The Ever Constant Restart

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DataCenter
Hardware
Help Desk
Installation
Networking
Tech support
Windows 2000 desktop
workstation running Win 2000 pro has a vey strange issue. a coworker used the internet for his regular public e-mail and clicked on an attachment from a friend of his. Suddenly the computer blanked out (the screen). Now, every time I start the computer it starts up normally but then when it gets to the "starting Windows" dialogue it restarts again by itself. This keeps on happenning endlessly untill I pull the plug. I was able to get into safe mode run a chkdsk /f but that didn't help. Then I tried to use the windows repair and now the computer tries to finish the GUI portion of the repair and restarts again by itself over and over. Is this some kind of virus? What can I do about this? Please help!- Z

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format this puppy and reload….
Virus or not.

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There are many possible reasons why a computer restarts continuously. Most of the time, this is an operating system error specifically boot error. During the installation, there might be an incomplete or corrupted system files installed into the computer system. The best thing you have to do is to reformat the entire harddisk and reinstall the operating system.

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  • Howard2nd
    A - attachment in e-mail, smells like a virus to me. Since all of the recent attacks use 'friends' addresses for the from field - did he call and ask about it? B - Starts in 'safe mode', forget chkdsk, run anti-virus and anti-spyware. If you are comfortable in the Registry look for items that run at startup - acts like a phone home loader that fails forcing a restart and creating the loop. C - 'Windows Repair' is a big hammer, and I usually wait to try it as the last step before "Erase hard drive and re-install!" D - When you have recovered the workstation, check the AV program which should have tested the attachment BEFORE opening. Good luck.
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  • Mljsher
    Before you format, you may want to try and run anti-virus software (Norton, McAfee) in safe mode, if that's possible. I don't know if it is or not, but it's worth a try. Another thing you might try is fix the Master Boot Record which can be done by loading the Windows CD. You may still end up formatting, but these could keep you from having to do that.
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  • jimorus
    Why wait. You will work on it for several hours and it won't come back. Smoke it early and save the time
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  • Jaysea
    I agree you need to re-format the hard drive and load windows. Then apply ALL patches and SP's
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  • 7lucky11
    Tell me everything you have done since this started happening the I might beable to help you.
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  • Zzegri
    Thanks for the prompt reply guys! regarding the formatting and reloading solutions, I would really like to avoid that because of some heavy programs I would have to reinstall (BIG HEADACHE). Is there anything I could do if I start the workstation with ERD Commander? (i.e. registry settings?)
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  • MithunMCSE
    Hi I would advise you to format the drive ratehr then wasting your time in repariing it. It seems that you will end up waiting more time and having more headache if you will try to repair it.. By the way did you try LKGC. that might work. Also try puting a /sos switch in the boot.ini and find out wer excatly is it getting restarted. If this does not work out.. the best option is to reinstall Best regards
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  • PeterMac
    Had similar problem with Home XPhome installation. At some stage you will probably have to reload to get a clean installation, I plan to, but like you had some software installed that I coudn't afford to be without at present, and would cause major problems to reload. My system is still running, and reasonable functional, and secure again. I am just still slightly suspicious of it, after all I have been through. Try the following leads Spybot, has excellent startup manager in tools section, identifies, and can block most problem programs. Will also detect, and eliminate most spyware/dialer programs. HijackThis, Extremely good tool, if you are not familiar with it, there are sites that will help you analyse the results. Symantec Have good online AV scan available. PandaSoft Have good online AV scan available, also free trial AV software, Just run startup scan at install time. Lspfix Good Winsock tool, can repair a damaged Winsock Stack (Could get this after removing virus software). Can also be used to remove problem programs (Careful here you need to know what you are doing, If unsure post on one of forums for help). Reccomend first installing/running good AV in safe mode. Then try other tools (especially spybot to eliminate startup problems), once you can get internet access back go for Online scans, these tend to be better than running local AV which some Virus software can hide from. Good Luck, if you have specific questions on any of this post again and I will try to answer.
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  • Nephi1
    I agree with everyone else, F it. (appoligies to the F word). I would wipe it and start again from afresh. If you really want it going, look at the event logs to see what is being said in there. Windows can sometimes be very helpful with them. See what is causing the system to drop out on each start up, or even try boot and press F8 and boot from last known good settings and see if that works.
