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windows vista can't access in safe mode

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi,

have an hp laptop runnig windows vista home premium and can't get in even in safe mode.  Might be virus but wanted to know how to scan if can't access safe mode?  thanks
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Question by:dankyle67
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by:Nik
Nik earned 100 total points
ID: 24063595
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24064737
I will give the avira antivirus a try since i would like to scan the drive.  I actually loaded ultimate boot disk 4.1.1 but when i tried running one of the antivirus tools that came with it, it hangs at "initdisk" which i assume is when it is starting to see if it can read the drive.  Any ideas about that?
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by:Nik
ID: 24065973
Hmm, it doesn't necessary has to be a virus. You're maybe having problems with your disk.

Try to scan your PC with Ultimate Boot CD or Hirens boot CD to see if any disk or memory errors show up.
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by:nobus
ID: 24066469
try the f-secure linux scan cd - it updates the virus table over internet before starting to scan :
 http://www.f-secure.com/linux-weblog/2008/11/25/rescuecd-301-released/
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24067743
Hi

I ran the f-secure as well as avira and they both cleaned bunch of infected files but strange thing is i still get blank screen in vista.  I can navigate to control panel and network settings etc. buy using the explorer view but can't see any desktop icons.  I would like to reinstall vista but never have done it before so wanted to know if i can dual boot by installing another instance of vista just as i've done with xp many times so i can keep the data on the drive.  I also created a new user with admin rights and when i logged in, the desktop is blank.  I also am not that familiar with vista settings so is there a way to bring up the programs group with a command line or something.  The internet is working and i can surf the web no problem but just can't see vista desktop.
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by:nobus
ID: 24067831
run a vista repair; here's how :  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html      
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by:Nik
ID: 24067911
If your PC was highly infected, I would do a clean install.
Installing Vista is like a walk in a park for any user. If you have 2 or more partitions, you can install Vista on another partition and have a dual boot.
To be honest I would do this:
Login to Vista, backup your important data to another partition, CD/DVD drive, external USB disk, USB disk is expecially useful if you have only one partition.
Format partition or disk WHEN YOU DID A BACKUP (sorry for caps but it is very important)
Boot from Windows Vista DVD and you'll be guided through the install process.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24068008
Yea, i would definately do the clean install but user i am doing this for doesn't have their vista cd that came with their laptop so now i have to do it hard way i guess.  It seems like there should be a setting that will get me back the desktop icons since i can run everything else from explorer view.  System is running quickly so malware should be pretty much taken care of.  If i backed up data then formatted drive, could i load xp instead or would it be hard to get drivers for it?  I always prefer to use xp on these new systems since it is faster and vista takes up so much resources anyway.  Is this a good idea you think?  Laptop is hp pavillion entertainment model.  I will check site first to make sure they have drivers.
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by:Nik
ID: 24068078
If you find drivers for XP go for it. I would rather stick with Vista, also, it is much easier to install (drivers etc.)
Regards
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24068122
Hi,
was able to get the desktop background to come up so wanted to know how i can get the start button on lower left part of screen to come up.  I think i just have to get this up and then i can access everything else i need.  Like i said, everything is working fine it just seems i just have to get icons and start menu available again one at a time.
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by:Nik
ID: 24068250
I would scan one more time, just to be sure. Brute force on malware this time :)

Here we go, first, please go to http://freedrweb.com/livecd/?lng=en
Download the boot CD, boot from it and scan the PC.
After that, download Spyware Doctor, install it, scan the PC from Windows and then remove it since it is really heavy on resources, yet very powerful.

Once you do this reboot and see how it looks.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24072082
Am running drweb live cd now but also noticed before that in the bios settings, there was only choices to expand hard drive and one other selection but never saw bios setup before when all the other settings such as boot device order etc. is missing.  The first time i tried running drweb in gui mode, it just hanged but now is running in safe mode.  Will report what i get once its completed.  Still would like to know how to enable start button in vista since that would make desktop and laptop usable at least.
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by:nobus
ID: 24074748
what laptop model is this?
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24076917
Its hp pavillion dv6700.  I just finished the scan in safemode of drweb and it took about 12hrs to do a 130gig of files.  I don't even know if it completed coz it gave a message that it encountered something and press any key which i did and it returned me to main menu.  Strange thing is that i have run 3 bootable linux based antivirus/antimalware utilities on it and it seems to be having problems completing any of them but yet i can boot into vista and run internet and programs except as mentioned cannot see normal desktop and don't have access to start button.  Speed is also good when in vista.  You would think i would have problems in vista with system performance and surfing web but seems i have more problems in using the rescue utilities at bootup.  Also, still never saw that page in bios where only 2 options are available.  Really would just wipe out the whole drive but don't have original vista cd so can't load o/s on laptop.  I might have to load ubuntu on it eventually just to see if there is hardware problem but is there a way to dual boot so don't lose the data and can still keep existing vista?  this is really a weird one.
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by:nobus
ID: 24077765
>>  it took about 12hrs to do a 130gig of files.   <<   way too long.
you probably have hardware problems; i suggest testing ram and disk.
Easiest is downloading ubcd, and run memtest and disktest from it :  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 24082444
Ok, ran ubcd and checked memory and disk and both fine.  Flashed bios as well and no luck.  Don't have vista cd as mentioned so can't even repair vista since that is a requirement so at this point if i can somehow enable the start button, then i can return it to my friend and for now it will be usable since i have tested it a few times already as far as internet etc. and it is working for both firefox and internet explorer.  thanks.
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by:nobus
ID: 24084478
can you not get hold of another vista cd?  that would help
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24086936
yea that's my plan.  Once i get that do you think i should do a dual boot so i can save data or should i run the repair first?
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nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 24087694
i would try the repair.
dual booting can cause other problems
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Author Closing Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 31566381
Thanks for all the help.  I ended up just copying all the data to external drive then installed vista clean which is now working fine.  I think it was a bad virus that's why i could not run those boot utilities properly.
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by:nobus
ID: 24122595
that is always a good solution..tx fpr the feedback !
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