Author Topic: My sisters pc....again  (Read 679 times)

Offline Andrew S

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My sisters pc....again
« on: Dec 30, 2004, 03:28 PM »
My sister is a pc jinx - every pc she gets - she ruins it somehow and she has no more protection then i do.

Anyway - she got some spyware and her browswer wouldnt work so we ran adaware and it said a file would be removed on next boot - so we restarted - we got to the screen with the different user names (log in screen) and no matter what name we clicked - it would act like it was loggin in and the screen goes black - mouse appears and works, but nothing else

Doesnt work in safemode or any other mode - i cant run any restore things to restore the registry/whatever adaware took off....

any suggestions?

Offline Whizbang

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2004, 04:57 PM »
Which OS is installed?  It sounds like a virus attack..

Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30, 2004, 05:00 PM »
If you can't get into the system, you've little choice - if there's data on the drive you need, mount the drive in another system and copy it (it should be accessible, even though the drive won't boot).

Then format, reinstall, and PATCH Windows.  Install an updateable antivirus program, AND a firewall.  Delete the IE and OE icons from the desktop, and install Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, and make them your default browser and email client.


Offline wonderings

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2004, 05:27 AM »
Sounds like your sister needs a mac. The headaches you would save yourself and your sister would be worth the price of a nice eMac.
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Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #4 on: Dec 31, 2004, 08:49 AM »
It has windows xp - fully updated with norton antivirus

I have the drive in my system now - and scanned for viruses and spyware and it found nothing and it is up to date - if i formatted i think i would have to buy a new copy of xp - (to many problems which were fixed with formatting on that one pc.... i had to call and talk to microsoft last time...)

mac? lol no offense, but.. no  ;)

Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #5 on: Dec 31, 2004, 09:02 AM »
You don't mention a firewall, but if you don't have one, install one - NOT the XP firewall.  If you don't, you'll be back at this all over again in a short time.

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2004, 09:03 AM »
Its hooked to a router with a built in firewall - but thats about it as far as non xp firewalls go

Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2004, 09:22 AM »
That will protect you against outside attack, but does nothing to protect you against spyware.  

You NEED a software firewall if you run WIndows - there are any number of free, effective ones, so there literally is no reason not to run one.

Offline wonderings

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2004, 09:24 AM »
no offended, but laugh all you want, its still a more secure OS and you would not be having this headache right now.


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Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2004, 03:02 PM »
OH i Agree - it probably would be mroe secure but i feel it is a pain in the butt and i just dont feel liek tyring to learn a whole new OS - besides that - you cant really upgrade/ build mac systems easily can you? lol if you can i'm really un-knowledgeable on macs.....

Offline wonderings

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #10 on: Dec 31, 2004, 03:15 PM »
With the eMac you are limited. But with the tower PowerMacs the skys the limit.  I know people who have changed a G3 power mac to  dual G4 systems. The eMac you can upgrade the ram, and the hard drive and thats about it. It pays for itself though in the fact of maintance time. My time is not cheap, and the amount of time I maintain my few work pcs, I could have bought my Dual 2ghz G5 at least 2 times over.
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Lacie F.A. Porshce 160 external FW HD
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1, 17 inch Samsung 172x LCD displays DVI
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Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #11 on: Dec 31, 2004, 04:05 PM »
Upgrading the hard drive on an eMac is not trivial.  The only two things you can do to an eMac easily is upgrade RAM and add an AirPort card - the rest is a nightmare.

That said, external firewire drives are cheap and easy to add.

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #12 on: Dec 31, 2004, 07:40 PM »
ANYWAY - any ideas about fixing THIS pc with out a reinstall of windows?

Offline Whizbang

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #13 on: Dec 31, 2004, 09:51 PM »
Unless you are using 98, I know of no way to fix the problem even by setting the defective OS as slave to another drive.  In Win98, you can access the system.ini file and check to see if there are any rogue entries under the [password] usernames and then delete them.    You would then need to take a user name from a working Win98, paste the string to the system.ini file and then copy the C:\windows\username.pwl file to the defective Win98, removing any rogue entries.  That would permit you to boot up so you could address the problem.  But, with Win2000 and XP, the passwords are accessed through the registry and are not accessible via another OS.  In those cases, only a format is the answer, as query stated.

