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Registry or Total Crash ??? A Long Story

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by RubyDube, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. RubyDube

    RubyDube Thread Starter

    Aug 5, 2006
    I am running Windows XP with a lot of disk space and not enough memory. After talking to three Verizon techs and two MSN specialists, now I know that is why my computer runs slow and sometimes freezes, so I have ordered two more sticks of memory. But the techs say that is my problem and therefore they cannot help me.

    Now I am running on my second day with No Virus Protection! Yikes! After running SpySweeper and AdWare, I am spyware free. Also I've been without a firewall since yesterday.

    My problem began yesterday after downloading an upgrade to my Norton SystemWorks which failed to initiate after installing. I subsequently uninstalled through "add/remove programs" and Norton's website would not let me download the antiviral program again. This was after they instructed me to uninstall my current antiviral, firewall, and spyware for their wonderful new and improved program to install properly. Now here I sit--naked to the world.

    Well, my MSN Premium offers me the same spyware I've been paying for as well as a firewall and McAfee antivirus. So the spyware program loads down fine. With either the antivirus or firewall program I get as far as to bring up the contract, click the "Agree" button, the page says "done" and goes nowhere. I go to a different option and get the MSN Installer, which comes up as a blank page, says done, and goes nowhere.

    Next I to try to reinstall MSN Premium with the disk. I get so far as to a message:

    "Active Scripting" must be enabled. Open Internet Explorer browser, select "Internet Options" from the "Tools" menu, select "Security" tab, set to "Medium" level or individually enable Active Scripting in Custom level. Restart CD.

    I did this about 100 times only to find it would not hold the "enable" setting, but immediately set itself back to "disable." I set every choice in that tab to the lowest security level possible and still could not get past that error message on the MSN disk reinstall.

    I did also see one of the MSN techs, on my desktop, individually delete at least one ".exe" file in this area when manually deleting all MSN files in his attempt to do a reinstall. Alas, he got the same blank screens and go-nowhere result when clicking on "Agree."

    Next I try installing the new MSN Messenger program to see where that takes me, and I finally get myself to an error message which I surely hope will turn out to be a major clue to those of you experts, about what could possibly be the root of my problem. This is what that error message says:

    Could not write value Start Page to key \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
    Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

    So now I am typing from my work computer owned by my employer and will run back and forth turning the other one on and off as necessary, if anyone thinks they could help me in any way to get my home computer functional again. Now I cannot even get MSN to come up so I have made the problem worse in my troubleshooting.

    I need to (1) Re-install my MSN/Verizon account, getting past the "Enable Active Scripting" in internet options. Then I need to (2) Be able to download Antivirus program so I can see how much damage there is.

    This is a long and perhaps boring story but when google led me to your website, I thought it worth a shot before paying to first educate a tech on the problem and then try to help me fix it.

    I am desperately trying to avoid a reformat. If anyone has suggestions to even a piece of my problem I would be ever so grateful. If ya'll think I should hire a tech to come out to my house, I'll take your best advice as to how to go about finding someone trustworthy.
  2. rebon


    Oct 21, 2001
    How about a system restore before all this happened?

    Also you may want to try a repair xp rather than a full re-install.

    How to go about Repairing Windows XP
    1. Put your Windows XP Install CD into your CD-ROM drive.
    2. Reboot your computer.
    3. Let your system boot off of the CD.
    4. Let the Setup go through the first part of the Installation procedure.
    5. When you come to the screen in which it says "Welcome to Setup." press Enter to Setup Windows XP.
    6. Press F8 to agree to the End User License.
    7. Let the Setup search your system for previous versions of Windows.
    8. When the Setup is finished searching your system, select your Windows XP Installation and press the R key on your keyboard to start the Repair Procedure.

    This is the part that might make you nervous . The Setup will delete all major system files and then replace them with new copies.

    You will have to download all of the updates from Microsoft Windows Update again because it replaces the files.

    Don't worry, your user data is still intact. Nothing has been lost, nothing has been deleted. Your data is safe, just the OS has been repaired, so relax.

    There is nothing to worry about as long as you follow the steps to repairing Windows XP.

    good luck
  3. CouchMaster


    May 26, 2003
    What kind of computer - how much ram etc. - some specs please?
  4. RubyDube

    RubyDube Thread Starter

    Aug 5, 2006
    Thank you guys so much. In the meantime I have installed antiviral and firewall plus a registry software tool so am breathing easier.

    I have a Gateway with a Pentium 4, 80GB of which I am only using 30%. Problem being I only have 256 RAM and just this weekend ordered 2 more sticks of same. The registry software tool I just ran found over 3000 problems. Also tried to reinstall just IE with directions I found online but that didn't work.

    I tried a System Restore using Norton GoBack but it said no restore points available. When I ran the virus program last night it found 10 problems, some of which were trojans, 3 of which had "symantec" attached to their name. My problems all started when I downloaded the upgrade I purchased from Norton.

    If trojans or worms or whatever get in there, and you have an antiviral program remove them, can they still be running around doing damage long after that?

    Now I am off to do the XP repair with your instructions below and won't be freaking the whole time. I would so rather download all the updates than have to reformat. Can't tell you how helpful to have someone who knows tell me how to do it. You guys are awesome.
  5. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Jan 9, 2005
    Hi just to add...be careful if you use the Registry cleaner as you may add to your problems.
    Many people visit this forum after allowing the Reg cleaner to remove all so called invalid entries.
    Best to do some research on Reg cleaners before using it.;)
  6. eddie5659

    eddie5659 Moderator Malware Specialist

    Mar 19, 2001

    Just popping in quickly. You say you have XP, but is it home or Pro?

    The reason I ask, is that XP Pro has the Messenger program running as default, and that installs all sorts of spyware before you even get to load anything. When I installed my system, as soon as I got my modem connected, before I got a firewall or virus scanner, that popped up.

    I got the scanner, but it said I had trojans on my pc, and I hadn't done anything.

    So, to doublecheck, go to Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services.

    Scroll down to Messenger, and make sure its set to Disable. This isn't MSN Messenger that friends and family use, just another type of Messenger that XP has installed by default.

    if its not on Disable, rightclick on it, and choose Properties. In the drop down menu, select disable, apply and OK.

    Close Services as normal, using the X.

    Reboot windows.

    Of course, if its XP Home, it should be set to disable anyway ;)


  7. RubyDube

    RubyDube Thread Starter

    Aug 5, 2006
    Thank you eddie. As it turns out, I have to reformat after all. Am waiting for the additional memory I ordered to get here, also planned to read up on some reformat tips from this site also before I do the deed. I downloaded the firewall, a spyware program and a free virus scan program onto disks so I can try to install them before I hook up to online. It may or may not work, and they won't have current definitions, but it might be better than nothing. I will go through the steps you've listed also before getting online for the first time. I have XP Home but in everything...better safe than sorry. Appreciate your advice.
  8. eddie5659

    eddie5659 Moderator Malware Specialist

    Mar 19, 2001
    Oki doki, hope it all goes okay :)

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