Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Nothing but Foreign Characters showing

My husband returned to his computer this evening to find that it had rebooted and now nothing but foreign characters show up! He is running Windows XP and he has an up-to-date copy of McAfee antivirus software running at all times. We have rebooted several times, but nothing changes. Even the screen where you enter your password is all in foreign characters.

Since we cannot understand anything that appears on the screen, I have no idea where to begin to try to fix this problem. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be most appreciative of your help.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Nothing but Foreign Characters showing
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Nothing but Foreign Characters showing
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
foreign characters show up

In reply to: Nothing but Foreign Characters showing

Try running your anti virus in safe mode,

Also try installing,update,and run in safe mode TROJAN HUNTER and a anti spyware program,such as SPYBOT

Tom

Collapse -
Can't read anything to know what to run

In reply to: foreign characters show up

The problem I am having is that I cannot read anything at all which means that I don't know how to find anything that I might need to run in order to restore the language/characters to English. When I boot the computer, even the screen where you enter your logon password is filled with non-English characters. Most/all of the icons next to the "words" are also changed. For example, I'm pretty sure I have found the "My Computer" icon(the icons and words seem to be laid out the same as I remember from when it was all in English), but the icons are the yellow folder symbols rather than the traditional icons for a hard drive, CD drive, etc.

Without being able to read any of the words or recognize the icons, I don't know how to select anything to run. Please help...thanks.

Collapse -
Try system restore ..

In reply to: Can't read anything to know what to run

from safe mode with command prompt, as described in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449

Hope this helps. If not, there's little else you can do than a clean install of Windows XP from either the Windows XP CD or the system recovery CD.


Kees

Collapse -
Problem seems to be corrected!

In reply to: Can't read anything to know what to run

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I have fixed the problem. Here's what I did, in case anyone else runs into this problem.

I knew that the lower left hand corner of the screen had a button that says "start" so I started mapping the characters on my screen with what they should be. Note that uppercase and lowercase are different, adding to the complexity of my mapping. Then I knew that right above "Start" should be "All Programs" and I mapped those characters. Fortunately I didn't have to map too many letters before I felt confident that I had found "Accessories", then "System Tools" and finally "System Restore". The real miracle was that once I got to the Sytem Restore screen the words there were all in English, although the buttons, e.g. "Back", "Next", "Cancel" were still in jibberish. But I had mapped enough characters at that time to know how to select "Next" and eventually I got to a calendar (in English characters, Horray!) that let me select a point on Friday to restore.

I don't know if everything on his computer is okay now, but at least what I am seeing are good old English characters! Thank you so much for your help!

Collapse -
Mine isnt

In reply to: Problem seems to be corrected!

I did what you said, and tried the system restore. That in itself took over 5 attempts just to even find a spot to restore. Failed repeatedly. Finally I get a spot to restore, and nothing happens. Same odd characters. I also miraculously downloaded a FPROT Virus program, found countless infections. And disinfected over 800 objects. Rescanning now, and there are 3 as of this moment. Seems they won't remove. Not sure if they are the issue, but this is really bothering me. The characters don't seem to affect programs, but they are a serious nuisance, and I wish nothing but death to those who sit at home and create things like this. If anyone has other ideas, please send them. I have some serious music files I can't afford destroyed. Not too mention my backup drive has been infected by this crap as well.

Collapse -
"found countless infections" = Something to know.

In reply to: Mine isnt

When you find a heavily infected machine sometimes all you can do is to nudge it back from the brink and repair it only so we can backup what files we can't lose. Then we wipe and reinstall all the good stuff, restore from backup since repair of this OS is never assured.

Bob

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win* a free holiday tech gift!

CNET's giving five lucky winners the gift of their choice valued up to $250!