Can't launch ANYTHING on XP Home machine - not Control Panel, System, Outlook, Explorer

On a Dell 4600C, I have SpySweeper, I Hate Spam and Pop-Up Blocker installed, but somehow a "Gator"-something pop-up appeared last week while on at Webshots.  Even though I immediately exited the pop-up, in the middle of the night the system rebooted and now I cannot launch anything --- not control panel, not Internet Explorer, not outlook, not Word.  

I have run a Norton virus check on the from my remote workstation, but it found nothing.  I have tried booting into safe mode, but got no different results.  When I click on Start-Programs-I Hate Spam, the entire folder is blank.  Currently, there is a message on the screen which reads: "SpySweeper.exe  - "an error occurred in the application - Continue Application, Restart Application, Close Application."  but no matter what you choose, nothing happens.

I can access the working files on the hard drives on that machine and have backed them up.

Where and how do I began to resolve this problem?

Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

SheharyaarSaahilConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hello DennySandyB =)

Can u try a System Restore ??

Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP:

Or, HOW TO: Start the System Restore Tool from a Command Prompt in Windows XP:
and if it was turned off, then try booting in safemode and open the applications,,,, same problem there also ??
if No then go back in normal mode, and goto Start>Run>msconfig>Startup and untick all applications except ur av and firewall entries....restart and now check for the problem ??

Also u can try creating a new user account and try there for the problem, in case if damage is just happened to ur profile :-?
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:

Refresh The Windows XP installation to save your Data and settings etc.

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP;en-us;315341
Gator Removal Instructions and Help

But, your gator installation was triggered by the webshots installation, but you can uninstall webshots and reinstall with simply unchecking gator software:
The Webshots program and Web site is free. Of course, there are ads to ignore, but most are not too obnoxious. Be aware that during download you are also asked if you want to download Gator, a form filler program. Mercifully, you can simply uncheck a box to keep Gator from installing. Webshots would like you to visit their Web site every day, so after installation you will notice that the camera in the system tray flashes to remind you to download their daily photo. While the daily photos are quite attractive, I appreciated having the ability to turn off the reminders completely.


Have you tried connecting to the event viewer of the problem machine?  Right click my computer - manage - highlight computer management right click connect to another computer.
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.