My Gateway desktop, running XP, was freezing after startup. I found advise somewhere on the web to try cleaning the fan, so I did. After putting the computer back together, it didn't freeze up anymore, but my avast found several malware viruses called rootkit? I moved them to the chest as recommended, and later deleted them.....maybe I shouldn't have done that. But now even though my printer is connected, computer tells me it's not; even though speakers are connected, computer tells me they aren't; even though internet is connected, computer tells me it's not; and last night, I also discovered that none of the USB ports are being recognized. And one more problem, I cannot load it into Safe Mode.

Please help!


If you have windows installation disc, try to do a system restore to some earlier point in time.

You could also try to set the bios to default. Also try resetting your cmos. See what happens.

And keep trying to boot into safe mode.


I would suggest to do a restore of the system. But sadly I would rather do a reinstall of the windows. The rootkits are a nasty thing, that have spanned into drivers. And by removing them you just removed a part of necessary application.

Anyway first I would try to reinstall(repair) all drivers. If it would fail then restore. If the restore would not do good then only the reinstallation of OS.

The recommended restore to an earlier time via your OS CD or just through windows is the best to try first. If that fails to totally fix your problems, run SFC.
Sometimes, some of the windows protected files can be lost or changed. To detect any problems run the program “System File Checker” (SFC). Before you run it you should purge your PC’s cache:-

Go to “START”
Click “RUN”
Type or “copy and paste”.. sfc.exe /purgecache

Note:- the space after “exe”.

The “purgecache” in this command will empty the cache before you run the file checker. You should always purge the cache before scanning with the System File Checker (SFC). That way, you can be sure that system files are copied from your Windows installation media, and are not infected with malware or corrupted. After the cache has been purged, run System File Checker.

Go to “START”
Click “RUN”
Type or “copy and paste”… sfc.exe /scannow

Note:- the space after “exe”. You may be required to use your installation disk.

This could take a long time to complete, when finished, reboot and see if the problem still exists.
If everything is working or not, I would then recommend you do an online virus scan, go here to read about cleaning your machine...
Leave the re-installation of the operating system as the last resort. It is the best way to have a clean machine but it is a lot of work.

I thank the people who have replied so far. When I first discovered a few days ago that I had a driver problem, I tried to do a system restore. I tried several different dates and none of them would restore.

Last night, I tried reinstalling drivers and got the printer to work long enough to print one test page.....but after a reboot, it was gone again.

Tonight, I will try Bob's suggestions. And again, thank you.