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igarek77

PC Issue

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Hi Guys

Ran into a little problem. Basically, what's is happening, friend brought a laptop for me to fix, said he might of got a virus or something. I go and try to check what's going on and, this is what's happening to the PC:

When the PC is started, it logs on to windows, but the cursor stays on the hourglass for a long time, and I can't click any icons on the desktop, and the tasbar is grayed out. Once the cursos goes back to normal, I get an error message, stating that explorer.exe has encountered an error and will be shut down. The computer will stay on, and after a while the same message pops up, I'm thinking because the explorer.exe is trying to constantly restart. When I go into task manager through control+alt+del, and try to restart explorer through File-->New Task(Run) I get the above mentioned error message right away.All this while I can't click any icons on the desktop or launch anything through the start menu, the taskbar is grayed out.

So I'm thinking that there's something that's preventing explorer.exe to launch normally, so I've tried to log in through safe mode. Same thing is happening. I have the original CD that came with the laptop, and tried to launch a repair option from the CD, I can't get into System Recovery, it only provides me with a command promt (like DOS environment). So i try to enter chkdsk /r, so at least it would detect and repair whatever's wrong with the OS, it starts the process, and everytime gets stuck @ 59%.

You guys think I should just do a fresh reinstall? Because basically, the laptop is not usable at the moment. The reason why I was wanting to try a repair option first because he has some stuff on the hard drive that he would want to keep.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!

(Intel Celeron M-----512MB Memory-------60GB hard drive)<----laptop specs

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can you stay in task manager long enough to see if there are any suspicious processes running ? something that could cause a system to be unstable ? ....even if its an antivirus software, it might be causing all this trouble...i would end all the processes you have running, except the ones that need to be there for o/s to function - and go from there....

you could also try running: msconfig from the run command if you are able to get there, to see what programs start when windows starts, and turn them off...you are also able to run system restore directly from msconfig

from msconfig you can also boot into safe mode with custom parimeters if you are interested....its a very useful utility - startup tab will also list the programs that start when windows loads up - check that if you can

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Its better to use the the original xp restore cd that came with the laptop as it will include all the drivers you will need to get the laptop working again... as in a laptop you cant open it and find the models.... etc etc...and some laptops drivers are hard to find so.... bare that in mind.

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sorry dlewis23 never saw your post before but yes.. fixing these problems would take alot of time and still who says the laptop will still be virus free... it may have embedded itself to other crucial files needed for the laptop to defend itself from other viruses.

meaning leaving security holes open for it to install more viruses.

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can you stay in task manager long enough to see if there are any suspicious processes running ? something that could cause a system to be unstable ? ....even if its an antivirus software, it might be causing all this trouble...i would end all the processes you have running, except the ones that need to be there for o/s to function - and go from there....

you could also try running: msconfig from the run command if you are able to get there, to see what programs start when windows starts, and turn them off...you are also able to run system restore directly from msconfig

from msconfig you can also boot into safe mode with custom parimeters if you are interested....its a very useful utility - startup tab will also list the programs that start when windows loads up - check that if you can

I actually already did all the things you mentioned, I was able to access Task Manager through control-alt-del, and ran msconfig, I de-selected all of the programs that are in the starup list. And changed the startup option to diagnostic startup where only basic drivers are loading. I am able to look at the processess in the task manager, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary, regular windows processes are running, that's all. Except one thing that I did notice that was running in the processes was drwtsn32.exe, thought that was kind of odd. Since it's not a regular running process on systems, and it's not selected to run at startup either. Tried rebooting the system into safe mode, same exact issue as in regular mode. Also, the weird thing is, I tried opening the System Resote from msconfig, and I get the window to come up, but it all stays white and I can't do anything with it, just sits there.

Posted by: FiberOptic 

Insert Quote

Its better to use the the original xp restore cd that came with the laptop as it will include all the drivers you will need to get the laptop working again... as in a laptop you cant open it and find the models.... etc etc...and some laptops drivers are hard to find so.... bare that in mind.

Yeah I think that's what I'll end up doing now, since nothing else seems to work. Sometimes I know laptops can act weird because a memory stick could be knocked out of place, which is not the case here, so it seems like a fresh install is what I'll do. Too bad he didn't back up whatever he had on it.

FiberOptic, thanks for the link, good info to brush up on.

Thanks a lot for all your responses!

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igarek77 ; I'm going to suggest a thing or two to try before you reformat If you haven't already.To start with do you have the administrator password if one was ever set up?

