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Win Vista keeps rebooting

penneck
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Registered: ‎03-08-2007

Win Vista keeps rebooting

My son's laptop is having problems. It boots up in Windows Vista OK, but after a short while it states it has found a critical problem and will restart automatically in one minute. In the meantime, Microsoft Security Essentials says it has found a virus Sirefef.R, but before it can disinfect it, the pc reboots.
Any ideas please
Thanks
34 REPLIES
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

Going by a quick google its not an easy Trojan to clean.  Formating the hardrive/s on the laptop and a windows reinstall will probably be the quickest and a lesson for your son for getting it in the first place.  Someone has been using the laptop to visit those kind of sites, him or his friends but its there.
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penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

He hadn't created reinstall disks, so a reinstall is a bit out at the moment. However, is there some way to stop the auto reboot so that I can at least get a chance to deal with the virus?
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

will it boot into safe mode
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

http://guides.yoosecurity.com/how-to-remove-win32sirefef-r-if-windows-reboots-in-a-minute-or-two/
If that fails then a reinstall.
As for no install disks, maybe how he got the trojan in the first place.  If it is a legit windows and was pre installed it will have a hidden partition on the pc, they come with a repair disk to trigger the repair/re-install.  If he got it second hand then another lesson for him, make sure you get the disks.
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penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

To OldJim - yes it does boot in safe mode, but the problem persists there too
To Gus - my son bought the laptop brand new about 4 years ago. He didn't create recovery disks because he was just too lazy (you can't tell a teenager anything - try it sometime), so it isn't a case of buying second hand. However, when there's a problem, he eventually comes to me. Usually I I can fix it, but this one has me beat.
I have had a look at that site you suggested. Their English isn't all that good so they may not explain themselves very clearly. I'm a little concerned that in Step 3 of their instruction, they appear to be suggesting removing files such as "win32rundll.exe", "C:\windows\system32\services.exe", "C:\windows\system32\drivers\ipinip.sys" - wont the laptop need those? If I haven't got any recovery disks, if I need to put them back, where do I get them from?
If I can find reinstall disks from someone who has a laptop with Vista on  it, will they work on my son's laptop?
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

A good way to remove those stubborn stains viruses that other washing powders security software can't shift is to remove the hard drive and connect it as a secondary hard drive to another computer (it would have to be a desktop to take a second hard drive).  Or you could create a virus removal rescue disk and boot from that e.g. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline .  Or maybe the easiest option is to press F8 on start-up, select Repair my Computer and run System Restore.
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

You only have a short window each boot, but you may be able to start -> run (it may be quicker to use the Windows Key + R) and type "msconfig".
Go to the startup tab and disable everything that isn't Microsoft (I think there may be a button to do this, or a button to show/hide Microsoft components), save the settings and on the next reboot there is a chance the virus won't be running.
At that point do a scan with MS Security Essentials, and I'd throw in MalwareBytes AntiMalware in for good measure.
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

When you get a virus it usually messes-up your settings as well.  There is no guarantee that your security software will undo this.  I'm looking at a computer with one of those fake security software scams at the moment.  Although I was able to remove the virus so superficially Windows appeared back to normal; the virus had removed the entry points for the software required for Windows Update and Security Center so neither would run.  But going to System Restore via F8 'Repair my Computer' has got everything back to normal.  Now I can get the Security Software to mop up any residual traces of the virus.
If it will run, System Restore is always the best option and your best chance of getting it to run is from 'Repair Mode' (not available in XP). 
penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

Thanks to all for the suggestions. First thing I did was Safe Mode, and then System Restore. Unfortunately, he only had a Restore Date of 02 Sept 2012, at which point he probably already had the problem - he says he has been trying to solve this himself since about July.
I will try ReedRichards virus removal rescue disk.
I have wondered if a temporary install of XP to overwrite the C: drive would allow me to get to where I can create recovery disks from his hidden partition. Any thoughts?
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

If he has hidden partitions you should be able to recover the factory settings without the need for discs.  What make of computer is it?
Installing XP won't work as you hope.
Edit:  The Recovery Discs are for when your hard drive fails so the recovery partition is lost.
penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

His laptop is a Sony Vaio VGN-NR38E
penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

Have just tried windows defender offline. I have gone into BIOS to set the CD drive as first in boot order, but the laptop doesn't boot from it. Have I missed a step when creating the windows defender offline CD? As far as I can tell, it only downloaded one file (mssstool32.exe) to the CD. How do I tell it is a bootable CD? If it isn't bootable, how do I make it bootable?
I assume the laptop is 32 bit, not 64
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

Download the appropriate file (32 bit or 64 bit) to your hard drive.
Run it, click 'Next' and select 'as an ISO file on a disc (Advanced)'
Chose a place to save the ISO. (I put it on my desktop)
Burn the ISO image to a disc.
Restart the computer booting from the disc you have created.
I have just tried it with no problems.

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penneck
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Re: Win Vista keeps rebooting

Thanks Strat. I have just tried what you suggest, but my pc which uses XP says I need to install Imapi 2. I have tried downloading Imapi 2, but Win Defender Off li8ne still says I need to install Imapi 2. I have tried rebooting my pc, but still it asks for Imapi 2. I've gone on the web looking for answers, and others seem to have the same problem. They talk about Media Burn (or is that Burn Media?).
My DVD R/W drive and Nero 7 may be a bit long in the tooth, but I don't see why they should be causing problems.