Hi guys, hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
The issue is with mu wife's laptop which is a Win7 Home Premium machine that does very little work. She had ZoneAlarm Free firewall and anti-virus installed. I used ZoneAlarm years ago when I had a Windows machine, but every other computer in the house is now Linux based so ZoneAlarm doesn't feature on them any more.
We have been overseas for a month, and got home yesterday. My wife booted her laptop to check e-mail, and got a notification to update Zone-Alarm. She clicked the OK button and let it go.
Today, her computer won't boot correctly. It gets through the preliminaries and offers the selection of which user account to log into. (There are three user accounts - all administrator level, my wife's of course, plus my son and myself have an account purely because our respective car GPS systems only have Windows software available to update maps, which is installed on m,y wife's laptop, as the only windows machine in the place.)
Once the user account and password are entered, the screen just goes black, with the arrow cursor available, and that's it...
The Program Manager window can be opened, and indicates that something like 60% CPU is being used by the "NT System, Kernel" process, and a great amount of data is flowing to the internet. It will stay like this indefinitely.
The same thing happens in all user accounts.
If I boot to Safe Mode WITH network access, again the same thing happens.
If I boot to Safe Mode WITHOUT network access, the account logs in as normal.
So, running in safe mode, I tried to do a virus scan in ZoneAlarm. The application opened, and a scan was selected, but the scan did not actually start happening. The Scanner window opened, but remained at 0% complete, with 0 files scanned, and the timer did not advance from 00:00.00. It sat like this for quite some time. The same thing happened with all scan types - quick, full, etc.
The general information screen of the ZoneAlarm application also indicated that the computer had NEVER been scanned, and that the Anti-Virus definitions had NEVER been updated. I know it has been installed for several years at least, and updated regularly, because she asks me every time if she should do it...
Also, the Zone Alarm Settings window would open, but would not save any changes to the settings.
If not for the GPS Map Update software, I'd wipe the hard disk and install Linux! But that would be unpopular with she that dislikes change, so can anyone suggest an alternative path forward?...
Many thanks in anticipation,