Then at the command prompt  try scandisk & do the full one instead of chkdsk /r.

Since it's XP I don't think you have any scanreg options.

Then I don't know if you have extract options form the comand prompt so you may have to use copy options.I will use the common way but C: is the HD your Windows is on & D: is your CD/ROM.You need to find Explorer .exe on the original CD & copy or extract it to C:Windows.This should replace the corrupt one.

If this fails there may be a file you can access & do the same thing I think it would be either C:i386 or C:Windows |i386 if you have this an install copy of explorer.exe should be there.

If you are not familar with DOS then I'm not sure you can do this.

But the commands should be like this:

prompt  extract  (this is the directory the install explorer.exe is located in)  explorer.exe

then prompt  copy  explorer.exe  C:Windows

If this doesn't work with your prompt then a copy of a Windows 98 or ME startup disc may let you into a useable DOS to try this.

If not try to search testmy for instructions on using scannow in XP.

If you get in then burn the data you want to CD & reformat if you still are having problems.

I hope this helps.

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igarek77 ; I'm going to suggest a thing or two to try before you reformat If you haven't already.To start with do you have the administrator password if one was ever set up?

Then at the command prompt  try scandisk & do the full one instead of chkdsk /r.

Since it's XP I don't think you have any scanreg options.

Then I don't know if you have extract options form the comand prompt so you may have to use copy options.I will use the common way but C: is the HD your Windows is on & D: is your CD/ROM.You need to find Explorer .exe on the original CD & copy or extract it to C:Windows.This should replace the corrupt one.

If this fails there may be a file you can access & do the same thing I think it would be either C:i386 or C:Windows |i386 if you have this an install copy of explorer.exe should be there.

If you are not familar with DOS then I'm not sure you can do this.

But the commands should be like this:

prompt  extract  (this is the directory the install explorer.exe is located in)  explorer.exe

then prompt   copy  explorer.exe  C:Windows

If this doesn't work with your prompt then a copy of a Windows 98 or ME startup disc may let you into a useable DOS to try this.

If not try to search testmy for instructions on using scannow in XP.

If you get in then burn the data you want to CD & reformat if you still are having problems.

I hope this helps.

Thanks Cholla,

I don't know why I didn't think about doing that earlier, I'll try it and see how that goes. Altough, I do remember trying to access the CD-ROM through the command prompt, but whenever I input cd d:

it would go back to c:Windows

So I'm not sure. I'll try it again though. I don't think I'm able to use scandisk in WinXP, since XP does not have DOS. Under normal computer working conditions, I can access it from the properties tab on the local hard drive, but since I can't access anything at all, I don't think it can be executed through the command prompt. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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igarek77; You may not have to use the cd comand at the prompt jusd D: then enter for D:

But if the prompt is C:Windows>  & you want C: then you use cd enter but for D: usually just D: enter.

I would at least try scandisk just type it at the prompt not the D: promt though.

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Do you have a 98 or ME start up disk?

And all it should take is scandisk no .exe on it

Try this at the prompt dir /w/p to see if the Explorer file is in C:Windows or to look for the i386 directory then go to the C:/  & do the same.

If the i386 file is there to look in it will be at the prompt cdwindows|i386

the prompt will look like this  C:windowsi386> there type dir /w/p

then try with C: also

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I had a similar problem to this recently, where I could only get to recovery console, and the check disk would lock up(when running with /r or /f )...

I loaded the console(boot from cd...repair option blah blah blah), ran chkdsk with no / and just let it run and it finished...I came up with errors...I rebooted, got back into console, ran chkdsk /f, let it run, said blah blah blah errors repaired...Then rebooted again, and ran chkdsk /r...think it said no errors, than rebooted a final time, and it finally booted up windows and ran fine.....(eventually I went too far on an overclocking adventure, and had to reformat anyway, but I did get it up and running again before I f'd it up again  :evil6:  )

:thumbsup:

Good Luck

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Hi All,

Thanks for giving me advice on the issue. I fixed the problem, and thought I'd post the solution to what was happening. So basically, after playing around with the commands, and different options, I ran chkdisk, and all the other ones, to no help. Then he told me he tried to un-install Norton Antivirus, and all the other norton crap, and that's when the computer went crazy, so I believe that Norton uninstall process somehow messed up his primary partition. Then my friend called me and said that he found a repair CD that came with the laptop, so I was able to repair the partition without no data loss, and he's happy now.

Thanks For all the help!

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