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Can't purge viruses and Windows Recovery from Serious Errors

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by plado, Jul 28, 2004.

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  1. plado

    plado Thread Starter

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    XP crashes halfway through downloading 58mb of MS Updates. This happens whenever I connect the computer to my Alcatel SpeedTouch modem and try to fetch them all. It sometimes gets to 28mb+ and the screen goes blank, computer reboots and the download is neither partly downloaded nor partly installed.

    I'd better explain a little deeper.

    I've taken on the job of cleaning up a friend's computer (always a dangerous thing when you do favors). The machine had W32.Beagle virus and I did all the necessary - switched off System restore; ran to safe mode and scanned with Norton after doing an update.
    Scanned again and it seemed to be clean.
    I used a removal tool obtained from Symantec which scanned and said the system was clean. Then I tried to do a MS Update for all the Security patches and Critical updates. The owner had never done one in 2 years of use! There were 58mb of updates needed! This was just too many to fetch on a Dial-up home phone line. (Would be OK if you could just set it going all night but heaps of them need a reboot after installing which is a mega pain).

    So to hitch it up to my own broadband ADSL line I installed my USB Alcatel SpeedTouch modem and got connected at 512kbps and started fetching the updates. It crashed after 28mb and lost the lot.
    Every time I tried to start anything of a speedy download, it crashed at variable times into the job and now whenever I reboot or just start up the computer I get "Windows has recovered from a serious error messages" I quite expect it to say "Windows is in convalescence, drinking beef tea, and will be putting on some weight in a week or two, so we may be allowing it to come home !

    XP didn't like my installing the Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem and told me it wasn't authenticated and could be unstable. However, I've uninstalled it and gone back to dial-up - it still fetches email but the browser won't fetch pages at all - it tries to and just hangs half-fetched. But at least it doesn't crash when using the ordinary modem.

    At one stage I kept getting Norton come up with new viruses it found coming in like W32.Pinfi and W32.rambox W32.Spybot - So I ran the Norton scan and quarrantine over and over to get rid of these. More removal tools used again;
    Ran HiJack this; Ran Spybot Search and Destroy; Ran Spyware Blaster; Ran Ad-Aware; Did Reg Clean; Reg Scrub and this is why I've spent hours on the darned thing and still it keeps showing it's got new viruses - Could these be stuck in the registry replicating on re-boot?

    I tried to Re install Windows XP from the Evesham Micros Rescue disk which is all they were given with this computer. It says can't install XP as there is already XP running on this computer. (I backed up all the documents and graphics files to CD before I tried)

    Now I'm stuck. I can give it back and tell them to send it back to Evesham or buy a new computer but I fear this is one I can't rescue it from - it sounds to me to be in too big a mess. What would you do? Any tips even if they mean burning the PC on the bonfire and starting again, would be gratefully received.
    Plado
     
  2. Rache

    Rache Banned

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    Obviously the best solution would be to obliterate any bugs by fdisk and format but as you've only got recovery discs you could try this:

    You must be logged in as an Administrator to do this. If you are not logged in as an Administrator, the System Restore tab will not be displayed. Turning off System Restore will clear out all previous restore points. To turn off Windows XP System Restore:

    NOTE: These instructions assume that you are using the default Windows XP Start Menu and have not changed to the Classic Start menu. To re-enable the default menu, right-click Start, click Properties, click Start menu (not Classic) and then click OK.

    1. Click Start. 2. Right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties. 3. Click the System Restore tab. 4. Check "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives" as shown in this illustration: 5. Click Apply. 6. When turning off System Restore, the existing restore points will be deleted. Click Yes to do this. 7. Click OK. 8. Proceed with what you need to do; for example, virus removal. When you have finished, restart the computer and follow the instructions in the next section to turn on System Restore.

    To turn on Windows XP System Restore:

    1. Click Start. 2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. 3. Click the System Restore tab. 4. Uncheck "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives." 5. Click Apply, and then click OK.
     
  3. plado

    plado Thread Starter

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    I already had turned off system restore when I did all the advised Norton Scans in Safe mode because all instructions said this is what I must do. I was also advised to not run any Anti Virus when fetching MS Updates so I didn't but it still crashed. I think what I have advised the owner is going to be the only way out. I told her to take it to her local shop who offered to Format the disk and clean install Windows XP and to ask them to re install all drivers for her scanner printer camera and put Office XP back on it as well so that the inconvenience factor won't be so bad.

    She is considering this as the fee for up to 3 hours work is only UK 75 pounds. That's about 120 dollars I think. Worth it, and less expensive than a new computer. The one she has is only 2 years old and has CD writer and so forth. It does all point to an un-erasable virus in the system so deeply that only the patience of a saint could remove it. Thanks for your tip.
     
  4. Rache

    Rache Banned

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    Does she want to save £75 and follow instructions for fdisk and format? The shop may forget/not know to re-do boot sector, in which case the virus may return.
     
  5. plado

    plado Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
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    For her or me for that matter to try fdisk and format ourselves and then re-install Windows from the Rescue CD is not likely to be a simple smooth-running affair. I know what happened when I tried to start the machine up from the Rescue CD before - Disaster strikes from the law of the sod.
    My own system crashed 10 minutes into a Re-install of XP and the stupid machine couldn't read from the CD rom even though I'd set CD Rom as first boot. I ended up being completely unable to get XP to complete an installation and I had to lose face by phoning Microsoft who rescued the situation for £60 plus 17½ % Tax over the phone. They had to hit F11 on booting up and go into the registry and carry out about a dozen adjustments to what they called Upper and Lower Filters which was all a total mystery to me. Then they managed to walk me through the continuation and completion of XP - I've been bitten twice by that rotten user-hostile system before and I am damn certain I'm not going down that road again. The woman who owns this computer is not even clued up enough to know how to do a Windows Update let alone a disk format and fiddle with the boot sector. So I'll ask her to tell the shop the boot sector will have to be done as well in case the virus is in there.
    Thanks for that tip. It's worth knowing. The rate things are going though I can see myself installing Windows 98 on it. But I bet you can't do that with an NTFS file system. They've got us all over a barrel haven't they?
    Plado
     
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