Help!! Absolutely baffled by 0xC000021A error and Blue Screen. Can't even format!

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Sep 29, 2008
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Hello all,

I was asked to disinfect a friend's computer that was absolutely infested with virii, malware, spyware, and the like. I began by installing and running AVGh antivirus. After running a full scan, I was asked how I wanted to proceed regarding a particular infected file (unfortunately I did not write down the filename) and I choose either delete/qyuantine. Immediately
following, I was greeted with a blue screen that read 0xC000021A error. Since then, I have tried every possible way to boot: Safe Mode, Last previous configuration, etc. I also tried booting from the Dell utility partitiion and all those tests Passed (even the OS/Boot up test- go figure). Because all of these boots were unsuccessful, I decided the only way to fix this would be a fresh format. Well I can't even do that! I choose boot from CD and still get the blue screen with the same error! How in the world can I fix this if I can't even format and reinstall the OS? Any ideas?

I have googled endlessly and failed to come up with a solution. I read Microsoft's documentation but there is no way for me to follow the steps since I cannot access any kind of prompt.

Thanks so much in advance.
 
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Could have a bad piece of hardware. I would try resetting the BIOS. If that doesn't work, start disconnecting hardware, a piece at a time. For example, see if it will boot off CD w/ hard drive disconnected, etc.
 
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When you say you choose boot from CD, did you configure the bios to boot from the cd and make sure the cd was in the drive prior to booting?
 

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Yes. Tried the following:

Changed boot sequence where CD was first
Changed boot sequence where only CD was enabled and disabled C and floppy drive

...of course tried this with both drives. Putting the windows CD in one of the drives (DVDRW) would result in an F1 "Retry" message so I assume the other drive is the one that should be used.
 

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Correct. One is a DVD-RW and the other I believe is a plain DVD reader, but I can make sure tonight.

Putting the cd in the DVD-RW results in the F1 Retry 'error' and goes nowhere when I 'retry'.

Putting the cd in the DVD read-only drive results in the windows boot up to come up, even though I have chosen to boot from cd. After the XP boot screen (with the crawling blue indicator on the bottom center of screen), I hear an electronic shut off sound and the blue screen immediately pops up with the same error. I never get a screen indicating that it has boot up from CD.
 
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I missed something in original post, it will boot off of Dell "utility partition" and run diagnostics and they all pass? Is that all you can do from there?
 

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Thread Starter
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Yes, all pass.

And as far as I tried, all I can do is run tests. But please correct me if I am wrong. I should be able to repair/reinstall from here as well right?
 
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Don't know if its a recovery partition. Check with Dell. Get into BIOS setup and make sure all attached drives are recognized/available and can be set to boot (check device priorities as well). If that's all OK, then I would suggest disconnecting hard drive and trying to boot off of CD. If successful, it would point to the hard drive. If unsuccessful, well, back where we started, albeit with more info. I have heard of low-level infections that re-infect on every boot attempt with infected device attached.
 

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Thread Starter
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Get into BIOS setup and make sure all attached drives are recognized/available and can be set to boot (check device priorities as well).
Would you mind elaborating on this? If it exists in the list, should I assume that the drive is recognized/available?

Thanks again!
 
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Yeah, if the device is there and you can change it's settings, it's OK as far as the BIOS is concerned. It shouldn't matter, but check the boot device priorities as well. If you have CD set first, it should try all CD drives before it moves onto hard drive/removable. Maybe it doesn't. It's odd that it didn't try to boot off of other optical drive.
 
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