Question

Getting blank screen with cursor at top of page

I have a Acer laptop with windows vista. Last week my computer said that I had a trojan virus. So I went to malware to do a computer scan. I left the computer for about 2 hours an when i came back the computer screen was blank with a cursor blinking at the top of the page. Now I am not able to get windows to boot up. When I start the computer all it does is go to the blank screen with blinking cursor. F8 will not work, the only thing that will work is if I press F2 for system settings. I have been attacked several times within the last several weeks with the fake messages that say I have a virus. I have just been using restore points to get rid of it. Now I cannot do anything. What can I do since I cannot get into windows at all?
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Clarification Request
copying files

Instead of doing a back up I copied my user folder to a disk with ubuntu. I would like to also copy my outlook email folders with emails but cannot remember where to find this and what i would need to copy, not familiar with file extensions. I am not sure what else I might need to copy and if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Also, I downloaded a windows vista recovery disk from neosmart technologies the other day but have not tryed because I am not sure about it. Is this okay or has anybody ever done this? Need to know how to know what to do next?

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Answer
Can You Do This?

Restart the computer and immediately start pressing the F8 key, once per second, till it loads a selection screen. Once there, use the up/down arrow keys to select "Last Known Good Configuration", then press the "Enter" key. Follow the prompts to let Windows select the last known good restore point and restart the computer.. If things start correctly, then follow the steps below to clean out the malware from your machine.. If the steps above don't allow you to start the computer correctly, then you'll need to use your recovery discs, or the recovery partition on your computer to wipe the hard drive, then reinstall everything back to its factory condition.
___________________

If you can download the tools below on your current computer, and get
them to work, then fine, but frequently the problem malware prevents the
programs from running correctly. If that's the case, then download ALL
of the tools below on a friend or family member's, CLEAN computer and
copy them to a CD or flash drive, then transfer them to the problem
machine and use them while in Safe Mode.
____________________________

After transferring it to the problem machine, and after starting the computer in "Safe Mode with Networking", run the following tool to help allow the removal programs below to run. (courtesy of Grinler at
BleepingComputer.com) There are 3 different versions. If one of them
won't run then try to run the other one. Be patient.... as a black
window should open, then close after finding all the background
programs.Vista and Win7 users need to right click and choose Run as AdminYou only need to get one of them to run, not all of them.

Rkill.exe
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.exe

Rkill.com
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.com

Rkill.scr
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/grinler/rkill.scr
_____________________

IMMEDIATELY after running the "Rkill" tool above, run/install the Malwarebytes and
SuperAntispyware installer and update files from the links below which
you've also copied to a CD or flash drive, and transfered to the problem
machine. Do NOT restart the computer after running Rkill.Once
downloaded and before transferring Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware to
the problem machine, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file
to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and
the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the
problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the
update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan
and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Installer Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)
http://www.besttechie.net/tools/mbam-setup.exe

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link
http://data.mbamupdates.com/tools/mbam-rules.exe

Next, install and run a full system scan with the SuperAntispyware program
and the manual updater from the links below. As before, you may need to
rename the installer file to get the program to install.:

SuperAntispyware
http://www.superantispyware.com/SuperAntispyware

Manual Updater
http://www.superantispyware.com/definitions.html
____________

In a few situations, in order for the program to run, it was also
necessary to rename the main "mbam.exe" file also after installing it..
It resides in the C:\Programs Files\Malwarebytes Antimalware folder....
_____________________

And after that, if everything's fine but you can't connect to the internet,
then follow the procedures below to check your network "proxy" settings
again.Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools-Internet
Options-Connection Tab. Click on the LAN settings button. IF there is a
check mark next to "Use a proxy server for your LAN", uncheck it. Click
OK. Then OK, again.
__________________

For the specific instructions by BleepingComputer, see the link below and note after following the steps above to clean out the primary infected files, download and run the "hosts-perm.bat" file to fix the HOSTS file permissions issue.:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-ms-removal-tool

Hope this helps.

