From: w_tom on
Go back and learn about Event Logs. All NT Operating
Systems had this necessary log (which is just another in a
long list of reasons why the early 1990 Windows NT was so
superior to Windows 9x OSes). You must read this history log
before trying to fix anything. Furthermore, do not delete
things as if your machine was chock full of viruses. That
possibility should be far down the list of usual suspects.

Event viewer - the system log - is listed in Microsoft HELP
in so many topics. Enter Event to find further information
such as:
Change the event log size
Clear an event log
Add another view of an event log
Using event viewer

Event viewer is also be found in Start > Control Panel >
Performance and Maintenance > Administrative Tools.

Event viewer will provide summary statements. Click on them
to obtain further details. As usual, the numbers will be some
of the most important facts. Never ignore the numbers.
Record them if necessary.

Do not delete SVHOST. First report the dates (including
modified date), size, and full filename (including the three
letters after the period) if you suspected a problem. Often
the other copy in C:\i386 is necessary so that Windows XP can
fix or modify itself as you request. You have no reason to be
suspicious (yet) of any executable file in your machine.
Furthermore, if a virus was a problem, then delete it's
process in Task Manager. You can delete anything in Task
Manager. Either the machine will need be rebooted or the task
will be eliminated. If you delete a necessary task such as
Explorer, then it will just reload itself again. Either way,
you will not destroy the system.

If you suspect malware, then post a list of processes from
Task Manager.

And again, what do the comprehensive hardware diagnostics
report? Hardware complications are a more likely reason for
your problems. Never try to fix software until hardware is
first verified.

IOW do not do restore. This is the simple solution - the
hydrogen bomb - to wipe out everything so that Dell need not
hear from you. People with minimal technical knowledge never
need use the restore. Dropping the nuke is not necessary if
you collect fundamental information before trying to fix

Base upon what you have posted here and in other posts, no
one can suggest an action and do so responsibly. Any 'do this
or do that' would only be wild speculation - and could be
destructive. You system comes up in safe mode so that you can
read that event log and get other important information (such
as from Task Manager and Device Manager). So you can learn
why the problem exists before fixing anything.

It is a Dell. When it first powers up, it tells you how to
get into the hardware diagnostics such as pressing F2 or
whatever. If not, then Dell can provide comprehensive
diagnostics on their web site for you machine. They are a
responsible company. And you need to confirm hardware
integrity. Those diagnostics execute without the
complications of Windows (or assumed viruses). Execute them.
Just don't select any option that might write test data to the
hard drive.

Susan wrote:
> I have tried to determine what causes the problem. I have first
> studied the programs at startup. Unfortunately, I have to do
> everything in Safe mode because black screen in normal startup
> will not let me get to anything. I have considered wiping
> everything out with clean reinstallation, but Dell KB under
> "steps should I attempt to possibly avoid reinstalling MS XP"
> suggests restore which I cannot do at this point.
> As for System logs, I did a help and there was mention of Dr.
> Watson (which has been worthless in past) but I could not set it
> up with black screen anyway!
> The Device Manager shows no yellow question marks, etc.
> I admit that I am no expert but was once told that I have the
> persistence of Job which has served me well so far .
> I appreciate any advice and have emailed Microsoft many times
> that I appreciate their support of the Newsgroups.