My dad got some sort of malware on his office computer that was sending out spam and got his local exchange server blacklisted since both his computer and the exchange server are behind the same NAT ip address. He has a small business so he doesn't have any IT support, so I try to do what I can for him.
I figured easiest thing to do would be to run system restore and restore to a point before the problem happened. I tried that and it sat at "Windows is restoring..." for about 30 minutes. My wife was with me and was unhappy that this was taking time away from our Xmas shopping, and since 30 mins is about 10x longer than I've ever had a system restore take, I figured it was hung and pressed the reset button to try something else.
So, long story short, I got what I figured would happen...now the system won't boot up. In normal boot it sits with the Windows logo on the screen. It continuously "pulsates" but never boots to a login prompt. In safe mode it hangs at classpnp.sys.
There are a ton of programs installed on the computer, so if I formatted and reinstalled Windows, it would take 3-4 days to track down the install discs and product keys and reload them, so I would like to avoid doing so if at all possible.
I assume before making changes to the computer, system restore probably makes a backup copy of the files it is going to modify. If that is the case, can I boot using a rescue CD and manually copy those files back, or is there some other trick I can use?
The PC is running Windows 7 x64, I believe it is SP1 but not sure and not sure how to verify that without being able to boot the OS. Basically I am looking for any tricks that I could possibly use to restore the PC to a bootable state so I don't have to reinstall Windows.