Alright, I'm a bit miffed here. My mom tried installing SecurityCenter 2009 on her computer yesterday, and I don't know what happened, or if she caused it in some way (she is rather inept at computers), but somehow the installation had fouled up, and when she rebooted, her Explorer.exe keeps repeatedly crashing. The taskbar will stay up for a few seconds at a time, then disappear, and comes back a few seconds later. This will happen endlessly, and obviously as a result I can't get into the file explorer, control panel, or add/remove programs list. Mysteriously, I tried editing the registry to remove McAfee's entries, and it said regedit was disabled, but I can get into Task Manager. (That's how I was trying to troubleshoot everything.)
I also tried running the system file checker with the /restore option, manually deleting McAfee's folders (I was able to download a third-party file manager through Firefox), replacing the explorer.exe, doing a system restore (that doesn't even get past the "Confirm Restore Point Selection screen) and even doing a repair installation - all to no avail, and safe mode does the exact same thing.
I was considering purchasing Security Center myself, but I'm not going to purchase anything that's going to muck up my system like this. What can I do?
RE: EXTREMELY dissatisfied with SecurityCenter 2009.
Yep, that means System Restore does the exact same thing in safe mode. I should've mentioned that.
I'm trying to avoid reformatting, but the more things I try (Google came up with a few great suggestions as well), the more it's beginning to look like the only option.
I finally managed to get McAfee's registry entries out of the registry by using gpedit, and it fixed it temporarilly, but about an hour later it started doing the same thing, so I doubt it's McAfee, but some kind of spyware that she might have inadvertently installed beforehand.
I'm fixing to install StopZilla to run a spyware scan. I'll report back later. happy