XP SP2 intermittant boot problem

By astrolabe ยท 6 replies
Jul 26, 2008
  1. XP Pro SP2 in an HP Tower system. Normally boots OK. Occasionally it will boot as far as the Desktop Background. ie no icons or start bar. Once running icons remain.

    Second user account behaves perfectly normally

    Recovery so far 100% by booting up in safe mode and then rebooting.

    System runs behind a hub router, but user had let ZoneAlarm Security Suite lapse. Have cleaned the system of 30+ keylogger and other nasties but 4 days later ie this morning user reported same fault again.

    The Systems is semi mission critical, end of the month - Very MC,

    Anyone any suggestions.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1) Look in Windows Event Logs to see if any clues / interesting footprints left behind. This tool makes it even easier to manage and filter through those log files

    2) Turn on Boot Logging as well so you can see the order of things saved to a file during the boot up process.
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    "user had let ZoneAlarm Security Suite lapse"

    Does the user have "any" security programs running? Antivirus? Firewall? Spyware/adware programs? If the answer is no, cleaning the system isn't worth the time!
  4. astrolabe

    astrolabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Firewalls Spyware Antivirus


    I set up Zonealarm Security Suite for them but asked them to pay the sub... They didn't so for about 10 days there wasn't anything other than the hardware router firewall... Ugh!!

    Needless to say they now have ZSS fully functional.

    Regarding the log...

    I will check it is turned on and then have a look when I get to the beast in early August...


  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Closing the gate after the fact is better than not closing it at all. But it left a big hole for malware to get in!
  6. astrolabe

    astrolabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Don't I know it - However it's peculiar that the new user (Created post invasion?) works perfectly while the old one keeps exhibiting this intermittant boot failure. I've cleared the caches etc (CCleaner), ZoneAlarm has removed a large amount of rubbish.

    Did wonder about looking at reinstalling (via repair option) windows, but am loathed to do this in case it isn't the answer.

    Has anyone any ideas?
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    System File Checker

    sfc /scannow
    That's sfc(space)ForwardSlashScanNow
    at the command prompt
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