I ran Spybot today and casually clicked on Fix Problems when they told me they had found six things. I guess one of those 6 was critical, because after rebooting I was able to sign in and then not much else. My wallpaper came up and the mouse arrow and nothing else. I tried booting in safe mode and got the same result except minus the wallpaper. I tried going to task manager and running a new task, both sfc /scannow and msconfig. Both gave me messages that Windows could not open them as Windows did not know what programs created them. I am unsure how to go about restoring by using a System CD. When I do boot from my CD, I type R to get the Recovery Console and then I am asked to type a number that corresponds with which of a list of items I want to choose. The list is one items long and that item is C:\windows. When I chosse it then the line C:\windows comes up as if I am to type DOS commands in. I have no idea what it is for. I need help desperately please. What to do without reinstalling and losing my precious precious MP3 files andthe rest o' my life.

You can always try nuking and reinstalling everything, but thats not always the case. If you have system restore enabled then you can tryt tunning that and restoring your OS to a previous date. This might be a serious problem if your logging in as administrator because if admin is screwd up then your whole computer is corrupted.

This linked Knowledge base article describes how to perform an 'In Place upgrade', which is what you need to do. It reinstalls Windows over the top of itself, and corrects a lot of system corruption issues such as you have.

thanks for the help, people. all is back to near normal now. lost some data but life is generally good and happy. thanks again!

I'm just curious, is it possible spybot caused this? If not, any idea what did?

Some of the changes you made with Spybot may have. If you have similar problems in future, run Spybot again and use the 'Recovery' feature to check. The feature reverses the changes you made ;)

I have to assume that it was Spybot. As soon as I clicked on "fix problems" (post Spybot scan), I lost the ability to recognize or run most of the programs on my laptop. I tried to run Adaware from it's shortcut on my Launch bar, but it's source could not be found. I went to the actual source (adaware.exe) and it too could not be run. I thought rebooting might clear things up, but when I started back up...blank screen and much confusion ensued. Must have been something Spybot threw out that had attached to a critical file? Oh, and also must have been my ignorance in not reading Spybot's scan report more thoroughly.

commented: We can all learn from each others ignorance! +1

When I first started using SpyBot, I read the scan reports before fixing anything, but since then I've just been letting it fix whatever it finds. I guess this isn't a good practice -- better go back to reviewing before fixing so I don't end up with this problem. Thanks for the awareness!