"No matter what option you choose, the following happens."
The OS has been damaged. You have to set your goal here. Whether to find out what happened or to fix it. Your choice isn't clear here.
To fix it may involve using the XP REPAIR INSTALL (see google.com) or in the worst case, tossing a new drive in to install XP proper to and adding the old drive so the client can get their files out.
I?m working on a client?s computer with Windows XP Home Edition. A little background first. The client reports that the system got infected, and agrees with my recommendation to Nuke the hard drive and start over fresh. So the fix is easy, I?m just curious as to what is causing this just incase I run into the problem again in the future and the client is not open to Nuking the system.
When you start the system you come to the screen (someone tell me what it is called) where you choose between starting in Normal or Safe Mode, or in the last known configuration that worked. No matter what option you choose, the following happens. The system gets to the point where you see the Windows XP logo with the green horizontal dots running from left to right, and then it reboots and eventually takes you back to the same black screen where you choose Safe Mode or Normal Mode.
By the way, just incase anyone is curious as to how I am wiping the hard drive (as if there could possibly be anyone as ?novice? as I) here?s the link.