Posted 30 June 2007 - 10:17 AM
Thanks for the suggestions usasma, but it's too late. Boot and Nuke has been performed.
No data loss, however.
I couldn't get my external drive to work with the UBCD4Win, so I used digital dolly to resize the partition. That had the effect of making Windows not see the partition at all, so I booted back into UBCD4Win and repaired the partition table. This gave me two logical disks: the first was the resized original disk, with all the data intact; the second was an unformatted 8GB chunk at the end of the disk.
Then, still in UBCD4Win, I renamed the C:\Windows folder to C:\Windows~old and renamed C:\boot.ini to C:\boot~old.ini. This way the Windows installation disk wouldn't see the old version when I installed on the 8GB partition (cause, like I said, the install disk would freeze when searching for old installations).
I rebooted with the Windows install CD, formatted the 8GB partition, and installed Windows alongside the malfunctioning partition.
After installing Windows, I was able to access both the original partition and the external drive like normal. So, I backed up all the data to the external disk and then deleted both partitions and reinstalled Windows again.
While Windows was installing, I hooked the external drive up to my PC and did a virus/malware scan of the backed-up data. Avast! found several copies of the same suspicious file (unclassified, but suspicious). They were all in the C:\Windows~old folder, so I used Eraser to overwrite the entire folder.
Now that Windows had finished installing, I downloaded the neccessary drivers from Dell and installed them. Then, I used the latest copy of Autopatcher XP to update Windows offline. Then I installed antivirus and antispyware software. Only then did I connect to the internet and downloaded new virus definitions, etc.
Now I'm in the proces of reloading the user's software.
Whew! I need a raise!