HP XP MCE boot sector virus

By hispeed120
Feb 4, 2009
  1. Hello all,

    I recently downloaded a program that when installed, transferred many viruses to my system, one of which I believe to be a boot sector virus. I have been unable to resolve this issue on my own, and after contacting HP, M$, and reading countless forums, I have decided to post my unique (or so I think it to be) issue.

    I originally purchased a HP m7060n about four years ago with a 3-year extended warranty. Conveniently after the 3-year warranty expired, my motherboard failed, so I replaced it with a superior board for much cheaper than HP wanted to charge me for their replacement.

    Here I am, sometime later, with a huge problem that I cannot seem to resolve. I am unable to boot XP MCE in any mode: normal, safe, last known good config, etc. I can get the initial Windows screen with the scrolling bar across the bottom, but afterward it hangs/freezes on a black screen before I can get to the login screen.

    I am able to get into the BIOS, and all devices are recognized. However, this is about as far as I can get. I have successfully ran Ubuntu 8.10 from a live cd, which I booted from my optical drive. I can mount my hard drive with XP MCE in Ubuntu, and have transferred all important files.

    I received the recovery cds from HP, and unfortunately, since I don't have the original hardware that came with the computer (had to replace motherboard), I am unable to use these recovery cds. I was thinking that I could circumvent this by copying from the cd through DOS, but I cannot get into DOS either.

    I really want XP MCE back on my system. I liked it a lot, and I paid for this operating system, albeit an OEM version. I think it is very stupid of HP to not include the original installation disc with the purchased system.

    Anyway, I would be more grateful than you could imagine if someone could help me resolve this issue! Let me know if I can provide any further information to help you otu with this.


  2. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just thought of something. While HP's recovery discs may not work, could I copy directories from the 'backup' partition (D: drive) of my hard drive?? I can see it in Ubuntu, so would simply copying files help solve my problem, or will this not erase/fix the boot sector virus I have?
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  4. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I am at the point now where I will have to purchase a new OS?

    I get a message from my BIOS that I do have a boot sector virus (not always accurate I know), but I was able to boot and run Windows after my new motherboard was installed. Unfortunately, I did not register/update the new hardware online within 3 days like Windows told me, so I suppose it could have locked me out for that reason.

    I'd like to avoid giving M$ any more of my money if possible. Would taking it into a local computer repair shop yield any positive results, or am I far past that stage now?

    Thanks again.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    You can try to borrow a CD from somewhere (but many\most XP users have Professional or Home version, usually)

    Even though a computer repair shop can do it. I think you are best contacting MS even to get a replacement CD (ie you have the key already)

    Having the CD with you (ie like your restore discs) helps if you ever need to re-install again (ie like this time)
    You don't want to keep going to the computer tech shop (who will charge to install it, but likely not give you a clone copy)

    You need the Setup CD :(
  6. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your advice.

    Unfortunately, I already contacted MS and they will not issue me a replacement because my product key is for an OEM license. For this reason, they told me I needed to get it from the manufacturer.

    I called HP to get it, but they kept dodging my request, saying that the OS was bundled with the computer. That's it. No explanation to why they cannot provide me with a replacement cd or anything to that nature.

    Any suggestions?
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Just to be clear again. You don't have a stock standard system anymore? (ie Motherboard replaced or something)
    And therefore HP cannot help as they don't have Windows on CD, they have images on CD (which won't work on any other computer, other than the same computer and hardware it was intended for)

    If this is true, then you need to go to the newegg site to get a Windows setup CD and key (as your OEM key, will not work with a new full install XP Setup CD)

    ie You will have two keys then ! :suspiciou


    XP Home is the cheapest:
  8. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You are correct. I had to replace my motherboard, as the original HP motherboard decided to fry itself.

    Is there anything I can from HP for all this headache? Technically, shouldn't they have the XP MCE installation disc with my product key on file? They had to have had it at one point in order to install it on my system, correct?

    I'm very much against purchasing another version of Windows, as I have already purchased one when I bought my HP system. However, if it is the only option, I guess I don't have much choice. Still, something is telling me that HP has an original copy, they just won't give it to me
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes you need the original motherboard (well a working replacement) this will resolve everything. Although you don't need to buy from HP (if it even exists there)

    I have seen other threads where a member has said they were updating their HP or Dell or other branded computer Motherboard. My response has always been NO

    You must always use the same Motherboard in a branded computer
    So as all your Drivers\Support\Key\History\Serial and absolutely everything match up
    Or decide on purchasing a new computer instead

    Note: HP do not have any standard Windows CDs
  10. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm a bit confused by your last comment. If I send my motherboard to HP they can make a repair CD for me?
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No they don't want your Motherboard, they are a sales company
    I have suggested that you have three options:
    1. Buy another Windows version and included key (XP Home being the cheapest, linked above)
    2. Refit the correct Motherboard for that system (ie purchase a working one from somewhere - ebay ? ) Then purchase the restore CD (actually I think you have this already)
    3. Sell as is !

