TechSpot

BSOD startup loop

By heidihow
May 11, 2009
  1. admittedly, i should be more technically savvy than I am, so I am having some problems following diagnostics on a lot of the posts from those who appear to have a problem similar to mine. here's what's going on, hopefully someone can help.

    i have a compaq presario m2000 running windows xp home. i'm not sure about too many of the other stats on the computer (I'm way out of my league here) other than my graphics card is an ATI radeon express 200m and I think my processor is an AMD mobile sempron. let me know where i could find any additional info that would be helpful.

    i was streaming a movie last night when my windows defender popped up with multiple trojan viruses. i think there were three or four, and i chose to remove them. then it prompted me to restart the computer. upon restarting, my computer started going into this bsod loop, failing to restart and then attempting to restart over and over. so I did the F8 thing and stopped the loop and was finally able to read the blue screen, which gives me the error driver_irql_not_less_or_equal. in reading other similar troubleshooting messages it seems that most people were installing things when this happens, but that wasn't the case with me. i know lots of people were asked to look in their minidump files and post those, but mine appear to be empty?? also it was posted that it could be due to ram. i know i have never installed more ram on my computer and it probably needs it badly, but i'm not sure how to download or run that memory diagnostic program if I can't start windows normally. frankly i suck at navigating in safe mode. how can i figure out what's going on? it seems like it could be any number of things so it would be nice to at least narrow it down...
     
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    My best first advice is to go to the Virus and Malware removal forum here at Tech Spot because there is a very good chance you are still significantly infected.

    Read the 8 Steps sticky and follow it step by step. Don't skip any steps. Then post there the results by attaching the 3 Logs that are required. Good luck.
     
  3. heidihow

    heidihow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I would very much like to follow those steps but I don't know how to run my mcafee scan in safe mode and my computer goes into the rebooting/bsod loop if I attempt to start it normally and I don't know if I can download the programs to remove spyware/malware?
     
  4. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    Hi heidihow

    My recommendation would be to uninstall Mcafee in Safe Mode and install one of the 2 recommended anti-viruses on the 8-step guide that Route44 pointed out. You can find the guide here ... http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic58138.html .... attach your logs to a new thread in the Virus and Malware Removal section ....

    By the way, have you tried the option "Last known good configuration" under the F8 menu screen (the one that includes Safe Mode)? Also, you could try to do a System Restore through Safe Mode to see if you can get it to start up normally. Press Start > Programs > Applications > System Tools > System Restore and restore to a point when it was working.

    As for the Blue Screens, you can read this and post your minidumps if you are unable to start your computer up normally after trying some of the stuff above .... http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic51365.html ....

    Get back to us with any results you might have ...

    P.S. Route44 .... Don't mean to be intruding on your support - just figured you were offline and tried to help out.

    Spyder_1386 :)
     
  5. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Ditto...

    Heidi
    If you find Virus/Malware, or if you have difficulty in dealing with the 8 steps, the best thing to do is to post in the Virus and Malware section, where the experienced Removal helpers are monitoring the posts. Sometimes you can download the recommended files to your desktop, for easy access in safe mode. Sometimes renaming them will help confuse malware long enough to let them install and start. Sometimes running in safe-mode can get you started, but then you finish up in normal mode. The eight steps are often only the starting point... but they are the place to start.

    If I may recommend...
    1. DL all your 8 step tools to your desktop... And by downloading from TechSpot, you may be able to get around the malware that will stop you from going "straight to the source."
    2. Make a copy of the 8 steps and print it out for easy reference as you work.
    3. If you run into a snag, don't be afraid to ask for help. Lotsa of good folk here more than willing to help out.
     
  6. heidihow

    heidihow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I guess my next question would be should my safe mode have a start menu? i can't seem to get to my system files at all. My safe mode screen is all black, with safe mode in all four corners of the screen and a "microsoft windows xp (build 2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090206-1234:service pack 3)" at the top of the screen. the only thing I can seem to do is pull up the task manager. I don't have a start menu and I can't seem to get to my "system restore" function. I did try rebooting using the "last known good configuration", Didn't make a difference, it still went into the bsod loop.

    disregard that last post. i got to system restore through the task manager and am running it now. hopefully this allows me to get my foot in the door...

    Thanks for your help. I seem to be making progress, slowly and surely.
     
  7. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    Hey again heidihow

    Thanks for the update!

    Please do keep us posted on everything that you've done so far (in sequence) so that we know where we stand. Also, if everything works properly, we'll have a thread for others with a similar problem to view.

    Spyder_1386 :)
     
  8. heidihow

    heidihow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've followed the 8 steps. The restart and bsod loop problem seems to have stopped after uninstalling mcafee in safe mode, downloading avast antivirus and running the scan before starting up the system. The other steps definitely uncovered things as well, though. I just posted my logs on the virus and malware removal board, so I'm hoping someone will take a look and let me know if I need to do more work. Thanks again!
     
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    I went over and looked at your logs. Now I don't want to give a final say because I really don't read them per se. There are a lot of good people on that forum who are a whole lot smarter than me that can read them thoroughly but both Malware Bytes and Superantispyware (SAS) certainly removed serious multiple infections.

    You may want to consider adding the free SAS to your Avast. I have this combination working together on a laptop and our family PC. Just make sure if you install the free SAS to manually update it daily. I run the $ version of SAS onn my main rig and it does so automatically.
     
  10. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    Great to hear the BSODs have stopped! If there's anything else you need, let us know and we'll be happy to try and help.

    Spyder_1386 :)
     
  11. heidihow

    heidihow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I installed the free SAS when I did the 8 step removal. Is that the version that you mentioned? or does Avast have a version with SAS?
     
  12. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70


    SAS is a stand alone product and deals with malware/spyware. Avast is a different company has a free antivirus home edition and it is very good. Plus it updates on the average twice daily.

    What I was suggesting is that these do work well together and you'll find that they take up considerable less resources than McAfee.

    Also, Online Armor has a free firewall and a new version just came out.

    So: Avast (or Avira), SAS, and Online Armor = excellent free protection and a whole lot less resource demands. Remember to update SAS manually, daily.

    * I do hope you have a router as well.
     
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