Grif

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F8 will not work

I am not able to get F8 to work, I have tryed over and over again. I can get F2 and in order to get F12 to work I had to go into settings and enable it. I do have acces to another computer because this is how I am posting here. If I get a recovery disk will the computer automatically try and boot from the cd instead of the hard drive? Is there any way to get to safe mode besides using F8 since this will not work, if I push F8 now it does not go into the screen for safe mode it just goes back to blank screen with cursor. I also tried the alt F10 option to do system recovery and it will not load and just goes to blank screen again?

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My acer laptop did not come with recovery cd

I forgot to add that my laptop did not come with recovery disk. is there somewhere online that I can make a recovery disk? I really am trying not to lose all of my information.

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ALL RECOVERY CDS or "Restore CDs" erase the machine.
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Question about ubuntu

I am now in the process of downloading ubuntu which is huge 656mb. Would this be considered a non install boot disk, I am a little confused. If i am doing the wrong thing where on their site do i find a no install boot disk?

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Perhaps this will help
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Acer recovery

Try turning off the computer.
Turn it back on and hold down the ALT key and start tapping the f10 key.
That's what I had to do to my nieces's Acer net book to get into the recovery console

Wayne

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Further questions

I am interested in investigating the blinking cursor once I get things backed up, this will help because I have no recovery disk or OS disks they did not give me with the laptop.

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Is this an Acer?

Today you must create them or if a recent model you can order them.

There are few makers that will give them to you. Can you share why you opted not to create these CD/DVDs?
Bob

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copying files from ubuntu to usb drive

When I got the computer in 2008 I tryed to do this on the system but could not figure it out. I did back up applications. I am in the process right now of copying my user folder to a USB drive by using ubuntu. It would not copy some of the folders like picutures and gave me error that unable to read symbolic data or something like that. It did copy some of the things I needed. When i go into ubuntu and click on computer it shows 200GB hard disk acer, 200GB hard disk data, and File system. I am assuming these are partitions, correct? It shows currently that the acer hard drive has 47GB used and 41GB free. The data drive has 83gb free. my external hard drive is not big enough. My question is should I back up the data from main drive to the data drive as a safety measure?

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Cool. You are getting the files out. MORE...

The symbolic link error if I recall was discussed before. I don't see the full ERROR MESSAGE so I have to leave it to you to try it on google or just share it here.

As to backup running out of space, you might be backing up stuff you can't restore. For example anything in the laptop under Windows or Programs are almost never usable.
Bob

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back up of files

Yes, I am using the copy function to save the important documents that I need. All of the right files are on the disk so I am not to worried about error. Other than my user file I am not sure what else I might need from the computer. I would like to be able to save the current emails I have but cannot remember where to go in windows to save these to a disk. So should also put a copy of my user file on the data drive. Forgot to answer your question, yes this is an acer extensa laptop. It did not come with recovery disk or vista OEM disk either, they should not have stopped suppyling these when purchasing a computer. The other day I downloaded a vista recovery file and burned to a disk it was from neosmart but I have not tryed it yet and not so sure i should. So is there anything I can do now to try and figure out what is causing the blank screen and maybe try and fix? Is there anyway through ubuntu that I can at least check if the hard drive is going bad?

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Sorry the forum bottomed out
Note: Due to the depth of this Q&A discussion thread, no
additional replies can be accepted for this post. If you have an answer
to offer or need clarification of the original question, please reply
to the original post at the beginning of this thread.

When that happens, reply to your top post so folk can reply to you.

