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The first thing you want to do to determine if this is a virus or a corrupt Windows OS at this point is to boot the computer in SAFE MODE. Do this by hitting the F8 key just after you see the BIOS screen but before the Windows logo. If you see the Windows logo you have missed your opportunity and need to try again. Hitting the F8 key several times just after the BIOS comes up will likely get you to the safe mode menu. Select Safe Mode.

If the machine boots all the way into windows with out trouble then chances are you have a corrupt driver loading in normal mode and to double check this theory you want to disable start up items. Go to Start>Run and type msconfig. Click the “Startup Tab” click disable all start up items, try rebooting and see if you can get all the way into Windows in normal mode. If this fails, then reboot into safe mode.

If you have an anti virus program or anti spyware you should run it in safe mode. Unfortunately you may not have the latest definitions for those programs unless you are really good about keeping them up to date. If by any chance you have Spybot installed and just not updated you can download the includes file from their website to updated it from a thumb drive and then scan.

If all else fails you could try doing a safe re-installation of windows which will preserve your files. If you can get into safe mode then you should definitely grab your sensitive files and copy them to a USB drive right away. This is a start