Can't Open Anything but Programs Virus?

December 4, 2010 at 13:10:45
Specs: Windows Vista
I have looked and can't seem to find my exact problem any where. A few days ago I checked AVG and it found a trojan dropper, so I got rid of it. A day later my computer was acting slow and not loading correctly, freezing up a couple times so I looked online for a better anti-virus. I found Ad-Aware and downloaded it. It found some virus I can't remember the name of and it said it was a bad malware. I removed them through the program and it seemed to stay the same. By same I mean, my cpu runs at 100% all the time, any time I click on a file it pops up but doesn't load anything in it, also I tried to go to Accessories and it just shows at magnifying glass scanning the file beside the title, and finally I tried to put in the Vista disk and attempt to repair some files that were damaged by the virus, the disk wouldn't open and of coarse I couldn't load the cd in run because the files won't open!

Any help would be appreciated so I don't have to spent a ton of cash for someone to do it for me.

Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit SP2
Intel Celeron CPU 450 @ 2.20GHz, 2.0GB RAM, Intel G33/G31 Express Chipset Family


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#1
December 4, 2010 at 14:40:54
I don't think Ad-Aware has been very highly rated around here as an AV, although it has obviously changed a lot since I last used it years ago.

Probably the three most popular free AV's are:
Avast
Microsoft Security Essentials
AVG

I regard AVG as a bit bloated and the other two as "broadly" similar.

When you have installed and run the virus checker of your choice, as a first step I would then download, install, update and Run "MalwareBytes" free version. This is good at finding and fixing awkward malware that AV's sometimes miss although it is not an AV as such.

You need to keep your AV running always, but MalwareBytes need only be run when you think your AV might have missed something and/or you have a problem. Keep it updated.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#2
December 5, 2010 at 13:27:05
Thanks for the quick reply. I downloaded MalwareBytes and ran it a few times over the day and it found quite a few things but I don't know how serious they are. (Here's a screen shot: http://i55.tinypic.com/2r3gv1y.jpg) I did see a little improvement on performance but I still can't access any of my files or get any programs not listed on my desktop, on the front of the start menu, or directly started from run. Also, in my media player my music plays, so that shows for something, I think.

I'm thinking I'm missing some file or .dll or something that I need to get to my files. I'm not sure though.


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#3
December 5, 2010 at 15:29:47
It's likely that the virus(s) messed things up. Can you give an idea what sort of files will not open - are they all exe files?

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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Related Solutions

#4
December 5, 2010 at 16:59:57
No, all of my exe's work, I just have to start some from run. It's my folders. Like the example in my first post, when I click on Accessories it just acts like it's loading but never does. Any folders are like this, the ones on my desktop, my computer, my documents, everything.

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#5
December 5, 2010 at 17:24:17
Sorry to say that I think this one would require hands-on in order to get anywhere.

About the only thing I can suggest is that you take out all but the necessary items in msconfig Startup tab (Windows key + R key then type msconfig in the Run box that appears) in the hope that you can find some application that is bogging it down.

Ending tasks in Task Manager might also prove something, and also looking there to see if anything in particular is spiking the CPU.

By the way, you should only be running one Virus checker in the background. Anything else should be on demand only.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#6
December 5, 2010 at 17:35:54
I almost figured that would be the answer, I know this time it not something I can fix easily.

It's explorer.exe that's the one using all the cpu. Maybe the virus is still on here, just dug in good.


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#7
December 5, 2010 at 18:18:57
Well, as I'm sure you know, explorer.exe is the basic Windows file system, so if there is anything still lurking it would account for it, or the virus could have messed things up.

You could try this I suppose (just in case there is a rootkit burried):
http://www.sophos.com/products/free...

Others that get a mention around here are:
Trojan Remover
Hitman Pro
(run from Safe Mode with Networking)
There is also ComboFix but you have to follow the tutorial very closely or you can mess things up.

Unfortunately nobody else has joined us and I don't regard myself as an out and out security expert. There used to be guys on here who would go through the whole gambit but they seem to have vanished of late. Something might show on an HJT log (although they are not rated so highly thses days) but I can only help in a limited way if you post it on here - happy to try of-course.


