So, I got hit by a virus and it seems while I was trying to clean it, I removed something essential from the list of startup programs.
So, when windows starts, it gets stuck at the "please wait" screen.
If I hit shift 5 times fast, I get that annoying sticky-keys dialoge, and with it I can alt-tab and I see the title of the "Please wait ... O" windows as "Logon window".
I can start in safe mode just fine.
Any clue what could be wrong?
As per David's answer, I tried doing
CHKDSK C: /R in safe mode. It said C: is NTFS but it can't check it now and it will have to run after restarting. So, I restarted and started windows normally, CHKDSK ran briefly, and said something like: Drive C: is RAW, can't fix a RAW drive. The windows proceeded booting but again, got stuck at the "please wait" screen.
I un-installed AnVir Task Manager Free (which I was using to remove things from startup) since it seemed to somehow conflict with controlling startup items from msconfig.
Now, the system is not stuck at "Please Wait" but instead I get a box "An unauthorized change was made to windows". Is that a sign of a rootkit?
Also, when I go to safemode, it works find, but a scan with hijackthis shows that the hosts file has been tampered with, and some obviously-viral .exes are added to the startup list, even though I cleaned all suspecious startup entries before.
Just so that people know, I gave up and removed windows. I didn't format or anything, I just removed the
Windows directory from the windows partition, and I'm trying to free as much space as possible by removing all applications from
Program Files and whatnot.
As of now I have no intention of re-installing windows.