Spyware, viruses, & security forum: Email phishing scam seems to have killed my computer

by: boatmonkey November 2, 2011 7:30 AM PDT

Like this

0 people like this thread

Staff pick

Email phishing scam seems to have killed my computer

by boatmonkey - 11/2/11 7:30 AM

I have a Dell 3000 computer about 5 years old, 35GB hard drive, CD-rom, over 2 gb memory, running Windows XP with all of the service packs and other updates installed. I believe a fake "Hotmail Update notification" that I opened, which was a phishing scam, also contained a virus that wiped out the "boot.ini" and "HAL.DLL" files on my computer hard drive and made it impossible to boot my computer without re-installing Windows. IT GOT PAST 3 SEPARATE ANTI-VIRUS AND ANTI-MALWARE programs on my computer. They are AVAST! (updated minutes before the computer crashed), Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Windows Security Essentials Anti-virus.The computer absolutely will not boot "normally". I can get to Safe mode, but nothing that is offered (except booting from a CD) works on this problem. It seems that these two files are the first two accessed by the computer when it boots and, of course, I can't get past them. I was able to use another computer and Windows XP-SP2 install disks to build a bootable CD using a program called BartPE. I can boot with this from my CD, but have limited access. I can copy some files, but cannot change anything in Windows and cannot get to the Windows Restore to try it. I can't find any "BOOT.INI" file, and tried copying HAL.DLL from the Windows/i386 file to the Windows/system32 file, but had no luck. It looks like I am facing either re-installing Windows (and losing all my files) or buying another hard drive and trying to transfer at least some of my files. I am buying another, larger hard drive, but if anyone has any ideas how else to get around this, I need to know ASAP. This computer is critical to my business..

Forum Icon Legend

  • UnreadUnread
  • ReadRead
  • Locked threadLocked thread
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   
  • ModeratorModerator
  • CNET StaffCNET Staff
  • Samsung StaffSamsung Staff
  • Norton Authorized Support TeamNorton Authorized Support Team
  • AVG StaffAVG Staff
  • avast! Staffavast! Staff
  • Webroot Support TeamWebroot Support Team
  • Acer Customer Experience TeamAcer Customer Experience Team
  • Windows Outreach TeamWindows Outreach Team
  • DISH staffDISH staff
  • Dell StaffDell Staff
  • Intel StaffIntel Staff
  • QuestionQuestion
  • Resolved questionResolved question
  • General discussionGeneral discussion
  • TipTip
  • Alert or warningAlert or warning
  • PraisePraise
  • RantRant

You are e-mailing the following post: Post Subject

Your e-mail address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the e-mail and in case of transmission error. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose.

Sorry, there was a problem emailing this post. Please try again.

Submit Email Cancel

Thank you. Sent email to

Close

Thank you. Sent email to

Close

You are reporting the following post: Post Subject

If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language

Spam: Advertisements or commercial links

Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users

Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Submit Report Cancel

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.

Close

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.

Close

You are posting a reply to: Post Subject

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to the CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to CBS Interactive Site Terms of Use.

You are currently tracking this discussion. Click here to manage your tracked discussions.

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Sorry, there was a problem generating the preview. Please try again.

Duplicate posts are not allowed in the forums. Please edit your post and submit again.

Submit Reply Preview Cancel

Thank you, , your post has been submitted and will appear on our site shortly.

Close