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#8
December 6, 2010 at 09:46:56
One more thought. If you still have restore points then you could go way back to before you hit trouble. To avoid opening folders, hold down the Windows key and press R key. This will produce the Run box, and you put this into it and hit the Enter key:
%SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
If necessary tap F8 during boot up, select Safe Mode then do the restore from there - often things work in Safe Mode but not in normal Windows.

If you should manage this, run all of your virus & malware checkers immediately afterwards - just in case anything nasty gets restored. You would obviously have to re-install anything you have added since then.

The alternative is to take an axe to it and reload Windows, booting with the OS CD in the drive. You would obviously need to backup your stuff first and with folder opeing difficulties it can be done by using a Live Linux CD. I can help with that if necessary.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#9
December 6, 2010 at 12:45:11
I tried going back before, but it was only about a week and a half. I wasn't having problems then so I'm not sure if going back further would help. I'll try it anyway.

That is a great option if you could explain a little more. All I need is a few pictures and a couple saved things from programs and I would be fine with reinstalling Vista on it. I've thought of it before but my flash drive wouldn't load, and of coarse the folders wouldn't either.

I really do appreciate this, I never would have thought of half of the things you're telling me. haha


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#10
December 6, 2010 at 13:04:27
"That is a great option" - I assume you meant my glancing reference to saving your stuff using Linux. Usually the problem is that "Windows" stops you getting anywhere. Linux can normally do this if Windows isn't running. The trick is to produce what is known as a Live Linux CD, which means you boot up with a Linux CD and it runs from the CD only. You can then copy your stuff onto a flash drive, close down, remove the CD and your are back to Windows again (warts and all in your case).

I happen to use Puppy Linux because this is small, easy to follow and does the trick. Rather than try to explain it all, here is some bedtime reading:
http://www.puppylinux.com/cd-puppy.htm
I can help but firstly you have to find out how to burn an image file (ISO). Depends what burner you have but most can do it, including Nero. If not I can find a small freebie that does it. If you have a helpful friend you could make the CD on their machine if yours is playing up. You then put your CD ahead of the hard drive in BIOS, shove the CD in and boot up. It takes a little whille and then you are ready to go. Everything is single click and often drag and drop is the best option for popping stuff onto a flash drive. See how you get on and I'll keep monitoring this post in case you have any queries.

EDIT:
It's easy to do, just a lot of words to explain it (as often with computers).

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#11
December 6, 2010 at 15:15:24
Yeah, it was pretty easy. BUT (Always a but with computers, haha) I couldn't get into my files from Linux. Do I need to share my files or something? I'm thinking I just missed something, not sure.

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#12
December 6, 2010 at 16:35:42
If you've got Puppy working then it should be a case of a single click on the hard disk drive icon at the bottom left of the screen. You then single click through the paths and it shows "everything" and doesn't usually deny access anywhwere.

Have you got that far? If so, what exactly does it do or not do and where? You don't have to share files or whatever.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#13
December 6, 2010 at 16:50:30
I just can't seem the find the hard disk drive icon. All I see is where it says "Menu" in the bottom corner, the run box button, and two squares that don't seem to do anything but change colors when I click on the other one.


EDIT: Scratch that, I found where the make them pop up. Once I get my things on my other computer I'll just reload Vista and all should be well...hopefully. Thanks a lot, Derek.


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#14
December 6, 2010 at 18:03:06
That's good. Hope you fathom how to get your files across to the flash drive. I use drag and drop and fiddle around with window sizes to do it - you might find a neater way because I don't use Puppy much. It's a darned handy thing to have around tho. I've found that you can get online with it, show pictures, play sounds, run videos and goodness know what else. Pretty good for a CD working with RAM and not using the HD at all. I've heard good reports of the Knoppix live CD too.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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#15
December 7, 2010 at 13:41:45
I was just about to look for some different live CD to see if maybe I could get online with it. My internet disagrees with Puppy, I guess. I'll check out Knoppix.

Also, I figured out how to get my files on to my flash drive but it doens't do any good now because I'm reinstalling XP in my other computer because of a different fowl up and I have more than my flash drive will hold to save.


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#16
December 7, 2010 at 14:37:54
Oh well, that's how it goes I guess. Hope you find a Linux Live CD that suits your internet because they can be very handy to have. There are many different ones about. Good luck with the computers.

How to know you are getting old 5:
A lamp post backs into you


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