Desktop Icons Are Disappearing

Ecs / M830lr...
January 23, 2009 at 15:31:56
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 1.659 GHz / 1023 MB
This started a couple of days ago, after I got an email from AdAware for a chance to upgrade to the Anniversary Edition, free. It sounded like a good idea. All I had to do was pick from one of their sponsors, I guess, and select something. I picked one that said I would get 25 free music downloads, figuring I could cancel after that. Well, First I didn't find any music that I would want, free or otherwise. Once I got AdAware upgraded, I canceled the music account. I tried to download something, but it was trying to charge me for it! Once I rebooted for the upgrade I noticed that several of my icons were missing from the desktop. Ok, I thought no problem. Since then I have lost several columns of them. (I have/had a lot of icons.) And I notice that I no longer see the control panel on Start, and several other things that I don't recall. The Help and Support tells me that it doesn't exist, either, and on All Programs many folders just say "Empty." I updated AVG and Avast!, both and ran them twice. I am running MS Malicious Software removal tool right now. So far, nothing has come up. I never received a virus warning. Ok, I tried to do a Repair install, from my CD-ROM, but it doesn't give me that option anymore. Also, when I go to Start Accessories, the System Tools folder also says Empty! And it seems like everytime I reboot I am missing a few MORE icons! Help! My system is disappearing, along with the icons. I need a way run the Repair Install of XP besides the usual way. I don't know, maybe some command line method. I have never seen anything this weird before. Can anyone offer any input? I will appreciate it, VERY MUCH. Thank you.

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.


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#1
January 24, 2009 at 13:39:40
OK, today I checked my C: drive and see that almost everything is now gone or shows Empty. Looking back at my previous posts for the past few months, this isn't something new; it has been going on since at least October! Slowly. So, I am going to bite the bullet and reformat drive C: and reinstall XP. This means that I will also have to reinstall all of my applications, which are currently on drive E: Looks like I have a fun week ahead of me! Somewhere, someplace, I picked up a virus that was in stealth mode, and I never got a warning. When Avast! or AVG do find a virus they warn me and even clean them up. Not this time. I just hope that my other drives are not contaminated, too.

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.


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#2
January 24, 2009 at 16:52:10
If you have not started fomating let us look at it first.

It might save you a days worth of reloading.

Please download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from one of these sites:

MalwareBytes1

MalwareBytes2

Rename the setup file, mbam-setup.exe, before you download it. To do that once the "enter name of file to save to" box appears as the download begins in the filename box rename mbam-setup.exe to tool.exe> click save.

1. Double Click tool.exe to install the application.
2. Make sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
3. If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
4. Once the program has loaded, select "Perform Quick Scan", then click Scan. The scan may take some time to finish,so please be patient.
5. When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
6. Make sure that everything found is checked, and click Remove Selected.
7. When disinfection is completed, a log will open in Notepad and you may be prompted to Restart. If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove,you will be presented with 1 of 2 prompts,click OK to either and let MBAM proceed with the disinfection process,if asked to restart the computer,please do so immediately.
8. The log is automatically saved by MBAM and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
9. Copy&Paste the entire report in your next reply.


Please download and install the latest version of HijackThis v2.0.2:


Download the "HijackThis" Installer from this link:
Hijack This

Rename the setup file, HJTInstall.exe, before you download it. To do that once the "enter name of file to save to" box appears as the download begins in the filename box rename HJTInstall.exe to tools.exe> click save.
1. Save " tools.exe" to your desktop.
2. Double click on tools.exe to run the program.
3. By default it will install to C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis.
4. Accept the license agreement by clicking the "I Accept" button.
5.Click on the "Do a system scan and save a log file" button. It will scan and then ask you to save the log.
6. Click "Save log" to save the log file and then the log will open in Notepad.
7. Click on "Edit > Select All" then click on "Edit > Copy" to copy the entire contents of the log.
8. Paste the log in your next reply.
9. Do NOT have HijackThis fix anything yet! Most of what it finds will be harmless or even required.


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#3
January 25, 2009 at 09:11:52
Thanks jabuck, but I had already finished by the time you posted. I figured it was a lost cause. It only took about 1 hour to reformat C: and reinstall XP. I was surprised. Now I just have to get everything else installed and set up. Luckily, I had made some backups Friday of the important files on the desktop, so haven't lost too much, I hope. It looks like maybe I should have waited a bit longer. I will definitely download those tools so I'll have them. I don't know why I didn't think of using highjack this. But I think the problems were so deep seated by then that nothing would have helped. I was having problems back in October and didn't realize it, so it had plenty of time to wreck my system. Exactly the reason I try not to keep anything of value on the C: drive! I have 2 HD's with 4 partitions, so there is plenty of room! It's just that some programs insist on putting things in the Documents and Settings folder on drive C: since drive C: is the favorite target of the hackers. Plus, most people don't know any better. Once bitten, twice shy. Thanks for the help buddy, I will appreciate it forever!

Bob

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.


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#4
January 25, 2009 at 09:45:35
Just a quick note for jabuck. I downloaded both programs and ran them both. As expected, nothing was found. So I'll save them for another time. Again, THANKS a bunch!

Bob

A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.


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#5
January 25, 2009 at 17:28:46
There is more to do, can you post the Hijack This log? The first two scans (first step) only search for some baddies, further scans require that antivirus programs/antispyware be temporarily disabled and some require the computer to be in safe mode but we need to see the Hijack This log to help determine what to do next.

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