Windows XP Home, No Internet, Device Manager shows nothing

Punkrulz

Somewhat eXPerienced
Joined
24 Dec 2001
Messages
790
Hey guys,

Really stumped on this one. I decided I would help a friend out with their computer. He said he believes he has a virus. He attempted to troubleshoot his internet connection with his ISP, and one of the steps was confirming the installation of the network device. Unfortunately, device manager shows absolutely no devices. Safe mode doesn't display any either.

I'm willing to bet that these are also related as well. When attempting to connect a USB keyboard to the device, it never functioned like it never installed itself. Even when using one of those USB to PS/2 adapters, it still failed. I had to resort to using a straight up PS/2 keyboard. Furthermore, since I have a huge feeling that I need to reformat his machine, I was going to try backing things up. I attempted to connect my thumb drive, however that too does not install itself.

This really puts me into a pickle. I can't back anything up because no USB devices will be detected. Furthermore, I can't troubleshoot anything because I have no internet connectivity on this PC, as well as the USB issue again... can't get to any setup files. I could try a CDRom, however I'd have to figure out updates to applications and would be wasting at that point.

Any thoughts regarding this? It's a Compaq that has a recovery partition, so as long as that's fine I'd like to try a repair.
 

Punkrulz

Somewhat eXPerienced
Joined
24 Dec 2001
Messages
790
Actually guys... disregard! I was a bit pre-mature when it came to the posting. I did create a CD, and when attempting to install the software from it I got an error message about the Windows Installer Service. When investigating that, I noted that 99% of all of the Windows services on this PC were disabled. Now I'm well on my way to fixing this thing, possibly without a reformat!
 

LordOfLA

Godlike!
Joined
2 Feb 2004
Messages
7,026
If he had a virus (or even thinks he did) backup important data and reformat.
 

Johnny

.. Commodore ..
Political Access
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Messages
5,015
Yeah, if you enable the windows services; it should work. It sounds to me like someone was playing around with it when not knowing what they are doing.

What you can do to make it easier for yourself is to go to run and type msconfig. When it comes up press services, then select enable all. At that point reboot the pc and see what it does.

If by some reason that does not work, then you might have to reformat because the "person" did something else to it.

I am also with lord. If he thinks he had a virus, do not waste you time and just reformat it. You will save yourself a big head ache in the long run.
 

kcnychief

??? ??? ?
Political Access
Joined
8 Apr 2005
Messages
16,950
I believe the Plug and Play service is what actually drives the device manager. If this is not running, you won't be able to install any new devices such as your USB, and the Device Manager will show nothing.

I personally don't feel that you need to reformat your PC when you get a virus, the tools available these days can do a pretty good job of letting you avoid that. That being said, it may be difficult to measure what the damage was making it even more difficult to fix everything. The only real way to verify a before and after is to have a record of the MD5 checksums of all the files on your system and then compare them after you have cleaned up everything - if you have that, good for you :p

But, if you can get everything functional, do a few A/V and Spyware scans and things are clean and the PC is sufficiently responsive, a format may not be required. Not a bad time to do a backup though, a regular backup plan is important anyway.
 

Punkrulz

Somewhat eXPerienced
Joined
24 Dec 2001
Messages
790
Thanks for the help guys. Fortunately his computer did not seem that bad off. I looked for a short while online for any applications that could automatically go through and control Windows Services, and what their load status was... but wasn't able to find any. I then looked up the default service options for Windows, and manually went through each one setting it to what it needed to be. My what a difference, everything worked like a champ there after. I was able to install SUPER Antispyware, and Spybot S&D to remove whatever I found on the PC. I also made sure that there were not any unnecessary things running through msconfig startup... though I wish I thought about the services all thing with msconfig.

I got his internet working no problem (though ping response to websites was slow). At least now he can backup all of his data, so if there are any issues then we won't have many problems resolving them.
 

Gigabot

OSNN Senior Addict
Joined
12 Dec 2008
Messages
405
Thanks for the help guys. Fortunately his computer did not seem that bad off. I looked for a short while online for any applications that could automatically go through and control Windows Services, and what their load status was... but wasn't able to find any. I then looked up the default service options for Windows, and manually went through each one setting it to what it needed to be. My what a difference, everything worked like a champ there after. I was able to install SUPER Antispyware, and Spybot S&D to remove whatever I found on the PC. I also made sure that there were not any unnecessary things running through msconfig startup... though I wish I thought about the services all thing with msconfig.

I got his internet working no problem (though ping response to websites was slow). At least now he can backup all of his data, so if there are any issues then we won't have many problems resolving them.
I recommend your friend take advantage of the System Restore feature under Accessories. It's helped me many times. You can restore your friends computer back to a certain date (as long as there is a restore point, and there could be some automatically created restore points already). This will restore the computer to how it was on the date the restore point was created, and all your friends documents/data will still be there.
 

Johnny

.. Commodore ..
Political Access
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Messages
5,015
Yeah, system restore is a good thing and should not be disabled.
 

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