Hello. I am attempting to help my mother-in-law with her computer. She was playing a game online and caught some kind of nasty virus (I suspect) and her computer is in the eternal re-boot mode, but not allowing me to go into any of the safe modes. She didn't have any active AV software running that I know of and she doesn't know about malware. I have tried using her xp cd to go into recovery mode, but she can't remember her administrator password (I tried every configuration, upper and lower case and also just leaving the field blank). Next I tried to just do a fresh install of XP, but she hasn't upgraded her memory and there's no room to install (and also, the system is NOT recognizing any previous version of XP - she has XP Home Edition - she probably never put any of the sp's on there either). She only has 256mb SDRAM in her computer and I can upgrade her to two 512mb memory cards, so we have those on order and they should be here by next Thursday (I'm don't think this will help the memory on her hard drive, but it should help her system performance, correct?). I don't know how to partition XP and I would like to not lose any of her memory (she has a bunch of pics and stuff that are not backed up of course...this is such a disaster!).
I now have her system at my house running right next to my computer that also runs XP. I need help! I don't know what to do next. Should I delete/reconfigure the partitions? (The blue screen shows a - partition1 [FAT] 31MB (29MB free) and C: Partition2[NTFS] 19054 MB (605MB free) and unpartitioned space of 8MB. It tells me that windows XP requires 990mb of free disk space. Can I run DOS without starting XP? Any direction to get me going would be most appreciated!