Computer Rebooting itself, services not started, and other problems

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Thread Starter
Feb 24, 2003
I'm helping a friend fix her laptop. She believes she's been having problems since clicking on an MSN link that was not friendly. The symptoms are very much like a Blaster worm, but much more extreme. I've tried many things, but haven't had any luck yet in solving this.

I don't have an easy way of backing up all the data, as I can't move and copy files, and the largest USB key/SD card I have right now is 512MB. I can move things over 512MB at a time, but it's going to be really slow. That and I can't directly move files, the way I've found to work around this problem is to put all the files I want in a zip file and then extract it into the location I want.

So she doesn't want to format if possible, and I would really like to know what caused this problem, although it seems like 1 problem that spawned into many, as if someone took control of the computer and started disabling things.

I may have tried more things than I listed below, but I can't remember all of it now.

Any ideas would very much be appreciated

- Windows XP Home SP2
- Norton Antivirus 2005 (Last updated in October)
- Toshiba Satellite M50 Laptop

- Extremely slow to boot up, it getst stuck in the "Starting Windows" message for a long time, and is very slow to shut down in the "Shutting down Windows" message screen
- I receive a pop-up indicating that the system is shutting down because the RPC service terminated unexpectedly

- None of my Network adapter icons appear in the Network Connections window
- I can't open up the properties of any of my services in the Windows Services screen, if I right-click on the service, it only gives me the option to refresh, and stop/start
- I can't copy things to the clip board, can't move any files
- Can't burn anything to disks
- Almost all of my services are stopped, except for a few critical ones, and if I attempt to start any service, the message indicating the RPC service has shut down pops up and counts down to reboot my computer
- The Application Event Logs do not show anything except for some problems accessing certain files when the anti-virus scanner scanned
- Can't install or uninstall anything because the Windows Installer service is stopped and can't be started because of the aforementioned problem.
- Can't access system restore
- Can't boot up a Windows Home disk using the dvd-rom, it gets to the blue screen that loads all of the drivers, but hangs on the "Setup is starting Windows" message. However, I can't boot up a Windows XP Pro SP2 disk just fine.

What I've tried:
- Last known good configuration, I know this wouldn't work because it's booted successfully since this problem has happened, but I thought I'd try anyways
- Tried the MS Blaster fix that Symantec released, it did not find any Blaster worms
- Tried the Stinger released by Mcafee, but it did not find the Sasser worm or any other worms
- Tried Sophos emergency anti-virus software (SAV, I think it was called), found 1 worm and removed it
- Scanned using Norton that's installed, no issues
- Booted in Safe mode, problems still remained
- Tried reinstalling the Windows Patch that's supposed to stop the Blaster worm but it failed because the patch is for WIndows XP before SP1, and SP2 should already include that patch.

Ideas I have on what might work:
- An in place upgrade (Repair using the Windows XP Home disk), but it won't let me boot
- Resetting the security policies because I think those are messed up along with other things right now, but XP Home does not have gpedit, local security policy, or any other way to access security from what I see
- uninstalling Java, I've known Java to be a gateway for hackers to access the computer, but I can't uninstall it because the Windows Installer is stopped
- Getting a Hijack This log and seeing if there's anything info in there that would be helpful.
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