Skip to comments.Help with PC needed!
Posted on 06/18/2011 5:40:28 AM PDT by TheRobb7
First the setup: Computer is a Dell Dimension E521 running Windows Vista Home Premium.
My antivirus software is AVG free edition.
The other day, I ran the AV, using the "Rootkit scanner". The PC was acting slower than usual, even after a few complete scans.
The rootkit scan showed a file that was possibly malware. I chose to remove that file.
The AV then prompted me to restart for the change to take effect.
Now, Windows will not start. A black screen appears with this message:
"Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem: 1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer. 2. Choose language settings and then click "next". 3. Click "repair your computer".
None of the above is possible because the PC won't talk to the disk drive, even after pressing F12 or F2 or F8 during restart...it's just a constant loop.
Any help ya'll can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you :)
Why would you buy a PC that requires you to go through such pain to simply keep it running?? Get a Mac. No AV software needed. It will run for 10 years and be fun to use to boot.
Freeper PC guru’s: does anyone know how to filter out a Domain in GMail? logrhythmsrule.com is a garbage SPAMMER that sends SPAM all day long with different names before the @logrhythmsrule.com
GMail’s filter stinks and no one can figure out how to stop the domain.
Maybe he can’t use a Mac because he’s a heterosexual.
Do you recall the name of the file you deleted?
Have you tried to run the ‘safe mode’ during start-up? [Not sure how in Vista]
Well it only took to post 2. well done
does nothing to really help him though
Hey guys, cut it out.
I love ya’ll, but I just needed help...not a PC/mac flam war.
My PC is already paid for and needs to remain serviceable until finances are not as tight.
I am requesting helpfulness, not snarkiness.
This sounds to me like a hardware failure. I would suggest you open the computer, and disconnect all the peripherals, and see if the computer will boot without the CD ROM, harddrive, memory installed, and other add-ons connected. If still it doesn’t boot, it’s probably the motherboard/CPU. If it does boot, reconnect each of the disconnected items to see which one is causing the boot failure.
We tried everything but eventually had to revert my system to the "new" state of when I bought it. Luckily, I was able to save my critical files in "safe" mode. But reloading all of my software was a nightmare. I'm almost positive this is what you'll have to do.
I’d use this as a chance to upgrade to win 7, its much better than Vista.
I’d try to get it booted into safe mode and then restore the file.
Its also possible to use the windows disk to repair the OS problem without reinstalling the OS. Choose the repair option.
My guess is you’ll need to reinstall the operating system.
You are saying that you can’t even go in to ‘Setup’ to check the drive settings?
There are some nasty viruses out there than can alter or wipe out the ‘head block’ of a hard drive.
If that virus did that, then your only alternative is to send it back to the factor to be restored.
Unfortunately, they will wipe out all of your information.
Do you have the Dell Vista DVD that came with your system? Try booting the PC off of that, and getting into Vista setup. There is an option there to Repair, and it will scan the Vista installation on your C:\ drive and repair/replace any missing core files. You will need to re-update any MS patches or service packs, probably.
I have the worst possible news for you.
The rootkit gave a false positive on a bit of information on the drive that Windows uses to validate the OS as legitimate.
You deleted something you shouldn’t have and will have to reinstall your OS. You won’t be able to recover otherwise. You should be able to save all of your data
when turning on the machine, try going into BIOS mode by pressing down on the DELETE or ENTER key (depends on the motherboard) and get the BIOS screen. If you have a Live CD (which boots a mini OS on RAM), in the BIOS choose the CD/DVD to be the first place the computer look for an OS. Exit BIOS mode. The computer will look for an OS CD/DVD. When the LIVE CD OS is installed, transfer all your files you have worked on to a USB. Some Live CD carry some anti-malware and anti-virus programs.
I avoid such virus problems by using 3 products:
1- Deep Freeze.
3- Avira (something like AVS)
They come with free bumper stickers!
Head block.. should have read ‘header block’.
I would pull the hard drive and scan it on another system with AVG, IObit or clamwin for viruses, and then with Antimalware and Spybot for malware.
You can get these programs from www.majorgeeks.com.
If you don't understand everything I said (without needing to look anything up), do NOT proceed further and find a local Dad or a kid who KNOWS his stuff, and fork over $50 and dinner.
Have you tried creating a filter using the ‘any of these words’ option and entering just part of the phrase such as ‘logrhythmsrule’?
I do that with my regular email filterer (Mailwasher) when I get spam that changes the name part but has a recurring address.
The error sheen lists several modes to run, but none of them work.
The PC will go right up to the Dell logo with the F2 and F12
In the top right corner of the screen. Pushing those doesn’t do anything.
After the Dell logo, the screen goes black and then returns to the error message I listed earlier.
Any other thoughts? (Thanks BTW)
“The PC will go right up to the Dell logo with the F2 and F12
In the top right corner of the screen. Pushing those doesnt do anything.”
It’s waiting for the hard drive to respond.
Unplug the hard drive and try rebooting to see if you can get into setup.
If you can, then the problem is the drives header block is corrupted.
You need to make sure you’re powered down. The power switch on the PC is a soft switch, and does not usually fully cut power to the system. So unplug it and let it sit a minute or two, then plug back in and power on.
