Tried doing a system restore but now it is stuck on shut down and doesn't seem to be doing anything..... I'm not sure what I can do about this now as I don't want to lose my whole hard drive... does anyone have any solutions, please help.
It's not that easy to loose a whole drive, Windows is quite well protected against power failures, lightnings and all. Pressing the power button for a few seconds, as long as it takes to shut down the computer, is a safe way, like davidhk129 writes. Then you restart the computer.
I usually press the Reset button, it's faster and, I'm known to be a nutcase. But there is a risk.
Thanks did eventually manage to get it to restore in Safe Mode, however now the whole machine is non-repsonsive. I cannnot get it to shut down properly from the shut down menu, and when it does eventually start up (after telling me it was not shut down properly and would I like to restart in safe mode) it is entirely non responsive and usually ends up freezing and not alllowing me to do anything.
I fear I have contracted a deadly computer strain of HIV or something, is there anyway that I would be able to clean up my sytem and slavage some of the information I have on there? I have always had antivirus on the machine, first Kaspersky and then AVG and now Avast. I am fairly sure I managed to cleanly erase the previous antivirus programs so that they did not conflict with one another, however could this have managed to let a virus out of the vault? Also should I be cleaning my virus vault out and if yes then how? I am willing to try anything to save the machine as I really don't think that having to buy a new computer after having had this one for only two years is value for money...also I just don't actually want to spend more money on Windows right now...
If you think your PC has been infected with a persistent virus, buying a new machine is not the actual solution. You will just need to do a system recovery which is basically putting your PC back to the original state when you bought it. I hope you have your recovery discs.
We approach the point where one can only say, a total re-installation of Windows is faster than digging in the deep dungeons of problems. A week has gone, and no obvious solution is apparent.
It's not necessarily a virus problem. To me it sounds like a combination of problems. And they are the most troublesome ones. You could try recovery discs, like badrobot suggests - if you don't have them physically, you may have them in a hidden partition of your computer, the key to open it depends on your manufacturer. But, doing any sort of recovery won't clear your computer of viruses and such, if you have them. To get rid of the dirt, you have to clean it, thoroughly.
It does sound somewhat severe. In case recovery won't work, I would suggest
1. To save your own files you should save them someplace else. An external disk, or DVDs. Preferably save them in .zip or other compressed mode, that way you can check them for infection before inviting them again, but the baddies can't act from compression. To do this saving, you may need help from a friend - since your computer doesn't act properly, obviously?
2. Clear the disk with a low format program, http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/ or
AOMEI http://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html, where you can delete partitions and create new. I would suggest the latter, delete partitions, then create at least two partitions, one for Windows and possible other programs, plus a partition for your own stuff. This way, in future, you have your own material in one place, and Windows in another - when the inevitable comes = you need to re-install Windows, you can clear that partition, having your own things safe.
To clear the disk is the true way to get it to its original state.