TechSpot

Black screen can't access system

By Adhoc10
Nov 19, 2010
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  1. On my laptop today and a piece of software - something like a spyware remover tool, popped up on my desktop saying it had run a scan and I had 33 intruders (trojan horses, malware etc) which needed to be removed.

    I thought it was strange as I did not recognise it as something I had downloaded. I closed the window and a pop up message kept appearing in the bottom right hand corner saying you must register to remove dangerous intruders (I can't remember the exact message). Two strange icons appeared on my desktop which I deleted and then had to go out so I closed the lid and the laptop went in to hibernation.

    When I returned I got the first screen where it says F2 to setup or F12 to boot menu but then a blank screen?????Can anyone advise me? I had only changed my anti virus software from Kaspersky to AVG as I couldn't afford to renew it. I also have recently added photos which I haven't backed up, I hope I haven't lost them.................??

    Note: I have changed subject to more appropriate description for move to Windows OS.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    Welcome to TechSpot! I'll help with the malware.

    Please don't act on any of those 'alerts' you're getting. It is from rogue programs trying to convince you that you need they to remove malware entries- and pay to do it.

    If you would like us to check the system for malware, please follow the steps in the Preliminary Virus and Malware Removal thread HERE.

    When you have finished, leave the logs for review in your next reply .

    I'd like you to include this scan also: it's an online virus scan:

    Run Eset NOD32 Online AntiVirus scan HERE
    1. Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    2. Click Start
    3. When asked, allow the Active X control to install
    4. Disable your current Antivirus software. You can usually do this with its Notification Tray icon near the clock.
    5. Click Start
    6. Make sure that the option "Remove found threats" is Unchecked, and the option "Scan unwanted applications" is checked
    7. Click Scan
    8. Wait for the scan to finish
    9. Re-enable your Antivirus software.
    10. A logfile is created and located at C:\Program Files\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt. Please include this on your post.

    Please do not use any other cleaning programs or scans while I'm helping you, unless I direct you to. Do not use a Registry cleaner or make any changes in the Registry.
  3. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks

    My immediate problem is to get back into my system, I'm getting blank screen ?
    I have options F2 for setup and F12 for boot, then blank screen?
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    Do you have the CD for the operating system?
  5. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I should have it somewhere, I'll have a look.
    Does this mean I've lost everything?
  6. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Okay I have the recovery CD, what do I do now?

    In the meantime I've figured out the unwanted intruder was rogue anti-spyware program "Security Tool"

    It asked me to download the software to clean the infected PC (which I didn't do). However I did delete files which appeared on my desktop which from what I have read may have been the wrong thing to do as these are legitimate files that are needed by windows. This may explain why I cannot get into windows?

    I appreciate any help you can give me

    thanks
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    Good thing to keep in mind> if you don't know>> don't do it! Referring to the files on the desktop, they were most likely malware, because system files don't live on the desktop. But randomly deleting anything from an icon to a file/folder is not advised.

    As to what you may have lost, at this point I can't say> it could be 'all' (not likely) or 'nothing'. But you might have some corrupt files that are preventing getting back into the system.

    You have 2 choices: boot using the CD, get into Safe Mode and do a System restore to date closest to right before this began. OR- hopefully the CD is an installation CD and not recovery and you can boot into a Repair.
    You will find excellent reformat/reinstall instructions here:
    http://www.tech-101.com/tutorials/356-tutorial-windows-install-repair-xp-vista.html

    Go to this section: Repair Install and choose the link for the operating system you have. Be sure to know the link on how to back up files and folders you want to keep. This is set up with screen shots and good directions. Take a look and see if you can follow it okay. It's possible you may have to boot into the BIOS to change the boot order to CD first, Hard Drive second.
  8. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks Bobbye

    I have read the tutorial you directed me to and it says:
    Please Note: This process is carried out using a Microsoft XP installation DVD. If you have a recovery DVD that came with your system you will have no choice but to completely reinstall your entire operating system. See the above post for information on this or post to the forum for more help.

    I'm a bit wary now as this is the only dvd I have, and it clearly says recovery rather than installation.

    I did get into the f8 menu which gives me the following options:
    SAFE MODE
    SAFE MODE NETWORKING
    SAFE MODE COMMAD PROMPT

    ENABLE BOOT LOGGING
    ENABLE VGA MODE
    LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION
    DIRECTORY SERVICES
    DEBUGGING MODE
    DISABLE AUTO RE START
    START WINDOWS NORMALLY
    REBOOT
    RETURN TO OS CHOICES MENU

    I tried Last known good config (most recent settings that worked) but this just brought me back to the black screen again.

    I then went ahead and inserted the recovery CD but it says you will lose all of your data which is what I want to avoid if at all possible. I do have an XP installation CD from a previous HP laptop - is that of any use? Do I need another type of CD?

    thanks
  9. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    Sorry for the delay. I'm having your thread moved to the Windows OS forum. There will be more members available there to help with the repair.

