Locked / Looped PC! Windows XP

  pcmuppet 11:36 27 Jul 2008

My friends asked me to have a look at his PC as he had inadvertantly installed antivirusxp2008 which is a rogue anti-spyware program. This effectively locked the PC until he paid the licence fee. He somehow got round this and managed to use the PC.

I picked up the PC yesterday because it was running slow, on inspection the norton security suite ran out over a year ago and the only anti-spyware that's active is windows defender.

Yesterday, I managed to download spyware doctor, installed the program and it started to scan. It discovered the antivirusxp2008 program and reported over 150 infections, when it was about 80% through the scan the PC locked.

I couldn't pause the scan and tried using ctrl, alt, del to bring up the windows dialogue and open the task manager to see what else was running. However the PC didn't respond to any input and showed a permanent hour glass if you dragged the mouse over the task bar.

I could recover the PC back to factory settings, however as usual the documents / pictures have not been backed up, I thought about using my XP disc to repair windows so that I could run spyware doctor and clear some of the infections but again am concerned about the docs / pics.

On rebooting the PC this AM it takes about 15 mins to load windows XP and then locks with the hour glass in the taskbar and won't accept any input from the keyboard / mouse.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:00 27 Jul 2008

Try booting in safe mode (tap the f8 key when you turn it on). If you can run in safe mode you should be able to run the antispyware prog.


  pcmuppet 07:53 28 Jul 2008

Thanks Gandalf, booting in safe mode with networking allowed me to install the antispyware program and this has removed all the spyware, have also run antivirus and removed three viruses.

On starting up the PC still takes 15mins to boot windows, although it will now accept input from the mouse and keyboard albeit very slowly!

The owner does use the internet a lot so was going to use windows washer or equiv to clear down the cache / temp files.

Any other ideas for speeding up windows xp?

  xania 08:37 28 Jul 2008

With all the damage already done, I would recommend a recover to factory settings, but, of course, having first backed up all the data files. I also recommend partitioning the hard drive so that all the data can be stored separately from the operating system. Tale care as the restore is probably already in a hidden partition, but all should e reveled by any reputable partition manager.

  birdface 09:07 28 Jul 2008

Or maybe using the Norton removal tool to get rid of Norton and remove windows defender.free anti-virus.AVG .Avast or Avira.Anti-Spyware.Superantispyware or A Squared or both.Maybe run C Cleaner.Defrag.and check disc.msconfig to sort out start up programs.Make sure anti-Virus is not scanning at start up.Make sure it is running in DMA mode and not PIO.sfc /scannow providing he has the XP Disc or maybe a reformat may be the best way out.Or an XP repair like you were going to try.When running does Task Manager show any programs using up the cpu that should not.

  pcmuppet 20:54 30 Jul 2008

Thanks to all for the responses, I have now used msconfig, disc clean, and window washer, PC starts up quicker but after 5 mins of use appears to lock up.

This means that i can't back the data up, it now won't boot into safe mode either.

Is there a way to back up the data via windows recovery console before I attempt a windows repair?


  Ditch999 21:24 30 Jul 2008

Whats wrong with System Restore?

If you can get in the normal Windows go in to msconfig and tick the box for SAFEBOOT under the BOOT.INI tab and reboot

From there try a Restore to a date way before XP2008

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