Offline Carskick

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #14 on: Dec 31, 2004, 10:38 PM »
If the computer no longer boots, it is possible a hardware problem came along why diagnosing a software problem. Run Memcheck86 first to make sure the RAM is error free.
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Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #15 on: Jan 01, 2005, 12:43 PM »
it KINDA boots - its like it loads up just fine  it gets to the windows xp log in screen and when you click a name - the name goes to the  center like it does and then the screen goes black but the mouse still works - the pointer is still there just with a black screen and nothing else.....

i'll have to check the memory though..but idk

Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #16 on: Jan 01, 2005, 01:00 PM »
Boot it in safe mode, or mount the drive in another system and rescue your data.

You're going to wind up formatting and reinstalling Windows anyway, so better safe than sorry.

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #17 on: Jan 01, 2005, 03:23 PM »
It does the same thing in safe mode .... its currently in my system so i can get to the data   - i'm 50% certain adaware did something bad to the registry so my question is

is there a way i can get to my sisters registry while the drive is in my system?
Can i change something so that the "regedit" registry editor opens her registry?

I'm not 100% sure what it did but i am pretty sure its  a registry problem

Offline query

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #18 on: Jan 01, 2005, 03:28 PM »
Unfortunately, the answer is no - you must have a system up and running at least in safe mode to access the registry in any meaningful way.


Offline Whizbang

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #19 on: Jan 01, 2005, 04:53 PM »
When you do get it up and running, be sure to install an antivirus and firewall.  Also add SpyBot and Spyware Blaster.  Check for updates on the definitions for the antivirus, SpyBot and Spyware Blaster.  Report back if you need more information on the sources for these.  Until a year ago, it was possible to avoid most attacks simply by being careful.  That is no longer true. Computer protection now is not just a good idea; it is imperative.

And do not use Internet Explorer or Outlook.  Use Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Suite along with Thunderbird email program for Firefox.  It is included in the Mozilla Suite.  Be sure to copy the favorites folder so it can be pasted back.  You will need to paste it back before installing either Mozilla browser because they will not update the imported basic Favorites links to the pasted additions later.

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #20 on: Jan 01, 2005, 05:02 PM »
why is using outlook and explorer so "bad"
?

Offline Whizbang

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #21 on: Jan 01, 2005, 05:19 PM »
Microsoft insisted on incorporating both intimately into Windows.  That made them extremely vulnerable to hackers, viruses and trojans.   Bill Gates had even at one time intended to set up accessible internet programs so that software could be bypassed in favor of the online pay-for-use programs.  Somewhere along the way, reality began to take over and caused the vulnerability of such integration to surface.  MS still has made no known effort to change the software integration policy and is suffering for it.  

I am continually amazed at how things have a way of balancing out.
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2005, 05:20 PM by Whizbang »

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #22 on: Jan 06, 2005, 06:49 PM »
Its official - i don tlike windows, suprisingly un reliable for me

I tried running the "recovergy console" and it brought up what seemed to be a very limited DOS but i couldnt do anything worthwhile from it.  I tried restoring my registry with the back up files i made, but couldnt i found something online about a way to rebuild the registry through DOS but it woudlnt let me, so... i went to reinstall XP and... i missed the screen "press any key to boot from cd" and it contiuned loading windows, it acted like it did before but when an attempted log on was made, it acted diffeernt, i restarted several times each getting a little further and now, it works.

IT WORKS JUST FINE WITH NO WORK DONE! i'm confused!

Offline Whizbang

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #23 on: Jan 06, 2005, 07:10 PM »
Run msconfig to see what is running at startup.  Since you did not do a clean install, cleaning up the problem still probably will not make it all OK.  A registry problem is like trying to repair an old cracked tire, just too many holes that leak.

Offline Andrew S

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Re:My sisters pc....again
« Reply #24 on: Jan 06, 2005, 07:32 PM »
( i mean, i messed up the install - it technically didnt install at all!)