Now, if you bought this system new, there should be a Windows OEM install partition, with all of Vista on it. You need to get to that. It sounds ike you may have deleted, via your AV software, a vital system file. This also means that you’re running your system with SysAdmin privileges. And when you get you’re system repaired, you need to set up an basic user account that you run from unless you’re installing software.
Can’t really help you much more than that. I left the widows verse long ago.
If it were me, I would upgrade to Windows 7. Check the BIOS and see if the CD drive shows up. Make sure the CD drive is the first drive in the boot sequence
There is a way to put a dell computer into a diagnostic mode on boot. I think you hold down the left function key when booting. This would allow you to run diagnostics on everything and determine if you have a hardware issue. IF you had a virus its possible it damaged your drive.
My bet is the OS is just messed up and you’ll need to reinstall. You can call Dell and they will walk you through the process, although you may have to pay $35 or so. Cheaper than taking it somewhere but you’ll lose the data.
I pay 55 bucks a year for Carbonite and I've probably needed it more than any other account they have.
I'm stuck, changing the OS means new scanners, new printers and some of my expensive software.
If this computer would work with XP I'd go back to it in a heartbeat.
From what I’ve read of Windows 7, all drivers and software are supposed to be ‘backward compatible’ with Vista.
You might want to research it and find out for sure though.
If that is not feasible, you will probably have to find a computer geek that can prepare you a new drive for your machine.
Try esc key to get you in at startup.
I don’t know how to restart your computer but I did have problems with AVG slowing down everything on mine. Got Avast! now and everything is fine.
I have a 4 or 5 year old HP with Vista bought from Walmart.
I don’t bother trying to save it when files go bad, I just go and buy another computer, to me they are totally disposable.
I made the mistake years ago buying top dollar, both on a PC and a laptop and both times I was bit in the rear, the Toshiba laptop was $3000 and lasted less than 6 months when it totally died, I still have it, I should just burn it.
Sorry I am not giving you any advice, its just that when the PC gets bad I just get another one because they are so cheap, and these cheap puters are more than adequate for any use I will put them to.
Trying it now.
Thank you. I will keep you posted :)
Since I don’t believe in supporting AlGore, I will not buy any Apple product at all.
If you want to stuff your money into his pockets, go ahead.
Could be that the AVG and/or virus messed up the Master Boot Record on your harddisk. Try booting from a windows install CD and see if you can run the fixmbr utility.
Keep F8 pressed while the computer starts.
W7 really works well and I have yet to have to reinstall the OS on any of the three machines running it.
If you had any integrity you would ask the moderator to delete your post. It does nothing to help the OP.
Keep in mind that I am heavy into photography, lots of old software programs.
So am I. I use Paint Shop Pro and some other programs. They ALL run on 7.
Sandboxie is a neat program. I have used it for years.
However, several of the new releases of ‘free for home use’ anti-virus have built-in sandboxes, which create conflicts. I just recently had to backtrack from Avast! 6 to 5. Ver 6 has added a sandbox which interferes with Sandboxie, even when the Avast! sandbox is turned off. I just hope Avast! continues to support ver 5, because, between the two, I’ll toss out Avast before I’ll toss out Sandboxie.
Strictly speaking, if you’re seeing the “Windows Failed To Start” error, then the disk is talking to the computer. Your Bios knows nothing about Windows failing to start so it couldn’t raise that error. The Windows bootloader raises that error.
Besides, that’s not how Bios reports errors.
Do not follow any of the advice FReepers are giving along the lines of disconnecting various pieces of hardware to see if the computer will boot: it’s a waste of time, you obviously deleted a system file and need to replace it.
Since you have access to the internet, Google “Windows Vista Windows failed to start”
You will get solutions like:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart the computer.
2. Choose your language settings and click next.
3. Click “repair your computer”
These will likely work.
I’m dying to know which software won’t run under Windows 7
Been there done that!
AVG is the WORST antivirus ever, it will delete windows system files that viruses attach to.
You need to boot off your Vista CD and see if you can recover a restore point, if possible, to avoid a reinstall.
If you have an internet connection on another computer, all the info you need to fix this is on the net.
Beware some of the “advice” you’ll get on threads like this, this thread alone I was shaking my head, knowing all the posters before me were WRONG.
Serious, I had this exact same thing happen to me on XP a few years ago..after restoring using my XP system disc, I uninstalled AVG as fast as I could and never used again.
Newer versions of AVG should warn you against deleting system files, but it might be easy to miss, but I’m not sure since I no long use or keep up with AVG.
There are programs that will attempt to discover or "recreate" the header block, if it's been wiped out or altered. Its common use is to recover photos from corrupted memory cards, but they work on those spinning drives too. I managed to mangle a header (partition table), and got it back with just the little bit of sweat that comes with the "Oh crap" moment.
There is another set of programs marketed as "partition recovery tools," that likely have similar facilities.
I have a copy of SystemRescueCD on a CD, a DVD, and a thumb drive (so one or another will boot from most any hardware); the tool on that that does the job is called "testdisk" See http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk for a description of use.
I held down the DELETE key when restarting, and it
took me to “Windows Boot Manager”. It only gives
me one choice for an operating system to start: Microsoft Windows Vista.
There is also a Windows Memory Diagnostic option there.
I ran that, but PC still will not boot properly.
I’m still trying to figure out how to reach the BIOS screen.
Any other suggestions? Thank you :)
Moving from XP to Vista was a major hassle, I'm not ready for a repeat.
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