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XP Rendering engine is broken

I've been fighting an unknown virus and somehow now my HTML rendering in messed up on XP Pro. At least I think that's what's going on.

I've tried uninstalling IE7 as well as uninstalling and reinstalling XP SP3 but it doesn't seem to help.

Symptoms: For example, if I try to change the country on this page then IE tells me it can't display the page. When I use FireFox I get a blank page but the Error Console lists numerous parsing errors such as Unknown property, Expected end value, etc...

I also found that MS Word help comes up blank.

So it seems something is wrong with the rendering engine. I'm using a used server I purchased from a local PC leasing shop and XP appears to have been pre-installed by HP so I do not have the XP CDs.

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Try installing both the latest ...

In reply to: XP Rendering engine is broken

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Didn't work.

In reply to: Try installing both the latest ...

Tired that but it said my SP was newer so it wasn't needed and did not install.

Given my virus issues I'm tempted to just uninstall XP all together and install Win2K Pro since I have a CD for that.

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Virus issues

In reply to: Didn't work.

May be a clue there.

It's a shame you didn't mention that in your first post. It may have pointed Edward in a different direction in his response.

Tell us more about these virus issues and what anti-malware protection you employ. Are they up to date?

Can you get to Housecall for an online anti-virus scan?

and when you are done, get an online anti-spyware scan done at;

Thet then delete everything they find.

When done there, remove all BHO's from IE. Google will help tell you about BHO's


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Here's a little viurs history

In reply to: Virus issues

I got it from a Limewire download (which I'll never use again)

I get all sorts of popups or singles sites, anti-virus stuff etc...

I'm running McAfee provided by Comcast and it's up to date.

Since I got the virus or whatever, I've run the following:

Spybot - got rid of a few things
Adaware - got rid of more thing

I thought it might be Vundo so I ran Vundofix but it's scan found nothing.

I also ran SmitfraudFix

I put URL bans on the singles stuff as a temporary "fix" but I'm still getting little anti-virus popups.

Am currently scanning with Trend Micro Housecall but that says it's going to take me 2 hours so I'll let that run and see what it finds.

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There's no such thing as an ...

In reply to: XP Rendering engine is broken

XP rendering engine, nor a XP script engine.

There's a Microsoft version of the rendering engine (comes with IE), there's a second Microsoft version (comes with Office 2007), and there's a Microsoft scripting host, and there's a Mozilla version of both.

Generally, if things like this are wrong in IE, they work in Firefox, vice versa. So, while it's a mystery what's wrong, it seems safe to conclude that something is wrong.

Most HP's nowadays come configured so that using F11 during boot brings you in the system restore menu, allowing you start all over from factory settings. Maybe go back to the local shop to help you with that? They surely should know. What they did is like selling a car without a spare key, so you've got some (moral) rights for their support.


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In reply to: There's no such thing as an ...

Actually the shop that sold me the PC seemed like good people so if I can't get this figured out today I'll give them a call and see if they have an XP CD I can have/borrow and reload XP.

After the housecall scan I'll try the F11 while booting too.

I'll have to reinstall all of my software which'll take some time but getting a clean start would be nice.

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In reply to: XP Rendering engine is broken

I was running a part of Spybot that monitors registry changes and the same one kept popping up. By experimenting with killing processes I was able to determine that explorer.exe is doing evil things so has likely been infected.

Also, when I kill explorer.exe then my browsers work properly again so this makes me even more sure it's an infected explorer.exe issue.

I called the leasing company that sold me this server and their tech guy said his boss had a similar virus last week. He finally solved the problem by using Microsoft's LiveOneCare so my next step is to give their 90 day free trial a go.

If not, the tech guy offered to dig up an XP restore CD or reload an XP image into my hard drive. Given that I only paid $150 for this server delivered to my door they are really being great about helping me.

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That's good,

In reply to: Update

but I would persevere with the online scans, and don't forget to remove all those BHO's from IE. Although they are specifically IE addons, they may also affect Windows Explorer, (explorer.exe), because the two are closely intertwined within Windows.

Also, once those scans are done, update your anti-virus and anti-spyware, then run them in Safe Mode. Before you do, disable your System Restore to remove all the restore points where viruses can hide.

How to boot into Safe Mode.
How to disable System Restore

Those scans will take longer to run in Safe Mode than they will in Normal Mode, but in Safe Mode viruses usually cannot or hide.


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Looks like Vunco is the culprit

In reply to: That's good,

Even though I ran a Vundofix scan before it did not show anything.

OneCare found Vundo and some other backdoor Trojan.

One Care is doing a complete scan now and hopefully will be able to get rid of Vundo.

My browsers are working again. Thank dog.

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Good work.

In reply to: Looks like Vunco is the culprit

And hopefully that means you do not need to reinstall the OS.

Well done.

Those XP CD's would still be good though.


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OneCare actually worked!

In reply to: Good work.

Well, being a Microsoft product, OneCare crashed the first time that I ran it but in the end it cleaned everytthing up and my server is working great again.

What a relief. I hope whoever writes these darned viruses ends up at Gitmo someday.

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