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Backstory: I've come into the possession of a laptop belonging to one of my wife's coworkers. She believed it was infected with a virus.

And it was. After many searches for the symptoms (it's the killvbs.vbs worm, whatever that one's proper name is) I found instructions for cleaning it. Step #1 was to boot into Safe Mode.

Well, I couldn't log into safe mode. Then, I stopped being able to log into the laptop at all. Some further research suggests that there's a worm/virus (may or may not be the same as the killvbs.vbs one) that, once you try to log into Safe Mode, hoses XP in such a way that you can't log into XP again in any way or form.

OK, so looks like the best recourse right now is to nuke it from orbit. I've used a Ubuntu disc to fetch all the important files off of it but the issue I'm left with is that I need some information from the registry. Which I could get from regedit, except that like I said the machine won't boot.

Question: Is there any way, using something like Ubuntu that lets me boot into the machine, that I could inspect the registry?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, you can look to BartPE to boot into XP off a CD and then view/edit the registry of the failing installation.

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