I have a Gateway laptop, MP6954, running Windows XP. I believe this problem started out with a virus or trojan, and I have no idea where to go from here.
When I boot up Windows, sometimes I get a login screen asking for my password, sometimes it doesn't bring up the login/password screen [like it was doing before this whole problem started]. When I get the password, I just hit enter and it looks like it wants to bring up the desktop, but never does, just wallpaper. Same with when it doesn't bring up the login screen. From here, I can't do anything. At one point, Windows was saying it needed to close down the Windows Logon Process, but now it says nothing, just a blank wallpaper. I cannot bring up Task Manager.
So I thought, safe mode! After trying all my options, I got absolutely nowhere. Safe Mode brings up several lines like, "multi-disk(0)partition(1)partition(1)dr... etc." From here, I can only reboot. Safe Mode with Networking gets me back to the blank desktop, no task manager, etc. Last Known Good Configuration takes me to the desktop with no options. Safe Mode with Command Prompt brings up more multi-disk(0) messages.
Time to pull out the recovery disc that Gateway provided. I try running this, but after the Gateway logo comes up, I get the BSOD, error c000021a Fatal System Error, the system has shut down.
So, basically, I cannot boot Windows, I cannot get to a command prompt, and my recovery disk isn't working. I would love to be able to simply re-install windows, backing up my files, but if not, I'll do a clean install. Unfortunately, I can't get to either of these options.
I've done a little digging myself, and it looks as if ERD Commander could help me out, though I have never messed with anything like it before. Is there a way to boot ERD Commander from a USB stick [as this is the only option for the immediate future]? How? How would I go about fixing my system from there?
TIA for any help! This has got me running in circles!