I have windows XP SP3 on this machine. All of a sudden, it has developed this problem:
Most of the time, after the "windows is starting" logo, nothing comes up. Just a blank, blue screen. Even after waiting for long nothing changes.
Occasionally, the press "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" to login prompt comes. And on entering the login/pass, again blank blue screen comes up.
The exact problem is similar to what is described here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318027
I tried safe mode with networking, it starts and logs in fine. But then, following issues:
I have norton anti-virus. But it doesn't load automatically in the safe mode (don't know if its supposed to). On starting manual full scan, it just hangs.
I tried Method 3 in the link. (1 / 2 are not very applicable to me). Here, when I end the explorer.exe process, it does not automatically restart. However, the link does not say what to do in that case!
Any help would be appreciated. In particular:
Is there a way I can find and resolve the issue with the antivirus scan
Is the problem with explorer.exe? If so, how to solve it?
Any other suggestions!
I tried various things as suggested in answers. So now status is:
1) In safe mode: Norton Antivirus (I have full version) hangs. Everything else appears to be fine in safe mode.
2) Installed free Avast anti-virus and did a full scan. No threats found.
3) In normal mode, I am basically not even getting to the login prompt. After the initial windows logo and progress bar, screen goes blank. This is after disabling all non-MS services and startup programs, and restoring to a date a long while before the problem started.