tungwaiyip.info

home

about me

links

Blog

< April 2009 >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
    1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

past articles »

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Did My Virus Checker Kill My Computer?

One day my wife’s laptop won’t boot up all of a sudden. I rolled up my sleeves trying to fix it. This is a Dell Inspiron 710m with Windows XP. It turned out to be one of the toughest PC problems I have encountered in years. I have spent many hours using many different ways to repair it. I am still not sure what broke it in the first place. But the virus checker is my prime suspect. Did it kill my computer?

The first problem is Windows XP boots up to a blue screen saying “This application has failed to start because USER32.dll was not found”. First of all I used the BIOS diagnostic program to quickly check that the system do not have hardware problem. Then I found an Internet posting suggesting the virus checker may have make a huge mistake to consider the system file user32.dll as virus infected and has removed it, causing the system to become unusable.

This looks like a good lead. Sure enough I found user32.dll is missing from the \Windows\system32 directory. First of all I used an Ubuntu 8.1 CD to boot up the system. Then I mount the Windows NTFS with a command like:

  sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o nls=utf8,umask=000 /dev/sda2 /media/c

This posting shows more information about mounting a Windows drive on Linux. Then I just found the backup copy of user32.dll from the dllcache and copied it to \Windows\system32. This simple step solved the problem. My system was able to boot up.

Nevertheless this is only the start. The laptop wireless was off after reboot. Its LED indicator was off all the time. I tried various ways to turn it on without success. Then I come across a useful support page from Dell about How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer. It provides instruction to three different ways to restore the computer. The simplest way is to use the System Restore function provided by Windows itself. The system automatically backup its configuration regularly. I pick up a configuration saved before this instance happens and restored it. Bingo, the wireless LED light just comes back after reboot!

Unfortunately, the network was still not usable. In fact, even if I plugged in a network cable, it still cannot ping any external hostname. Furthermore I cannot ping this laptop's IP address from another computer. The only sign of life was the laptop can ping an external host if I give it the IP address. I make sure the Windows firewall if turned off. This still did not help. Then I found out the virus checker program also have a firewall function itself. I shut it down also. Bingo, then the network works! It sounds like the firewall was 100% effective in protecting the computer simply by disconnecting it from the outside world entirely.

At this point, the laptop is basically functional. But I still see some programs fail with a message saying that it maybe infected by virus. I think it is necessary to take a more drastic step. I used the second method in the Dell support page, the PC Restore function. It re-images the hard disk to restore the factory image. This necessitates backing all the data files because they will be wiped out in the process. But at least it can start from a clean slate without any residue problem.

So I have re-imaged the hard disk and restore the data files. Then I have to uninstall tons of useless programs the come pre-installed on a Dell PC. I also make sure I have uninstalled the hopelessly outdated virus checker Trend Micro ("PC-cillin"), which I suspect has caused me several days of misery.

2009.04.17 [] - comments

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Ukraine war: Russian missile strikes kill 19 in Odesa region - emergency service (01 Jul 2022)

 

Xi defends Hong Kong rule on handover anniversary (01 Jul 2022)

 

Brittney Griner: Detained US basketball star appears in Russian court on drug charges (01 Jul 2022)

 

Technoblade: Minecraft YouTuber dies from cancer aged 23 (01 Jul 2022)

 

Missing Cryptoqueen: FBI adds Ruja Ignatova to top ten most wanted (01 Jul 2022)

 

Nupur Sharma: India court says Prophet row 'set country on fire' (01 Jul 2022)

 

Bison attacks woman at Yellowstone National Park (01 Jul 2022)

 

Supreme Court limits Biden's power to cut emissions (30 Jun 2022)

 

North Korea claims Covid arrived on 'alien things' near border (01 Jul 2022)

 

US stocks see worst first half drop in more than 50 years (01 Jul 2022)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

'This will be somewhat painful': Elon Musk talks Twitter takeover in extended interview at TED2022 Vancouver (14 Apr 2022)

 

Best Background Check Services in 2022, Top 13 People Finder Sites Reviewed (5 Apr 2022)

 

Better.com employees got severance checks before they were laid off (9 Mar 2022)

 

Apple joins other Bay Area tech giants in responding to Russian invasion of Ukraine (1 Mar 2022)

 

Uber will now show you how you’re rated by drivers (18 Feb 2022)

 

The man behind Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters says fancy tech offices are ‘dangerous’ (24 Jan 2022)

more »


Site feed Updated: 2022-Jul-01 07:00