My computer seems to have deleted everything since I tried to install a DVD burner

I tried to install a DVD burner, I unplugged the computer then attached it. When I restarted the computer it said that ‘boot up failed’, something along those lines. So I had to shut it down and take the burner out. Now everything seems to be gone, there are no links on the desktop other than the recycle bin, and nothing in the start menu except internet explorer, outlook express & address book. The computer is also extremely slow and jumpy, for some reason my homepage was reset to the german MSN page and evertime I open or change a window I get a message saying ‘As part of the Tools for Internet Explorer, we have now activated Safe Shopping Features for your browser. It provides you with information about merchants we have identified as safe providers of goods or services. We automatically identify you as one of our users to these merchants’. So I have no idea what is going on now.

Does anyone have any idea what happened. I should just take it to a computer expert in town, I am not sure what it did.

Wow. That’s a new one to me.
Look for you windows installation folder (Windows or WINNT) and see if you also have another one of the same name on a separate partition of drive.

What version are you using?

Off the top of my head, I can only guess that you had two installations of windows and that rearranging the cables put the boot record out of joint. But, I’m not even sure that’s possible.

I would say you have two installations of Windows on the system, and somehow activated the other one. Have you ever added a hard drive to this computer and Reinstalled Windows? Or did a Windows upgrade?

This sounds like spyware. Did you install anything(software/drivers for the dvd for example) in the recent past? or if in fact your computer is booting from a different installation then I would say that installation is infected.

This is a strange problem. I would say that it stopped working ever since you opened your computer up that you open it back up and check all of the connections. Everything from the motherboard connections to the ram chips.

I’m not sure there’s a connection between the burner installation and the software problem. If I understand you correctly, you attached the burner (which brand?) and your OS (which OS?) failed to load. That may have a number of causes: you attached it to the wrong IDE plug, BIOS error, faulty or no native windows drivers (did you install any drivers?), or, in rare instances, not enough power to boot.

As for the software problem, a quick google returns only a few hits of similar problems, no burner installation involved though. Do you log into windows manually, or is it handled automatically? As citybadger said, be sure you’re logged in as yourself. A new user will begin with a blank screen/start up menu.

I’ve never heard about the “Safe Shopping Features”, and it does sound like spyware, but who knows what Microsoft includes in their packages anymore. The exact link for the redirect might be useful. You could check your startup programs, “startup.exe” from is a nce standalone program (no installaton) for getting this kind of info. You could also try the very nice ad-watch program which may or may not be part of the free spyware scanner ad-ware from Other options include: “startup inspector” from is nice, and of course HijackThis, see

forgot to add:

  • startup.exe - show you what programs run on startup, and you can uncheck (disable) programs you don’t want to run. Is just a single file.
  • ad-watch - show you what programs run on startup. You can copy the list. It’s part of the adware anti-spyware package and will also monitor your computer for attempts at installing new spyware. May be part of the paid version only
  • startup inspector - does the same as startup.exe, but can connect to a database, giving you a detailed description of each identified program and what it does
  • hijackthis - haven’t used this personally, but it’s very popular. You can save a list of startup programs to a file.

Of course there’s a number of spyware detection programs you can download and run as well.

Here’s a guess: do you have your HDD(s) attached to a RAID controller instead of the IDE controller and your machine is making the DVD drive C:? Or do you have your HDD attached to the secondary IDE controller and the DVD drive attached to the primary?