You can get into Safe Mode so have you tried to use System Restore to go back to before this family (from hell?) visit? If so and it works then don't forget to run McAfee updater and Windows Update staright away afterwards.
Have you tried downloading, updating and running (for one example) Malwarebytes Free? - It will install, update and scan all in Safe Mode with Networking.
If someone left my machine in this state I would be inclined to format and reinstall Windows.
Assuming this is XP SP3 dfo you have the installation disk?
Firstly thank you for replying so quickly.
The problem i have is that i no longer can connect to the internet even in safe mode because the computer no longer believes it has any network devices attached. This being a laptop, it seems strange if they had somehow become uninstalled surely it would be telling me new hardware detected. I have just gone into device manager in safe mode and it is showing that the two devices are there and connected the problem it is displaying is with copies of the two devices both wlan and lan devices which have 'mcafee core ndis intermediate filter miniport' following them. These have exclamation marks on them and the device status says that "windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged (code 19)". Does this therefore mean the problem is with mcafee?
Have you tried repairing the network by right-clicking the taskbar icon and selecting that option or opening Control Panel and going to Network connections and trying a repair that way?
In any case you don't need any internet connection to initiate System Restore. Just go to Start/All Programs/Accessories/Accessories/System Tools/System Restore.
It takes a while to initialize usually but once it does see if there is a restore point available before all this started.
I cant even repair the connection because it doesn't list it as existing.
I tried system restore now, that doesnt work because system restore crashes when i open it. I click system restore the window comes up but like mcafee just stays white and wont open.
This makes me think maybe it is a virus, it wont let me open mcafee, system restore, use the internet. They really have obliterated my computer ironicly we put a password on it to stop this from happening but forgot to log it out when not using it.
It does that even in Safe Mode? Oh dear it looks to me like all that's left is a format and reinstall. The other thought is hardware failure, memory, hard drive, motherboard/parts etc. Is it possible to have a local PC repair shop take a look?
McAfee has a profeesional virus removal service which wont charge you if they fail to cure whatever it is, but I personally would advise you to do the repair shop route first.
I suggest that because hardware failure can give these sort of symptoms too.
Once cured then I would password protect every user, including the hidden Administrator account and even the BIOS if possible, to keep those miscreant 'family' members off it permanently unless you are looking over their shoulders.
I agree, i think a format is the only route, but you don't think its a virus then? I think its somewhat unlikely that it would be able to circumvent and close down mcafee so easily. I will try to get what i can off of it and then i think ill try to format it see what that does. Its by no means new and to be honest has been slow despite having nothing on it really for a while. Woudlnt surprise me if it was suffering from hardware failure. I will have to see what happens, thank you for your help with this matter its greatly appreciated.
Sure it could be malware and yes there are plenty of such out there that don't like antuviruses at all. My last machine was a heavily modified and augmented Pentium 4 with XP Pro on it, so am used to it's idiosyncrasies. I still have XP installed in a couple of Virtual Machines, fo old times sake.
As I said McAfee has a virus removal service but it isn't cheap. If I was going to fork out money I'd rather a good PC repair place take it. They can also do virus removal but as XP is beginning to show its age, they might be a better alternative.
I am having the same exact issue. I did not see any signs of any Viruses or malware before this happened. I did scan with a couple of tools (Avira and SuperAntiSpyware) and found nothing.
I am beginning to believe that it may very well be a Hardware issue as I had been having a few blue screens pointing to a video card driver issue. It was running fine in the AM but at some point I believe the PC did a Windows update on its own and rebooted. When it came back up it started showing ssues. All my network adapters were gone. McAffee would not open (blank screen) and then I discovered System Restore was blank as well.
I was wondering if stevemnm found what was wrong with his PC. Did you find bad hardware?
I'd like to add a third person with the same exact symptoms. I'm about ready to do a full reimaging of my computer but would like to hear more. This has to be a virus as all the programs work with the exceptions of the mcafee, and wi-fi. This started when I updated to itunes 10.5.