I don't think it is lying to me. There is nothing to indicate overheating.

Anyway, I tried reinstalling Windows again just to see what would happen. I got through the first part of setup, where it deleted the previous installation of Windows...and now all I get when I turn on the computer is the blue screen of death, going on about something with the hard drive, so I guess i was right in assuming the hard drives aren't playing nice together... Anyway my friend can finally come look at it tonight and hopefully work some magic. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully he'll fix it and I can stop pestering you guys :thumbsup: Thanks for all your suggestions so far!

#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:16 PM

Do you have the jumpers on the hard drive set properly - the boot drive at the end of the cable and jumpered as "Master" and the second drive connected to the middle connector and jumpered as "slave"?

Do you have a new type 80 wire IDE cable? (you can tell because the connectors on the 80 wire IDE cable are different colors instead of both being black)

Disconnect the slave drive while you are installing Windows. You can install it after you complete the installation.

#9 dragonember

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 02:22 PM

Well my 2 friends came over and somehow managed to fix everything! They still can't quite peg what exactly happened. They just messed with stuff for a few hours until everything was working properly. Really the only thing we did differently was install my friend's Windows instead of mine... Everything is still working perfectly after three days so I think we got it. Still, I wish I knew exactly what happened but oh well. Thanks again guys!




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