Slow Login, No Networking Service

vista-loginI had to solve the same problem in two Toshiba laptops today. A friend called and explained that his kids’ laptops couldn’t connect to the Internet through a wireless broadband connection and the login process took minutes to complete. It was weird that both of them had the same problem…

Once Windows Vista Home Edition loaded, some errors appeared, specifically with networking services (Windows service failed to start and Dependency services or group failed to start). I immediately suspected spyware or virus infections and proceeded to scan the hard drive with Malwarebytes and Avira Antivir. 7 spyware infections were found and some viruses as well, but even after they were removed, the same problems were still there. I even cleaned temporary Internet files and registry with CCleaner and reset all Internet Explorer settings, but the problem persisted. I tried to take the easy way by using System Restore and attempted to restore the system to an earlier date, when everything worked fine. The system went through the restore process, but after the next reboot, Windows Vista, my most favorite system (NOT!) informed me that due to some errors the System Restore process had failed!

I had another trick up my sleeve. I restarted the system, pressed F8 and waited until I was given the option to start the system in Safe Mode. Once in, I repeated the System Restore process (Start, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore) and this time it worked! I restored the system to a date more than a month back, and after the next reboot, I cleaned the system again. I used Malwarebytes, Avira, CCleaner and even Windows Live OneCare Scanner.

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