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major computer help - no programs loading

hello.

so, my other computer (windows XP) is not working. at all.
i turn it on, it loads like normal. it prompts me with my username and password, and i put it in. it goes right to the desktop and all of the icons load. it seems great. however, nothing else seems to load. whenever i scroll my mouse down to that bar on the bottom, it gives me an hourglass. none of the little program symbols come up in the bottom right. i try to run programs but they never load. so i'm stuck.

my first thought was, i probably have some virus. i rebooted into safe mode and ran a virus scan through windows defender. nothing came up.

my next thought was to just do a system restore to an earlier date. system restore loaded fine in safe mode. however, when i got to the point where i'm supposed to choose the date of when to restore, it is automatically set in the month of august in the year 2099. i try to change the year with the little scrolldown bar to 2008, but it doesn't change the calender. i clicked on the little arrow to bring it to the previous month, but nothing happened. i clicked the arrow to bring it to a month forward, but it said something about internet explorer's script having a problem. that puzzled me because i didn't think internet explorer should have ANYTHING to do with a system restore and it made me think further that my computer had been tampered with somehow by an outside source.

can anyone help me with this problem? i'm just plum out of ideas. any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Collapse -
Just to get you sarted.

In reply to: major computer help - no programs loading

Windows Defender does not scan for viruses. It is an anti-spyware utility. What do you use to scan for viruses?

You said this is your other computer. Is that significant? Are both computers connected to a home network? If so, do you use any P2P file sharing software? Does this computer connect to the internet, either on its own or through the other computer?

If not, when was the last time you used this computer before you turned it on and these problems started? In Safe Mode, was the time and date displaying properly in the System tray, (bottom right hand of the Taskbar)? If not, what time and date does it show?

I suspect this is virus damage, and you will have to scan your system with an updated anti-virus utility, preferably in Safe Mode. I would turn off System Restore first, as viruses can hide in the backup files. That will lose all your current System Restore backup files.

Mark

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update

In reply to: Just to get you sarted.

i believe i used mcafee to scan for viruses. however, it's been a long time since the computer has worked and i'm afraid my subscription has expired. i was looking for mcafee or any other virus scanning program when it froze, in safe mode, and i had to restart. i'm rebooting it now and currently it's stuck at the screen with a bunch of lines that say windows/system32/drivers/ etc. if i can't find any virus-scanning software, what would be the best way to go about hunting down the virus that i'm assuming is on my computer? is there a way to go online in safe mode and download it from there? because it's not going to work while not in safe mode.

i stated it was my other computer just because i wouldn't be able to get on here from that computer. the internet connection and network is set up from that computer, and i'm receiving it fine on this computer.

it's been about a month that the computer has been completely unusable, and about 4 months that the computer had been getting slower and having internet problems. only internet problems on that computer, none of the others in the network.

the time and date in the system tray was set to august 2099. i changed that to august 2008 but still had the same problems. i couldn't go to previous months while in system restore, none of the restore dates appeared, and got the same error message when trying to go to future months. i know this is recent, because i have performed system restores on the computer before and it has worked fine.

and as i'm done typing this, safe mode is STILL not loaded and is stuck at the black screen with the windows/system32/drivers/ lines. now that it's not even loading safe mode is making me really worried. :/

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It looks like

In reply to: update

you need to start again with this, and use the XP CD to reformat and reinstall the operating system.

Mark

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