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18 June 2010

Hope Me! Frozen cursor. [More:]

Posting from my husband's computer. There's something wrong with my computer, so I was running some malware prog to get a log to post to HijackThis. So sick of this crap.

Anyway, I was running ComboFix. Part of the procedure is a reboot. As Windows XP reloaded, the cursor froze. I can't do a thing. It's not the mouse, I tried my mouse on another computer and it worked fine.

What can I do? I read advice to boot up in safe mode and do some tinkering. I can boot in safe mode, but I can't seem to pick the Administrator icon to log on to get to the Start Menu. Can you come over and fix this?
Oh. It seems that my keyboard also now doesn't work in Windows. So I can't get to the Start Menu. Stupid ass pc.
posted by iconomy 18 June | 20:28
eek. I've read that combofix is a pretty extreme measure and can be kinda dangerous. I'd have tried malwarebytes anti-malware first. If you can't get the keyboard or mouse to work, you may have to do a repair install with your winxp disk (hopefully you have one instead of those crappy restore disks they send with pcs these days). maybe someone will come along with better or more specific advice.
posted by DarkForest 18 June | 20:47
Thanks for the support ;) I did malwarebytes first (along with 4 other things) and none found the malware or whatever the hell it is I have - I was getting redirected from ebay and paypal to go to new screens and enter all of my bank and credit card info again (including my atm pin...heh), to prove my identity. And some other minor weirdnesses, like Firefox taking 5 mins to open when I click on it, and strange spooling/static noises coming from my hard drive.

It was suggested by the HijackThis guy who was helping me to run ComboFix. I looked into it and saw that it was hardcore, but decided to go ahead anyway. It's supposed to produce a data log, not render your computer useless. Jesus.
posted by iconomy 18 June | 21:08
If it's a USB keyboard/mouse, perhaps try plugging in an old-style keyboard/mouse and seeing if they work? (I'm not techy enough to know what the old-style connections are called, but they're often green and purple). Sometimes these nuclear options can screw with your USB ports/drivers.
posted by altolinguistic 19 June | 03:34
The old-style mouse/keyboard plugs are called PS/2. An interesting but probably useless item on the Wikipedia entry:
' a standard implementation both PS/2 ports are usually controlled by a single microcontroller on the motherboard. This makes design and manufacturing extremely simple and cheap. However, a rare side effect of this design is that a malfunctioning device can cause the controller to become confused, resulting in both devices acting erratically. The resulting problems can be difficult to troubleshoot (e.g. a bad mouse can cause problems that appear to be the fault of the keyboard).'

Other than that, I have no hope for you. I'd be happy to come over, but I don't know where you live.
posted by dg 19 June | 06:04
What symptoms did you have? Was it one of those fake antivirus scare-ware things like Antivirus 2010? I've cleaned 3 PCs for family in the past year of these things. If you can determine what you've got, then there is often specific advice on the net about the procedure to fix it.

If you are still stuck at the stage of no mouse/keyboard, there are some CD live-disk solutions you could try to remove the virus. Like this or this (there are lots of others too). But you may eventually have to do a an XP repair install to recover keyboard and mouse. It should leave your data intact. I used it on one pc and it turned out ok.

I wonder if combofix has an undo mode. Have to check.

posted by DarkForest 19 June | 06:32
Also, try using a different USB port.
posted by Obscure Reference 19 June | 07:49
It's not the mouse or the ports. ComboFix fubared my drivers. It's very frustrating. Everything is still there, I just can't access it. I think I have to do a reinstall of xp. This really really sucks. I think I might go buy a mac today.
posted by iconomy 19 June | 08:24
ico, do you have backups? sounds like the only fix is the nuclear option at this point.

not that it's helpful in any way but you sound like me about a week before I finally broke down and bought my macbook pro in '06. In my case, it was the umptieth time I had to reinstall my DVD burner / external hard drives, and then it lost / wouldn't mount my mp3 player.

I don't like Apple's draconian attitude about a lot of things, and I'll grant that Steve Jobs is a megalomaniacal prick, but the thing it does do better than anyone else is control this sort of user experience issue. And their customer service has been outstanding for all the Apple products I've bought/owned/serviced since.
posted by lonefrontranger 19 June | 11:39
I don't have any backups...gah. I do have a nice tech guy who can come out and probably gank whatever I want off of the hd, but I think I'm done with pcs at this point. I just asked for a mac laptop for my birthday, which is next week ;)

I just dropped my cell phone into a bucket of paint. I'm totally repelling technology today!
posted by iconomy 19 June | 12:47
I bought my wife a new macbook pro, and if she deserves one, you deserve one!
posted by danf 19 June | 13:06
Thanks, danf! When can I expect it? You're awesome!!
posted by iconomy 19 June | 15:01
Yeah, I won't be buying/building another PC. I've had enough of the drama and I'm too old to waste time fucking around trying to fix things - I just want them to work.
posted by dg 19 June | 17:51
Thanks, danf! When can I expect it? You're awesome!!

I'll be emailing my terms and conditions by and by.
posted by danf 19 June | 18:49
So which direction will you go, dg? Mac or Linux? Something about the way you said that made me think I should switch away from windows too.
posted by DarkForest 20 June | 19:33
I'm of two minds, actually. I'd love to buy a Mac and just forget worrying about how to keep things working, but I'd love to go Linux for the cost saving, because then I can build the hardware and save money on hardware and software. I'm leaning toward the Mac, mainly because I'm too old and time-poor to stuff around with computers any more. I just want them to work. For me, that's the thing that Windows increasingly doesn't do. Plus, that uber-cool hardware makes me feel all tingly you know, 'down there'.
posted by dg 21 June | 06:58
Me too. Macify me. So sick of this!

Been debating ipad vs macbook, going for the macbook.
posted by iconomy 21 June | 10:49
who took my staple(s/er)?? || Free MP3 from The Black Lips