Weird laptop (windows xp) problem

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Tony, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Someone brought me a HP Notebook with important data on it that was dead. It was the power jeck that
    had to be replaced. Once that was fixed, Windows would take aorund 10 minutes to boot in normal and
    safe mode. When it finally did, the mouse would move in 10 second intervals. In other words, it
    would take 5 minutes to drag the mouse from one point of the desktop to another because it would
    intermittanly freeze. Eventually, it would just shut off.

    I removed the hard drive and connected it to a desktop PC. I could see everything on it except the
    HP_Laptop user's files. I did not have permission. I told the customer that that can occur when
    there is a password on the user account. He assured me that there was no password. Then I thought
    that the drive might be damaged. I told the customer that by fixing the power problem, it will not
    guarantee that the data is still there. I put the drive back in the notebook and booted to an XP
    image on cd and I saw all of the data there. At this point, I would do an XP repair installation, so
    that the data will remain and the programs will still work. The odd thing was that when I pressed F8
    for the license agreement, it didnt show me any previous installs of Windows to Repair. It looked
    like a new hard drive. But that is wrong because there is a Windows directory and I can see it from
    the boot disk. There is a boot.ini file and all of the usual files.

    How does one do a repair installation if XP setup does not even see the current Windows that is
    there. Does anyone know which file may be damaged that would cause this to happen?

    Tony
    Tony, Nov 9, 2007
    #1
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  2. Tony

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On Fri, 09 Nov 2007 11:21:03 -0500, Tony < >
    wrote:

    >Someone brought me a HP Notebook with important data on it that was dead. It was the power jeck that
    >had to be replaced. Once that was fixed, Windows would take aorund 10 minutes to boot in normal and
    >safe mode. When it finally did, the mouse would move in 10 second intervals. In other words, it
    >would take 5 minutes to drag the mouse from one point of the desktop to another because it would
    >intermittanly freeze. Eventually, it would just shut off.


    That could well be a sign of a virus (or other malware) presence.

    >I removed the hard drive and connected it to a desktop PC. I could see everything on it except the
    >HP_Laptop user's files. I did not have permission. I told the customer that that can occur when
    >there is a password on the user account. He assured me that there was no password.


    That could indicate some type of hostage virus. (A virus that
    encrypts user data. And only tells the user that after almost all
    of his data is encrypted.)

    >How does one do a repair installation if XP setup does not even see the current Windows that is
    >there. Does anyone know which file may be damaged that would cause this to happen?


    Not.
    Be very carefull. There are virus variants around that encrypt
    part or whole of your harddisk while keeping the keys you need
    for decoding in the MBR area. Wipe that (by doing a new install
    or 'FDISK /MBR') and say good-bye to all your precious data :)

    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
    Gerard Bok, Nov 9, 2007
    #2
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  3. Tony

    smackedass Guest

    I agree with Gerard. Sounds like a virus/spyware infection. What happens
    when you scan for crapware?

    smackedass
    smackedass, Nov 10, 2007
    #3
  4. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I wound up booting to an XP image cd, allowing me to access all of the user's data, transferring it
    all to another shared drive on the network. Then I wiped it clean, re-installed everything and
    restored all data after running virus\spyware\adware scans on the it. All turned out well but it as
    one hell of a jump through hoops.

    Tony


    On Fri, 09 Nov 2007 18:16:33 GMT, (Gerard Bok) wrote:

    >On Fri, 09 Nov 2007 11:21:03 -0500, Tony < >
    >wrote:
    >
    >>Someone brought me a HP Notebook with important data on it that was dead. It was the power jeck that
    >>had to be replaced. Once that was fixed, Windows would take aorund 10 minutes to boot in normal and
    >>safe mode. When it finally did, the mouse would move in 10 second intervals. In other words, it
    >>would take 5 minutes to drag the mouse from one point of the desktop to another because it would
    >>intermittanly freeze. Eventually, it would just shut off.

    >
    >That could well be a sign of a virus (or other malware) presence.
    >
    >>I removed the hard drive and connected it to a desktop PC. I could see everything on it except the
    >>HP_Laptop user's files. I did not have permission. I told the customer that that can occur when
    >>there is a password on the user account. He assured me that there was no password.

    >
    >That could indicate some type of hostage virus. (A virus that
    >encrypts user data. And only tells the user that after almost all
    >of his data is encrypted.)
    >
    >>How does one do a repair installation if XP setup does not even see the current Windows that is
    >>there. Does anyone know which file may be damaged that would cause this to happen?

    >
    >Not.
    >Be very carefull. There are virus variants around that encrypt
    >part or whole of your harddisk while keeping the keys you need
    >for decoding in the MBR area. Wipe that (by doing a new install
    >or 'FDISK /MBR') and say good-bye to all your precious data :)
    Tony, Nov 15, 2007
    #4
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