So I come here hoping to explain my situation effectively and hopefully somebody can help or offer some advice or whatnot. Keep in mind I'm not the most tech savvy person around, we're gonna try and get a technician to come in the next few days. I'm just hoping maybe I can get a better idea of what happened.
Here's the story! My brother and his friend decided to install a game on our family's PC (other brother and I use Macbooks), called Runes of Magic. Free MMO, the site seems kinda legit. http://us.runesofmagic.com/us/index.html
There's the URL. So after much interrogation my mother just threw up her arms and let them install it.
So we come home from town and find that the computer is essentially not functioning. It was off when we came home, tried to turn it on. It brought up a screen saying something along the lines of Windows not starting, because some settings have changed from before and it's basically safeguarding itself. So it gave the option to restore the old options that worked before, so I tried that on our third boot-up attempt.
So it proceeds to the Windows screen with the loading bar and the Dell screen with the loading bar. But instead of going to the log in screen, it gives us an awful blue screen (blue is never good). It said most of the same stuff it said earlier, something was wrong and it was essentially giving us a big fuck you and not starting. It suggested that if we hadn't seen that screen before, restart. Well, we did. So if we did, it said to try disengaging anti-virus software or firewalls (well how do we do that when it wasn't really allowing any way to input commands). Keep in mind, we aren't even at the log in screen yet. So we turned it off and left it.
Cue my mother flipping shit at my little brother and his friend. She flips out asking what the hell they possibly could've done, and gets them to make a step-by-step of what they did. Here's the list, in their words.
1. Downloaded game
2. Went through installation and set up
3. Set up the patch
4. Played game.
5. Logged off their profile, and logged onto my mother's cuz they thought things were slowing down and having multiple users signed in was doing it.
6. Saw an "!" saying there was a network crisis (this was when his friend tried to go online using our wireless internet on his laptop), because too many users were logged onto the network (there would essentially at that point be four computers trying to get onto the wireless network).
7. Logged back onto my brother's account.
8. Firewall was off somehow! Tried to turn it on, but it said to go to control panel.
9. Nothing loaded, assumed it froze, turned off computer.
10. Got the blue screen that my mother and I did.
There's a few other steps of what it said for them to do, bunch of error codes but I honestly don't know how they remembered what they were an hour after the fact. So that's that.
The firewall turning off randomly had me worried. I figure something got in and fucked everything up. But what do I know? Any advice?
TL;DR: Brother installed computer game from a website that seemed legit, firewall went bye-bye, no more Windows start up. Fuck.
If neither of these fix it, try writing down the error code you get on the blue screen (that first 0x0000000 number). While it seems cryptic, those can actually help narrow down what's going on.
You need to tell us exactly what it says, especially if there is any kind of error message, or if no error code was given.
Yes, exactly. As in verbatim. If you can't remember, turn the computer on again and see what it tells you, and write it down. Error codes are given for a reason.
If this is XP a reinstall will be difficult (at best). This is a good guide. Vista and 7 are much easier.
But if you have documents or settings you want to keep on your computer, don't do either yet; it sounds fixable with some effort.
You put the disc in, pick your drive, push Enter, L, and from there it's just following the instructions that come up in the graphical part