OS stops loading early, can't fix

Ibm / 26474ag
January 5, 2009 at 16:50:20
Specs: Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, 796 MHz / 255 MB

I have a Windows XP system which is having very serious issues. Windows boots okay although a long delay on "Windows is starting up...". However when the wallpaper appears, the system stops loading anything. Neither the desktop icons nor the taskbar appear.

The same happens in safe mode. I can not get to control panel.

I can open Task Manager, however I seem to be locked out of it in some form. I cannot change the affinity of any of the running processes ("Access is denied"). Nor can I start any programs, including explorer.exe, regedit.exe, msconfig.exe, cmd.exe or anything else useful I can think of. If I try to run anything like this, when I click OK, Task Manager simply disappears.

I have tried to overwrite Windows from the CD (reinstalling without reformatting). This has predictably downgraded me from SP2 to SP1. However it has not fixed the problem.

Does anyone have any different spin on these techniques? I do need the data and I can move the drive physically, but this system was working ship-shape not long ago, it seems ridiculous to suddenly lose it in such a dramatic fasion in such a short time.

Thanks for any help you can give. It's much appreciated, believe me.

P.S. Please ignore the specs attached to this post. They're for the wrong machine, but without getting to Control Panel I can't give you anything more useful. Sorry...

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January 5, 2009 at 17:01:21
Have you tried booting to Safe Mode and logging in as administrator?

If successful try a system restore to a date prior to this issue.

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January 5, 2009 at 17:05:32
Since the repair reinstall there will be no restore points. Bummer.

no mention of spyware scans or antivirus.

Behaviour indicates a serious infection.

Get what date you want and wipe and reinstall from scratch.

Scan the data for malware/virus's before restoring.

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January 5, 2009 at 17:07:26
yea wanderer, you are right.

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Related Solutions

January 5, 2009 at 17:13:53
sorry, deleted my answer...it didn't apply

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January 6, 2009 at 06:00:15
You can get your system specs by going to "My Computing.net and running the scanner Justin has added to the site.

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown

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January 6, 2009 at 12:31:42
wanderer: I did have AVG installed before this happened. There are still two processes in the task list that start with "avg" although I have no idea if they're still doing their job.

I'm not ruling it out, but it would be a first if I had managed to get a virus -- I am a web developer! I'm pretty web-savvy.

If nobody has any better ideas I will image the drive and reformat, but I'm going to leave this thread just a while longer. I'd appreciate any other input.

(Jennifer: I'm unable to get any software to run normally on the target machine -- including web browsers and Java Web Start. Sorry!)

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January 6, 2009 at 12:39:43
Did you try Safe Mode?

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January 6, 2009 at 13:13:01
Safe Mode has exactly the same issues. Wallpaper, no icons, no taskbar, no starting any processes from the Task Manager etc etc.

I tried both my usual user account and the Administrator account (which isn't usually there) and neither worked.

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January 6, 2009 at 13:21:09
You state you will image and reformat. Does that mean you intend to apply that image back on the drive?

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