    I am going to rename your subject: Black Screen- can't access system
    Stay subscribed to the thread.
  10. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I managed to use XP installation disk from previous laptop and get it to do a repair, it's still running at the moment.

    Can I ask - is it simply a case of accessing my documents and copying across my photos and documents to save them? or would they somehow have been infected with traces of the virus?

    Should I just run a virus scan and find out how to remove it and work away from there? Is there any need to do a full system recovery? Im not very experienced at such things and would rather not have to lose my settings etc

    How do I copy additional software that I don't have disks for ? I wouldn't mind backing them up in case this happens againa and I can't recover them

    thanks
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    I'm going to send a PM to one of the helpers here. But you need to hold on those questions- there's no answer for them yet.

    I don't know what you may have lost or what won't be recoverable because of the malware. A lot of people forget that the time to backup is when you want to make sure you don't lose it,
     
  12. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,119   +23

    Got your PM Bobbye. I think Lookin'Around would be very helpful here.

    @ Adhoc10 do you have any friends that have working PC tech knowledge?
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,366   +167

    Hey Everyone :wave:

    I think we can make this a group effort :)

    @Adhoc10
    To start, one way to access and then copy/paste your personal files to an external drive if machine still won't boot see How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot

    After copying but BEFORE you connect that external drive to a clean computer you want to assure it's malware clean

    @Bobbye
    I recall Broni once posted steps to scan an external drive for malware and clean and protect against any Autorun infection after copying possibly infected files. Would you have those steps handy as well?

    /* EDIT */
    Did you ever get the repair to complete? Does the machine reboot yet?
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,119   +23

    Hey, thanks for looking in on this (and no pun intended!).
  15. Adhoc10

    Adhoc10 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. Okay, heres the update:

    1. Ran successfull windows repair using XP SP2 installation disc.
    2. Connected my external HD and copied across files, photo's etc that I needed
    3. Tried to do a system restore but there werent' any restore dates available so musn't have been set up on my laptop
    3. Ran Full AVG scan and it detectec malware and removed, restarted machine

    Have been having boot problems ever since, the latest one where system freezes on resuming windows screen after coming out of hibernian. I hit F8 and rebooting deleting restoration data. I hope this is not going to happen every time arrrggghhh.......

    Not exactly sure how to go about microsoft updates, I set the automatic updates to update at 2pm and it didn't kick in. How do I know which updates to install? The XP disc is about 3-4 years old
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,366   +167

    Hi Adhoc10

    Glad your machine is at least booting again and you backed your files/folders

    We're all going to do a consult amongst ourselves. So please don't do anything yet or reconnect your backup drive till we can get back to you by tomorrow at latest but hopefully sometime still today
  17. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +36

    Good morning everyone! Thank you for coming to this member's rescue. I had no logs at all and he needed to be able to get into the system.

    Suggest this first:

    Run Eset NOD32 Online AntiVirus scan HERE
    1. Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    2. Click Start
    3. When asked, allow the Active X control to install
    4. Disable your current Antivirus software. You can usually do this with its Notification Tray icon near the clock.
    5. Click Start
    6. Make sure that the option "Remove found threats" is Unchecked, and the option "Scan unwanted applications" is checked
    7. Click Scan
    8. Wait for the scan to finish
    9. Re-enable your Antivirus software.
    10. A logfile is created and located at C:\Program Files\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt. Please include this on your post.

    To get some ides of what he's dealing with.

    Looking Around, the Flash Drive Disinfectore is as follows: (if you do Edit on it, you should be able to copy the can)
    The deletion of this one, D:\Autorun.inf suggest you had a possible FlashDrive infection:
    Threat Removal Procedure:

    • [1]. Download Flash_Disinfector and save it to your Desktop.
      [2]. After downloading, double-click on Flash_Disinfector to run it.
      [3]. Just follow the prompts and continue until it begin scanning.
      [​IMG]
      [4]. If asked to insert your flash drive or any removable device including USB Pen Drive and Memory Stick, please do so.
      [5]. It will scan removable drives, wait for the scan to finish. Done.

    What will Flash Disinfector Do
    - Clean up junks created by flash malwares
    - Deletes autorun.inf from every root folder
    - Fix back damages done to your system
    - Creates an autorun.inf folder in the root of your system drives

    The utility may ask you to insert your flash drive and/or other removable drives including your mobile phone.

    Please do so and allow the utility to clean up those drives as well.
    Wait until it has finished scanning and then exit the program.
    Reboot your computer when done.

    Note: Flash_Disinfector will create a hidden file named autorun.inf in each partition and every USB drive plugged in when you ran it. Don't delete this folder. It will help protect your drives from future infection.

    I will stay subscribed and when I see the Eset log, we'll be able to guide him further.

    Adhoc, don't you go spreading the word that there are 3 of us helping you- you're special but can't do it on mass market!;)
  18. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,119   +23

    Adhoc10, after you follow both Bobbye's and LookinAround's advice I want you to do a harddrive diagnostics but not at this moment.

    First follow their instructions.


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