Sorry I can't tell what email was in use.
Bob
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Answer
Yes, I am using the copy function to save the important

"Yes, I am using the copy function to save the important documents that
I need. All of the right files are on the disk so I am not to worried
about error. Other than my user file I am not sure what else I might
need from the computer. I would like to be able to save the current
emails I have but cannot remember where to go in windows to save these
to a disk. So should also put a copy of my user file on the data drive.
Forgot to answer your question, yes this is an acer extensa laptop. It
did not come with recovery disk or vista OEM disk either, they should
not have stopped suppyling these when purchasing a computer. The other
day I downloaded a vista recovery file and burned to a disk it was from
neosmart but I have not tryed it yet and not so sure i should. So is
there anything I can do now to try and figure out what is causing the
blank screen and maybe try and fix? Is there anyway through ubuntu that
I can at least check if the hard drive is going bad?"

Sorry but let's see what I can fish out of that.

1. I would like to be able to save the current
emails I have but cannot remember where to go in windows to save these
to a disk.

This varies with the mail app so without the name of the app I can only suggest Google Thenameofthemailapp How To Backup.

2. So should also put a copy of my user file on the data drive.

Sorry but what is this user file?

3. Forgot to answer your question, yes this is an acer extensa laptop. It
did not come with recovery disk or vista OEM disk either, they should
not have stopped suppyling these when purchasing a computer.

Well discussed. There are very good reasons for this but let's move on. The CHEAP EXIT is to order said media.


4. The other
day I downloaded a vista recovery file and burned to a disk it was from
neosmart but I have not tryed it yet and not so sure i should.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/neosmart.net gives it a good rating. Why not try it? Sorry but I can't offer any support for that as I never use that stuff. I have my own ways.

5. So is
there anything I can do now to try and figure out what is causing the
blank screen and maybe try and fix?

Sorry but I don't know your skill level. For example some can boot to a command line and manually roll back the system to the last known good boot. Microsoft does document it but I see the same shorter version at reply 2 at http://www.vistax64.com/general-discussion/148700-vista-stopped-booting-after-update-virus.html


6. Is there anyway through ubuntu that
I can at least check if the hard drive is going bad?

I never use that for that. I use a Windows Vista or 7 bootable full retail DVD (I don't need a CD KEY for this use) and head to the recovery system and take it's tools such as CHKDSK for a spin.

Hope this answers your questions but as it stands today, repairing Windows is still an area Microsoft and all vendors could do better than tell us to backup, restore the OS and then put our files and apps back on.

I mean, seriously! Apple has had the "reinstalling the OS and keep our files" for years now.
Bob

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my email program is outlook express

would i also need to save any drivers and if so where would i go to save these to a disk? Not sure if i could roll back system to last good boot because I cannot get the computer to boot up and give me a line where I could type in a command. I have tryed pressing the alt f10 or ctrl f10 cannot remember which one and it does not work it just goes back to blank screen.

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We can use that information.

1. my email program is outlook express.

Now be aware that where the mail storage is, is well documented and easy to find with a web search. Here's ONE of thousands so if you can't use it, try others
-> http://www.argentuma.com/backup/email-backup.html#outlook-express-backup


2. would i also need to save any drivers and if so where would i go to save these to a disk?

Sorry but restore media removes any need for driver hunting on backup. I can't guess why this is a question when we use the restore media.


3. Not sure if i could roll back system to last good boot because I cannot get the computer to boot up and give me a line where I could type in a command.

As I lead off with, it's advanced repair work and you did ask how to do such in Ubuntu. Don't worry about it. Such repair work is usually not for most of us.


4. I have tryed pressing the alt f10 or ctrl f10 cannot remember which one and it does not work it just goes back to blank screen.

Which is typical for some failed boot information. That Vista Repair CD might fix that, then again it may not.
Bob

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vista repair cd

one thing that i do not know is if the windows vista i have on the computer is 32 bit or 64bit, i bought the computer in november of 2008. So if I have to buy the recovery disks, i am not sure which one to buy. any suggestions on how i can find this out, the paperwork i have on this computer does not say.

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Sorry.

I apologize but you can put the full model number into google and see if it shipped with one or the other.

