Frozen PC saved by Acronis but.........

  avesnes1 23:27 04 Jul 2008

While downloading a pdf file from Southend-on-sea borough council website, my PC froze and locked. Neither mouse nor keyboard worked so I had to switch off using the on/off button on the tower.

I restarted the PC which got as far as the "Windows is starting up" screen which then went black and the following error message wsas displayed for about 2 seconds:-
"Validation failed for C:\Windows\system32\zonelabs\vsruledb.dll"

The PC then shut down and immediately restarted itself and cycled round the restart sequence above. (F8 would not go into Safe Mode)

All this was happening on my "C" drive that runs XP. Fortunately I have Vista on a 2nd separate drive "D" and Acronis backup images on an external drive "Z".

By booting into Vista and then loading Acronis, I recovered a backup image of the "C" drive contents from the "Z" drive onto the corrupted(?) "C" drive.

I restarted the PC from the renewed "C" drive and XP loaded correctly.......except that the initial screen used to offer a timed option of "Boot menu", "Setup" or "Recovery module".(If no choice is made the automatic loadind continues after a short delay).

This initial screen has been replaced by a screen that gives details of the PC (Phoenix Bios, Intel components etc etc.)

Apologies for the length of this posting but I would appreciate members' views as to:-

A) What could I have done if I had not had Acronis? (ever willing to learn about PC's)

B) Is there any way I could return to the lost initial screen?

Thanks in advance for any comments/guidance/insight.

  rdave13 23:41 04 Jul 2008

A..with no Acronis backup then a repair using XP disc.
B. Don't know but 'zonelabs' wouldn't be anywhere near my PC same as Norton.

  avesnes1 11:36 07 Jul 2008

rdave13 - thanks for the reply.
The PC is a Hewlett Packard machine and came with a recovery partition ("E") on the "C" drive but with no CD/DVD's. Using this would return the machine to its factory setting of XP having wiped the "C" drive.

Also, are there problems with ZoneAlarm - have I missed something? I thought ZA was OK and used by a lot of people.

  rawprawn 11:48 07 Jul 2008

Try this for your boot problem. Go to Start> Run> and type "msconfig" then hit Enter. Click on Boot Tab and un tick any that are ticked

  rdave13 11:53 07 Jul 2008

As for ZoneAlarm and Norton it's only personal preference. Having had problems with both progs. years ago I no longer use either.

Usually with HP machines there is a method of creating a restore disc. Found under recovery manager. There is now a repair option when the disc is loaded.

  Batch 12:24 07 Jul 2008

Sounds like the Acronis image you restored had a different boot.ini in the root of the C drive i.e. C:\boot.ini

How old is the Acronis image and might you (or someone else) have made changes that affect boot.ini since the Acronis image was made.

  avesnes1 15:53 07 Jul 2008

Thanks for all the replies & comments.
Rawprawn - while the machine was in its "booting loop", I could not get the desktop to click on the Start button.

rdave13 - I created a recovery disk immediately after buying the machine as suggested by the HP manual. (please my last comment at the end of this posting)

Batch - the Acronis image of the "C" drive was dated 15th June 2008.

Latest development -Madame has just phoned me to say that the "booting loop" problem has returned, although without the error message mentioned in my original posting. I was using the machine last night without problems.

Since using Acronis to re-instate the "C" drive with XP I have:-

Updated XP
Updated AVG
Updated my anti-malware software
Run Ccleaner
Used several applications
Been on the internet
Noticed that the AVG icon was not showing in the system tray

Perhaps I have been on the internet without the protection of AVG?

Perhaps the updating of AVG didn't work correctly and it has not been loaded when I swithed on the machine?

Should I try the HP recovery disk or recover the "C" drive with Acronis once again and maybe use Avast in place of AVG? (I have downloaded the Avast exe file at work onto a memory stick)

Any further guidance would be appreciated.

  kalignorgna 16:26 07 Jul 2008

put the OS disk in the cd rom and repair intaillation this also works with most restore disks and 3'rd party intaillation disks after the process has finished it sould work fine again

by way I'm a techi so u can trust my advise

  avesnes1 17:07 07 Jul 2008

kalignorgna - thanks for your reply - it may seem an odd question, but not having ever done a "repair", at what point during the "rebooting loop" do I put the HP recovery disk in the machine or do i do that after I have recovered the "C" drive using the 15th June Acronis image?.

  rawprawn 17:35 07 Jul 2008

click here For full repair instructions

  avesnes1 15:40 09 Jul 2008

Many thanks for all the responses. The saga continues:-

Having read on this forum about some problems with AVG8 and having spoken to a "techie" at work, I have made the working hypothesis that AVG is at the root of my looping PC.

So having once again recovered my 15th June Acronis image back onto my "C" drive, I did a full scan with the AVG version that I had on that date. This reported for the "C" drive:-

A) No infections
B) (Unspecified)Changes to:-
Partition table (MBR)
Boot sector of disk

I then disconnected from the internet while I uninstalled AVG and installed Avast from my memory stick.

I then reconnected to the internet and did a full scan with Avast which reported no infection.

I then updated XP.

So far so good ---- tonight I will test various applications and the internet. If the problem recurs, my next working hypothesis will be that Zone Alarm is causing the looping.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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