Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary. Now with pictures!
- Posted on
- T40 Laptop with hard drive issues
March 5, 2010, 4:59 am
rate this thread
I have a T40 IBM laptop that was running Windows xp service pack 3. I
believe it picked up a trojan, Mcfree didn't detect it (not really
surprised at that) but I think it hosed my hard drive. When I power it
up, goes to windows login screen, (which I wasn't using before), then
gives me a quick look at the desktop before it goes back to login
screen. I tried the safe mode, but it will get to the safe mode screen
but it's blank and nothing ever comes up. I tried booting from the xp
disk, but bypasses it and back to login screen. I changed the boot
sequence in the bios, doeskin help. Made it to the setup screen to
restore to earlier not screwed up session, says it will do that but
doesn't and back to login screen. So my question is am i done and this
is a hopeless task and time for new hard drive and the attendant
headache of tearing apart this box?
Re: T40 Laptop with hard drive issues
That kind of login problem, is a deleted "userinit" file.
Some malware attacks userinit (because it gets executed when
the computer starts). Your AV software may quarantine the "userinit"
file, but this results in your login getting busted. So it isn't the
hard drive that is hosed. It is just a missing file.
The link suggested in that article, is this one. Using the Recovery
Console (a mini-OS of sorts), you can expand a copy of the userinit.ex_
file stored on your installer CD. The userinit.ex_ file is compressed, and
expanding it yields the "userinit.exe" file. You then copy that file
into the appropriate place. The Recovery Console has a limited command
set, and has just enough DOS like commands to repair your system.
On computers like HP/Dell/Acer, the included CD may not give you
a Recovery Console to work with. (There is even a downloadable
Recovery Console you can use, if that is the case. There is
even a Windows 7 repair tool, which allows you to do stuff like
that as well.)
(Windows 7 recovery - apparently also suitable for doing repair work on WinXP.
One of the people in the WinXP group likes this one.)
That is just one of the ways of busting userinit.exe, so there is
no guarantee that is the recipe you need. In any case, this isn't
likely to be a hardware problem. If you were to reinstall the OS,
that would fix it too. But nobody likes to give up that easily.
If reinstalling the OS, make sure you have backups of your data files.
That would include things in My Documents, but would also include
your email database. Depending on how you reinstall, it could all
get wiped out. The HP/Dell/Acer approach is to nuke the C: drive and
return it to factory state.
I think McAfee did detect the Trojan, it just repaired it in a
reckless manner. Malware doesn't come with a guarantee it can
be repaired. The fact that systems survive malware at all,
is kind of a miracle.
To give you an idea how bad malware can get, one kind of malware
encrypts all the files on your disk, then puts a message on the
screen, asking for you to send $200 to some site. The idea being,
they send you a decryption key to get your files back. With that
kind of crap floating around, a regular backup of your disk is
not a bad idea. There is no guarantee, from one day to the next,
that your files will be available.