    Regarding HP and Windows discs. HP have Restore images (not exactly Windows setup discs)
  12. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, thank you. So, if I am understanding you correctly, if I can locate the motherboard series that was associated with the m7060n, I will be able to use the recovery discs from HP? From what they said, it needed to be the exact motherboard that came with my system, down to the serial number on the motherboard. Another motherboard of the same type/chipset will not work from what they said. Is this correct?
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Correct :grinthumb (except the serial part)

    Same Motherboard, chipset and all
    The other "superior" Motherboard (presently fitted) can go towards another box, or just sold as a working motherboard (this will help compensate on purchasing a HP m7060n Motherboard)

    Obviously locate the HP m7060n Motherboard first
  14. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, thank you so much! You have been extremely helpful. Maybe I can call HP and get them to send me one on the cheap. I'll keep my eyes open for a cheap one, as most that I have found are around $90. If that is the case, I'll just get another copy of Windows. Again thanks for the help.

  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  16. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just thought of something else. Would it be possible to flash my motherboard with the BIOS of the old, fried board? The original board was an ASUS and I switched to a MSI. Is this possible at all?
  17. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    In theory that would work

    In practice: The new motherboard may never start again (ie faulty bios)
    And the hardware (chipset, actually everything!) is still different, therefore the restore disc will not work.

    ie I have confirmed that users restoring their own branded computer, have had to remove addon hardware (Video cards; sound cards; even extra ram) and this is on the correct motherboard!

    So therefore -> No
  18. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks once again kimsland.

    I do have another idea:

    Could I rip the recovery CDs, extract the files, and then manually replace the necessary Windows files through Ubuntu? I know that the initial BIOS check on the recovery CDs prevent me from booting it on my current system, but after I pass the initial check, aren't all of the files common on each recovery CD?

    Also, is this even possible? Can I rip the recovery CD without it messing up the hard drive/OS on the good computer? (I would boot the good computer normally, and rip the recovery CD after I had Windows running).

    Thanks again!
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I'm very technical, and I can see that could work. If you had possibly another Windows Xp OS as well (ie many files will be basically missing, or incorrect)
    But, I can honestly tell you, I wouldn't even contemplate it
    An image is not generally the same (I'd say close to 30% only) of Windows system files. There will be just so much corruption that you would need to repair Windows
    Please note, if you repaired Windows using a standard Windows setup CD, that wouldn't work either (ie halfway through it'll ask for the key, and an image key is totally different from a Windows setup CD)

    Good idea, but no. (keep them coming ;) )
  20. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After doing some reading online, it seems like it might be possible to obtain a generic copy of XP MCE and then use my license number when Microsoft asks for validation. Is this accurate? If so, where would I be able to locate a copy? Torrent site, MS website, or somewhere else? Thanks.
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    The restore disc matches your key
    Any other Windows disc does not
    You will find this out when installing and it asks for the key (near the end)

    Just a note on illegal downloads
    1. It's illegal ;)
    2. It's actually against this forum to support, or even advise what to do
    3. All these Windows versions come with rootkits\bugs or just plain Windows corruption. It may get all the way installed, and then as soon as you go online, your Windows will expire (ie you won't be able to login Normal mode again)

    Seems a shame when you own Windows already :(
  22. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea no kidding... I wasn't eluding to anything illegeal, I just thought there may be some type of service M$ offers for free; but that was a silly assumption.

    After talking to HP and M$, they just send me in a loop back and forth to each other. MCE is only available pre-installed, so I have no luck really whatsoever.

    Looks like I'm going to be forced to give M$ even more money, because even though I'm going to run Linux, there are still programs that I will need Windows for.

    I was thinking about trying to pick up an ASUS PTGD-LA, but I'm a little weary of the whole recovery disc compatibility issue.

    It's too bad, XP MCE was the only version of Windows I really liked...
  23. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So just to be clear, there is nothing I can do with the product key to my unusable OEM version of Windows MCE now, correct? I have a copy of XP Home that I can use, so I may do that. If there is any way of salvaging my XP MCE though, I would prefer to do that.

    I know that purchasing the OEM motherboard is an option, but I'm still a touch weary of that.
  24. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Just to expand that part a tad
    my unusable OEM version of HP Windows MCE now, correct?
    That's right, you need a HP for that key ;) Presently you have some personally made up hardware brand (ie No brand really)
  25. hispeed120

    hispeed120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, thank you.

    So, in the future, if I can find a compatible HP motherboard, but I have a different version of XP currently installed, will I be able to use the MCE recovery discs to reinstall the HP OEM version of XP MCE?
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