Corrupt Profile (WinXP)
Status: Interested
Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 33
Reply Quote
Upon reboot I got a corrupt profile error and am unable to get to my normal desktop. I ran a virus scan with eTrust and got a lot of messages but dont really know how to use that program. CAn anyone talk me through getting back to my profile?

Back to top
Status: Contributor
Joined: 30 May 2004
Posts: 148
Reply Quote
Virus alert! :: How to get rid of viruses on a severely infected computer
Sounds like you got infected, you'll need to follow the recommendations in this spyware and antivirus resource thread.

Unless you did a full system backup it's quite unlikely you will be able to recover your profile.

If I were you, I would turn off any active antivirus [turn off, don't remove, yet], then download, install, and do a full virus definition update, with antivir and avg, one after another.

After you've finished with that, you'll need to download, install, and do a definition update, with spybot and adaware. Run each one, one after the other.

Then, once that's done, do a pandasoft antivirus scan. At this point, your system should be cleaner than it was, and you can now see where you are at.

Install real antivirus products: BEST [but not free]: nod32. Seoond best, but free: antivir or avg
If you are using either norton or mcaffee antivirus [note: I use the term 'anti' advisedly, since neither product is even remotely acceptable for antivirus performance], once you are finished, I would strongly recommend you fully uninstall norton/mcaffee and install a high end antivirus product. High end does not mean it's expensive, it means it works. You can get a good nod32 reseller in that thread, I've dealt with him before, his site is great, and he's very competent.

Since as you should be able to see clearly, whatever antivirus product you were using is worthless, hopefully you won't mind getting rid of it.

If you can't pay for av, you can use either antivir or avg as your antivirus products, both are very good, and free.

How to recover?
As for recovering your profile, again, it completely depends on what has actually happened, and how bad the damage is. If you do all the virus scans and nothing much comes up, it could be something else, but there's no point in speculating about it.

Again, this will depend heavily on what got infected, what files have been destroyed, etc.

Permanent Solutions and good practices
Use Linux or OS X
Now, if you get sick of having to deal with this virus and spyware garbage, any decent linux distro will solve that problem for you permanently. OSX is good for people who like spending money on their computers and software, it's easier to use.

Do not ever, for any reason, use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Outlook, or Outlook Express. These are serious virus magnets. We have had great success moving people to firefox browser and thunderbird email client. Both are available at

If you must use Windows to access the web, then use firefox and thunderbird to do that accessing, you will be much happier long term, and have far fewer problems with spyware and viruses.

MSIE is especially bad about letting spyware install itself on your box.

Update Windows religiously
If you are not updating windows automatically, start doing so. If you are using windows 98 or me, there is not hope, those are dead, and cannot be secured. If you are using 2000, it's only receiving security updates now. XP must have SP 2 to have any security at all.

Use a real firewall
If you aren't using one, download zonealarm [link on that security thread] and turn off the native xp firewall, which is almost worthless.

Do backups, keep them on an external media, I like using external hard drives, firewire or usb. This kind of problem is why we do backups. Well, it's why windows users need to do backups, he heh.. For standard, secure operating systems, we basically do backups to protect our data from hardware failures mostly, but also of course just as a matter of good practice.

Also possible: corrupted hard disk
Sometimes hard disks get damaged during normal useage, it's not that common, but it does happen. This could cause a similar issue. Again, this is why we backup, and backup often.

Conclusion: too much work? Too many steps? Too bad
Honestly, this type of problem affects a huge number of average windows users. But it's the reality of using windows, especially windows with MSIE and outlook products. If you stop using msie/outlook, you can expect far fewer problems. If you stop using windows, your days of worrying about this stuff will go away. But if you follow good practices, you can use windows quite affectively, I used it for years with no real issues.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   

All times are GMT - 8 Hours