Windows XP start up Gobbledygook mystery

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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi, I was cleaning up my father's computer, taking off all the unused programs and spyware etc, it all seemed to be running great and then I did one last reboot, and I just could not believe it, all the words on the icons and all the menus were completely unreadable, replaced with symbols, ticks. squares, even the start menu on taskbar I think there was a big question mark there, the computer seemed to be performing ok. if of course you were able to read gobbledygook. The start up before it reaches windows is normal (black screen and Windows Professional logo) but soon as normal light blue backscreen appears everything is unreadable, except for when you can locate the log/turn off/restart buttons. It is like the default windows system font has been replaced with a symbols font like wingbats or something.
I tried going into safe mode but the situation is just the same.
Anybody any ideas, I have been messing around with computers for years and never experienced anything like this before.
Cheers Terry
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Run msconfig and disable all under the startup tab. Reboot and see if it went back to normal.

Have the icons in explorer been affected too?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The icons are displayed pictorially as usual but EVERY single word on the computer is messed up, (except as I said standby turn off buttons)I thought if I could get to change the theme or display settings but you cannot even see where you are, all the menus and tabs are symbols, nothing you can recognise at all, I will try to get to the msconfig by guesswork, but shouldn't safe mode have got round a corrupted program. es even in safe mode everything is still unreadable. I think I may have to do a fresh install but he has a load of pictures on there so it will be a lot of work messing around. Cheers Terry
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Safe mode isn't exactly the same as disabling all in msconfig but if you can't get there, don't worry about it.

Buy one of those USB external enclosures, IDE if the drive is IDE. Remove the HD and connect it to another PC. Copy the pictures and whatever files you can to the other PC. Then reinstall the drive and the OS.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes I know, I have one already, I was just trying to save myself a lot of work. Thanks anyway

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