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  • JohnBF
    Steady now! Reformating and re-installing will almost definately fix it,(there is a remote possibility it's a hardware problem and the email was a coincidence). But it's a lot of work if you have to reinstall a lot of software and restore the data (you are taking regular backups aren't you!). Try F8 as you're booting up and enable Boot Logging before trying to boot normally, then boot into safe mode (without boot logging enabled) or use the Recovery Console and look at the Boot Log NTBTLOG.txt in the System directory, the last entry in it is probably to be the one that causing the problem.
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  • Aftabn
    do the following 1.start computer in safe mode 2.click START=>RUN 3.type msconfig and press ENTER 4.click STARTUP, take a screeshot and save it 5.click SERVICES, take a screeshot and save it 6.upload it somewhere and send the link. people will be able to isolate the problem and solve it too.
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  • Aftabn
    do the following 1.start computer in safe mode with networking 2.go to www.pandasoftware.com and then click ACTIVESCAN 3.do a complete scan and at the end store the report. 4.apply patches to your OS ASAP. hope this helps
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  • Aftabn
    do the following 1.start computer in safe mode with networking 2.go to www.pandasoftware.com and then click ACTIVESCAN 3.do a complete scan and at the end store the report. 4.apply patches to your OS ASAP. hope this helps
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  • CSGSD
    This sounds like the MSBlaster Virus to me. The repeat reboot is caused by the RPC Service Crashing. From Symantec: Due to the random nature of how the worm constructs the exploit data, this may cause the RPC service to crash if it receives incorrect data. This may manifest as svchost.exe, generating errors as a result of the incorrect data. If the RPC service crashes, the default procedure under Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is to restart the computer. To disable this feature, see step one of the Removal Instructions. http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.html
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  • TIMWATSON
    THE ABOVE REPLIES ARE THE BEST. MY TWO CENTS, IF YOU WISH TO SAVE PROGRAMS ON THAT DISK, YOU MAY CONSIDER PLACING IT (THAT H.DRIVE)IN ANOTHER COMPUTER AS THE #2 DRIVE, WITH A CLEAN WIN INSTALL ON THE BOOT DRIVE, AND SEEING IF WIN WILL INSTALL THE PROGRAMS TO THE CLEAN BOOT DRIVE. IF SO, FOLLOW WITH THE CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS THE OTHERS HAVE SUGGESTED. DISCLAIMER: I LOVE SYMANTEC, I HATE AV PROGRAMS. THE LAST OF MY HUMBLE ADVICE ON THIS QUESTION..., IT HAS BEEN MY OWN EXPERINCE THAT INSTALLING AN M.S.OS, SHOULD BE FOLLOWED FIRST WITH AN AV INSTALL, NOTHING ELSE TO COME FIRST. IF AFTER THIS, OTHER PROGRAMS INSTALLED AFTER ARE NOT FUNCTIONING CORRECTLY, MAKE CHANGES ONE COMBO AT A TIME.
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  • ITDefensePatrol
    So? How is it? Success? Let us know... I hope you didn't have to re-format. If you are still working this, like several others said, hit it with everything - antivirus, anti-spyware, etc. And then hit it again. there are a lot of freeware for antispyware and antivirus. It might be a good idea to get several freeware antispy and scan with each (and an extra antivirus might not hurt). Also, do all the wiping that you can - clear the recycle bin, delete all temp files (*can hide in many locations). In Windows, shift+delete permanently deletes (no recycle bin). After wiping, defrag. Of course I am assuming that you can get the system running good enough to run some of these (most should run in Safe Mode). If you can't boot good enough, get BART or knoppix (etc.) which will give you a bootup from CD (full environment!). Heck, do this anyways so nothing bad on the system will startup.
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  • TheVyrys
    I agree that you CAN try several options before formatting. As you can see though, you will spend some time doing so, and without guaranteed results. My thoughts (and general experience) is, first, get this thing unhooked from your network for safety reasons, so if it is a virus, it doesn't spread. Next, if you can boot to safemode and check for hardware/software problems, go ahead, but I have spent all day, or more, trying to figure out what the hell is wrong and could have rebuilt long before that. Heck, the machine probably needs it anyway if it's been a while. My real wonder is, from the sound of your email, are you two trying to get this fixed before the IT dept. finds out so your buddy doesn't get in trouble for checking his personal email at work and downloading a virus. Otherwise, your best and safest bet is to format. Then, whoever is responsible, needs to update the antivirus on the system. Let us know who it turns out....if you're still there!
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  • DFrierCISSP
    If this disk has data on it worth saving, you do NOT need to format & lose it. Remove the disk from the PC it's in and install it in another PC with a working copy of Windows and a CURRENT anti-virus product running. Boot the clean machine with the "foreign" disk as D: or whatever, and clean it from there. Then put it back into the original machine and boot.
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  • Apierson
    Run a antispyware,and anti-virus scan in safe mode. It will probably find something.
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