Computer keeps rebooting

Question

When I boot the computer up it gets to the desktop, and then closes down and reboots, and starts all over again, rebooting. Ive checked for virus'es and its clean, ive defraged the hard drive also.

Answer

This question was answered on June 6, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You are almost certainly infected by the new "Blaster" worm that has been spreading like prairie fire recently, affecting Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows Server 2003 machines If you are running Windows XP, the symptoms include a message telling you that you have 45 seconds to shut down any programs you are running and save your work before the computer reboots It claims some service has terminated unexpectedly The exact message for Windows XP machines is as follows:

This system is shutting down Please save all work in progress and log off Any unsaved changes will be lost This shutdown was initiated by NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM

Time before shutdown: 00:00:45

Message: Windows must restart because the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service terminated unexpectedly

There are four things you should do to solve this problem and protect yourself from future infections:

1 Activate a firewall

Windows XP comes with one built in To activate it, go Start>Settings>Control Panel, double click on Network Connections and right click on your active internet connections From the context menu that appears, select "Properties" and then choose the "Advanced" tab In the "Internet Connection Firewall" section, check off "Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet" Then click "OK" to activate your settings

If you are running another version of Windows, you will need to purchase a third party firewall such as ZoneAlarm, BlackIce Defender, etc..

2 Patch your operating system

To prevent future viruses from exploiting this vulnerability in the Windows operating system, you should download and install a patch provided by Microsoft

If you are running Windows XP, you may download the patch directly from the SiliconGuide File Center by following this link: ftp://siliconguide.com/qa/WindowsXP-KB823980-x86-ENU.exe

If you are running another version of Windows, visit the Microsoft Windows update page at: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

3 Remove the worm from your system

Although the worm cannot do any damage with the firewall activated and that you cannot be infected by other strains of viruses that exploit the same vulnerability now that your system has been patched, it is a good idea to completely remove it from your system since it is wasting precious system memory (RAM), that could slow down your computer

Symantec has provided a removal tool which may be downloaded from them at: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/FixBlast.exe

4 Insall anti-virus software

To prevent such infections from occuring again, it is always a good idea to install some anti-virus software The most renowned anti-virus makers are Symantec and McAfee

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Author

Posted by Kumar of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on June 6, 2005