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Thread: Win XP Home Login Issues




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    USA, Upstate NY
    Posts
    62

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    Hello Everyone.

    I was looking at a friend's machine tonight for some problems and I am totally stumped, so I figured I would ask here.

    The machine is a 6 month old Dell desktop, running XP Home, SP1. My friend and his wife went away for a few days, and when they came back their computer wasnt working. Their kids insist that they didnt do anything.....riiiiiiight.

    Anyway, the machine will boot fine up until the user selection screen. Each of the family members has an account, so there are 5 different users. When you click on any of them, the machine tries to load the account (as in, it will sometimes show a background, the HD LED will flash, etc.) and then give one of several error messages. The majority of these messages say that the machine cannot verify that windows is activated, or that it cant find the license for the machine. Also several parse errors are given.

    I attempted to boot the machine into safe mode and log into the administrator account, and once it locked giving me the same error, and another time it let me in with no problems. The machine has no floppy drive, so I was unable to run my command line virus scanner tonight.

    Im thinking that the kids either got a virus, or somehow deleted something windows needs.

    Does anyone have any ideas at all how to help out? Or is a reinstall the only thing in my future? Sorry for such a long post, and thanks in advance for any help you can offer!!

    ~Bug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

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    This looks like the type of thing that would be easier fix by reinstalling. Even if you can fix it, it should prove quite difficult.

    That said, this might be just about impossible to fix. From the sounds of it, the virus(es) has done irrepairable damage and removing it wouldn't fix the problem. That's assuming it's a virus. The kids might have just done somethig stupid.

    If you really want to fix it without a reinstall, a Google and/or MS search on the error messages is probably going to be necessary. You might find out that a specific file has been deleted or something like that from your searches. That would be the first place to look for a lead. However, you will likely come up with dead ends and wish you'd just reinstalled.

    and just throw a floppy drive in that thing. Windows shouldn't care much, and it'll let you use you floppy scanner. Speaking of floppies, a useful tool for outside-of-OS virus deletion is this:
    http://www.ntfs.com/boot-disk.htm
    It will let you read and access NTFS partitions from outside Windows. It's quite useful and I find it to be easier than going through Windows stuff (like recovery console and all that).

  3. #3
    01001101 Guest

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    it's called FUBAR :p

    someone has been messing with your activation and/or CD-Key. The only practical thing to do is to format the damn thing, right after you break all the fingers of the kids.

    I assume there are files you want to save? Remove the hard dive and mount it as a slave in a working NT(5+) system, then burn the files you want to keep. You can also run a virus scan on it at this point.

    After all is said and done, give the owners a serious talk in PC security (both software and physical)

    Yawgm0th, why tell them to spend money on hardware they don't need. Floppy drives still cost money, no matter how you look at it. Spending money to fix a problem should be a last resort.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    USA, Upstate NY
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Hey All.

    Thanks for the prompt replies on things.

    I was pretty sure it was looking like a reformat myself, but I just wanted to see if anyone had dealt with a similar circumstance and could say "Oh yeah, its easy, just do this!".

    Ill check out that site regarding the boot disk. That looks like it could be a really handy thing to have. If I need to, Ill crack the case and install a floppy temporarily. But at this point Ill just burn the command line scanner to a CD and make it bootable, or use some of the built in diagnostic stuff to get me to a command line.

    I am going to have a serious sit down with the parental figures here about locking down their machine. They had all five users (including the three kids) as system administrators, which just isnt a good thing at all.

    Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it. If I run into anything else Ill let ya know.

    ~Bug

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