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boot.ini deleted every time Windows boots

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
AVG and Kaspersky don't see any infections. Nothing suspicious in startup/Hijackthis. Bootcfg /rebuild will recreate the boot.ini then Windows will boot once, but when I get into Windows there is no boot.ini. So of course if I reboot I get the HAL.DLL error due to no boot.ini. Even made a boot.ini on another system with only read permissions and still got deleted. Anyone seen a virus that does this or know where the line might be that is deleting it? Searched registry, win.ini, and system.ini.
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Question by:DominionTech
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spamster earned 500 total points
ID: 24306360
I've never ran across this, but I would try disabling all non-Microsoft services and startup items (msconfig) and then reboot to see if it still gets deleted. That would rule out a rogue service or most startup apps.
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by:FatManc
ID: 24306512
Have you checked the event log for hardware errors? Perhaps run a chkdsk to ensure the integrity of the drive too.

Thanks
John
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LVL 15

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by:tntmax
ID: 24306615
Yeah, we just had someone who kept losing a different file each boot, and it was due to a dying hard drive.
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by:DominionTech
ID: 24306850
Found it! ASKUpgrade service. Was hiding itself from Hijackthis. Disabled it in msconfig(thanks spamster) and now boot.ini is still there when I reboot. Couldn't find very much information on the service, even reported as non-malicious toolbar... But after svchost spiked the CPU to %100 I knew it had to be a service. Going to see if Spybot or Malwarebytes detects and traces of it. Why would spyware toolbar want to delete boot.ini? Sort of defeats the purpose if you can't boot....
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