Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: NoClose?

  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Mid-Cheshire, England
    Posts
    275
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    NoClose?

    For the second time I have come across an instance of a computer running Windows XP Home affected by malware that causes the boot process to be stopped as Windows is about to start & the computer reboots. Reaching the point of Windows starting again the process repeats itself endlessly unless the power is switched off. (I have been told that this computer has neither a Firewall or antivirus software. I will of course rectify those deficiencies.)

    When I first met with this behaviour I removed the hard drive from the affected computer & connected it as a slave drive to my computer's hard drive. I ran my anti virus programme (F-Prot for Windows) on the slave drive & automatically disinfected/deleted all known & suspicious files. Putting this drive back into its own computer I found that I could boot up & run the system perfectly satisfactorily.

    My first question is ask can anyone identify the malware that was dealt with to remove the endless rebooting?

    Secondly if I am user, with a standalone computer who doesn't have a friend capable of dealing with such a situation, how do I repair my system? Is the only option formatting the drive & starting again? BTW - with this second computer neither safe mode nor safe mode at the command prompt are available & the behaviour of restarting endless continues.

    I would appreciate any assistance I can get on this problem.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    Take a look here and see if it helps resolve you problem.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Mid-Cheshire, England
    Posts
    275
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    Thank you for the pointer; I have read the page but I cannot access the suggested solution.. The text of the article & the solution gives me to understand that it relates to a condition in which Windows starts & then due to a system failure Windows reboots. In the case I am looking at now Windows doesn't appear to start before reboot takes. In the previous case I experienced the Windows XP slash screen appeared with its progress bar active before rebooting took place.

    I've since started this computer with my Partition Magic 7.0 bootable diskette 1 & from diskette 2 the Partition Magic program. This partition information displayed shows a Primary partition that is active & has no unused space! This partition is not identified as the C:> drive but as a long series of question marks (?????????????????????????? - I can't move the divider between Partition & Type (NTFS) far enough to see if there is an end to the question marks! There is also a small Primary partitition that has a None status.

    So I suspect I am looking at a hard drive failure & my next step will be to add the damaged hard drive as a slave in my own computer just to see if it can be read there. If not I will use the Recovery CD-ROM as a cure-all.

    Thank you again for your interest & assistance. I am very grateful.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: NoClose?

    Malcolm - Doc's link should have led you to disable the auto reboot setting so that you would get a BSOD instead of a reboot. Often the BSOD will give you clues as to what is going on. Why were not able to access that setting? Did you get an error?

    This may have been caused by an old virus - one that any lightly protected system would have thwarted. You need to slap some sense into this user. But there are several conditions that could have caused your problem, including a corrupted driver or BIOS issue brought on by a power failure during a disk write, a bad hard drive, bad RAM, failing motherboard or controller, or even the Video card.

    I think your planned course of action is fine. Don't make any changes with PM until you see if you can read that drive from your system - and don't "RUN" anything from that drive until you have thoroughly scanned that drive for malware.

    If you have to reformat and reinstall windows, I recommend some prep work first. What I do is go out to the motherboard's web site and download all the latest drivers, BIOS, flash and other utilities - do the same for the video card, if not on-board. Then download the latest ZoneAlarm and AVG Free, SP2, MS Anti-Spyware, Ad-Aware SE, and SpyBot S&D and I burn them all onto a CD. Immediately after the XP restore, upgrade the hardware drivers from your disk, then upgrade to SP2 - this will be your best chance to upgrade to SP2 problem free.

    Then disable Windows Firewall and install ZoneAlarm, AVG, and all the anti-spyware apps. THEN you can connect to the Internet and feel relatively safe - run Windows Update and press on.

    As far as what does someone do who needs help, have them come here and ask!
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    As Bill said, your plan of action sounds good, but you might want to try the Recovery Console if it's installed. I suspect that you are correct and that the HD is failing or has failed, but don't give up on it until you have slaved it to your system and tried to clean it. We all know what malware and viruses can do to a system. Good Luck. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: NoClose?

    I agree with Doc - I was a bit remiss for not emphasizing that a format and reinstall is your LAST option - before a new drive, that is.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Mid-Cheshire, England
    Posts
    275
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    Thank you for your response.

    After fitting the problem drive into my computer I could see the drive & its contents in Windows Explorer. Apart from no programmes & the My Documents folder being empty generally the system looked ok. The explanation for there being no programmes was made known to me later. At the Command Prompt I ran chkdsk /f & then did a virus scan. There were no viruses found. What the user had done was to use the Recovery CD & the system had been restored to that as when the computer was bought.

    When I refitted the drive into its own box it started into Windows & behaved as a new installation which indeed it was. I have installed not only its programmes but SP2, Windows Updates, AVG 7.0, ZoneAlarm & MS AntiSpyware. That will have to be all for now as the user has realised the necessity of having these protection & detection utilities but needs to learn how to use them.

    Many thanks again for your contribution. At the very least a working computer is the outcome. I often think that John Dvorak was right when he wrote that new users should have a licence before they can own a computer!

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Mid-Cheshire, England
    Posts
    275
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    As you will see from my reply to Bill the computer in question is now working ok.

    Many thanks for your help - it is very much appreciated & its down to you that I now know of another aspect of Windows XP.

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: NoClose?

    Malcolm,

    I'm glad you got the system back up and running. Unfortunate that it was in the state it was in, but at least, as you said, it was a working computer again. The user has learned something important and hopefully hasn't lost too much in the way of valuable data, and will be better protected and prepared in the future. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> If you took something of value away from our exchange, I'm pleased. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •