Ok, I'm not that PC savvy, but I need some help! Our PC crashed and I'm afraid we will loose all our data. Not sure if we got a virus or what? Here's what happened:
My husband has created and maintained several small websites using FrontPage. He was updating a site with FrontPage, and creating a link on that page to another page he created. He clicked on the link to verify that it would open a new page, and it did. When he closed the page, a bunch of new tabs started opening on Internet Explorer, the same page that he had created a link to. They would not stop, and then it finally froze. The only way to shut down was to manually hold in the power button to turn it off. He attempted to turn it back on, and it got to the screen where it gave the options to open in safe mode, last known good configuration, etc.
If we choose the last known good configuration, it goes right to the Windows Loading screen, and the blue bar goes back and forth, then the screen turns black like it's going to load, but the PC turns off and then restarts on its own.
If we choose any of the other options (i.e. safe mode), it shows rows and rows of the same message (like MSDOS? Remember, I’m not too computer savvy!) and then it just turns off and restarts on its own.
I’m not sure if this is a virus or maybe a corrupt windows file (that’s what the guy at best buy said)? There have been no recent software or hardware installations, and we have Norton anti-virus that runs regular checks. I have checked other threads on here, but all of the solutions provided only work if you can start in safe mode. If we have to re-install Wondows, how can we make sure we don’t loose all our data? We have tons of pictures, videos, recorded music (my husband is a musician and does some home recording), websites we have created and thousands of hours of work into some of these things. Best Buy said it could be up to $500 to fix, plus the $70 just to have them look at it.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!!!

You could try a Windows Restore Point from Command Prompt:


If that does not work and if the HDD is still in full working condition, you would need a way to plug this HDD into another working xp machine so you can copy all of the data (pictures, websites, etc) to that other machine's HDD, which you can then burn to CD or DVD, or flash memory, etc.

Reinstalling windows over the top of a corrupted windows install may actually delete your data - especially that data in the Documents & Settings folder (like My Documents & My Pictures, etc).

I'm not saying it will delete your data, but in my experience, the 3 system folders do NOT like you to re-install windows over the top of itself (and is not supported my Microsoft anyway). These are the system folders that could contain data that are directly affected during an install:

Documents & Settings (this is where most users keep their data)

Program Files (some data, such as Quickbooks tax files are kept here)

Windows (generally nothing but the OS here, but on occasion people put stuff here for whatever reason...)

I don't have any information good or bad about Geek Squad, but to me, if the data is that important, I would pay the $70 and see what they say.

"If we choose any of the other options (i.e. safe mode), it shows rows and rows of the same message "... Similar, but not the same... these are the names of drivers [services] and files windows is loading in safe mode. But then it broke, so no chance to use a Restor Point....
I noted caper's reply in the other post you placed here. Do that.
If that does not work, a Windows Repair [NOT a NEW installation...] most likely will. This will not normally overwrite any of your data files. But you would have to dl any updates released since your OS version.

Hope this wil be of any help. Í´ve fixed a lot of computers with the same problem. First if you have another computer available or even a laptop, take the hard drive out of the computer having the problem, place the hard drive as a slave on the other computer;install Hard Disk Sentinel (google it), just to check the conditions of the Hard Drive first, to make sure what to do next, either back up yout data first in case anything happens(before you do the back up make sure you update your antivirus and spyware software)Now go to my pc/drive c:/right click/properties/tool/check disk for errors,complete both options, what this will do, it will correct any corruption on the drive, it will take a while. then after is done scan the drive for viruses(I personally use: no adware, malwarebytes, xoftspy, spywaredoctor, Mcafee, norton internet security, smart virus remover.) then after you´ve done all this, put the hard drive back and it should run and log on into windows. normally all this should take about 2 to 3 hours. then after that run smart virus remover again, and google ComboFix and run it, it´s the most important tool, Then after all this defrag the hard drive, three times, restart in between. Hope it will be of any help. Good luck.