In hopes this won’t happen to you:
Norton has a free rootkit remover out called “Norton Power Eraser”. DO NOT use it on XP. Totally corrupted the registry (& that was NOT due to finding a rootkit). I’ve been trying to repair the machine for about 4 hours so far. Do NOT use this POS. As it is I currently can not get into Windows on my main computer other than with the recovery console through the Windows CD.
5 hours later:
It appears to be fixed after about 5 hours of work. Right now I am currently doing major back ups before doing a cold reboot to confirm.
After trying everything i could find in the MS knowledge base & the MS official forums (& a couple other net forums) in my case the fix was something I forgot I had; I use a registry management program (which I swear by) called Greatis Reg Run. It has a registry restore feature which I didn’t even think about as I’ve never used the feature before in all the years I’ve owned it. It SEEMS to have fixed the issues in about 10 seconds.
I won’t feel totally safe until doing the cold boot just in case Norton put some sort of weird hook in an ini file that will cause the issue to recur, but I THINK I’m ok.