HOWEVER. CHKDSK is not something I've found to matter when I need to run that.
Bob

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system recovery disk

used the recovery disk from neosmart. clicked on system repair and it said i did not have any problems. Went to recovery mode to do system restore from restore point, it said restore was successful but it did not work. So then i went to command prompt to do chkdsk, did this in read only mode, it would not let me do scan and repair because drive was not mounted. Asked if i wanted to mount but I decided against this. What next? I am wanting to at least find out if hard drive is causing any problems. Should I let it mount the drive and do a in depth check and repair?

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Why not CHKDSK?

If your stuff is backed up, it can beat the alternative.

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Answer
back up files

I copied my user folder to a disk using unbuntu. i would also like to save my email folders with my emails but I cannot remember where to find this on the hard drive to copy to disk. I am not doing a full system back up. I cannot think of any other information that I may need to save to disk. If anybody has recommendations then please do so. Should I also send a copy of my user folder to the data drive that is partioned just to be safe? Also, the other day i downloaded a windows vista recovery file to burn to a cd but have not used it yet because I am not sure if I should. It was free and I downloaded it from neosmart?

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computer is fixed

So I fixed my problem. Used the repair disk from Neosmart along with some other fixes. Fixed MBR and boot sec then the disk worked. Have scanned with various different software apps and had online tech assstance. Each program found trojans and other threats.

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Now the big issue.

Can you have a chat with the owner about preventing this in the future?

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not sure I understand your question

I am the owner of computer. I am looking currently looking for advice on what software I need to have in place on computer to prevent more virus attacks.

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Sadly there is no such software today for Windows.

99% of prevention is up to the user or owners. While current antivirus software is pretty good almost all are "AFTER THE FACT" or only can stop what is known (most of the time.)

And not one will stop the owner from installing a trojan.

Does that clear this up?

Which is a GREAT TOPIC!!! Should PCs be more like XBox 360 or an iPad where everything is under control?
Bob

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Yeah I understand what you are saying

Honestly, I am still having some problems, cannot download windows updates get error messages, my windows security center does not work and I am sure I am going to find more problems. I would rather just reinstall windows but of course I cannot because came with no disks. My biggest beef with computers these days is the fact that they do not come with recovery disks and windows disks. The system restore was a great idea but in my opinion it should have just been another tool to help. I did have to use 3 different softwares to clean up trojans and who knows there are probably still some more in my computer. Well I did have norton 360 on my computer but it was not up to date and the virus attacked it anyway so it was not functioning. Every time in the past when I got a virus it always attacked my anti virus softwares first. I have tryed to download Microsoft Security essentials and keep having problems with that too, have read what to do and tryed to fix and just got tired of it. I plan on going to computer store to buy a anti-virus program so i will have disk and also going to try different from Norton. Not sure yet what. I have also considered trying to purchase windows xp and installing but have been told will not work on Acer notebook I have, but I am sure there is a way around it. I am just fed up with all of this.

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Just need suggestion on good antivirus software

I was just looking for advice on what antivirus software is good to have on computer. I am aware that nothing is 100% this does not mean that I cannot benefit from having a good antivirus software on my computer. I rarely download anything to my computer and do not open email attachments.I am just like a lot of people without a lot of tech knowledge so things are going to happen that may not happen to a computer tech, thats just the way it is. If you would like to make a suggestion on a software then please do, if not well that is okay too.

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In this forum and in the CNET Spyware Forum.

The what is best question is there so often that we should find a way to get a robot to answer that.

Let me share that at home we use the free names you see in these forums (Avast, AVG, Google's PCDoctor) and they work fine. HOWEVER we have very good users that will not install trojans, downloaders, youtube snaggers and such.

If the user is not that good, maybe the time is consider an Apple, iPad, Xbox or Wii where it's a little more controlled.
Bob

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whatever if you are the moderator

and if you were truly trying to be of assistance you would not be acting like you are holier than thou. Maybe you should find a diffferent profession that does not have to do with helping people!

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