WHY? sudden icon chaos happens w/no warning: pc desktop?

January 3, 2020 at 18:10:12
Specs: Windows 10, 8GB
If folders on my pc desktop are suddenly displaying files from within those folders on their own--without me doing anything to cause this....and my task bar suddenly disappears--could this be a result of hacker activity? Today, for the 2nd time in the last month, this happened and all I could do to fix it was to force shutdown and then restart. Everything returned to normal after the restart--so, so far, not any big issue. BUT why did this happen in the first place. I inspected my security utilities and everything checked out as normal.

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January 3, 2020 at 18:39:51
Let me see the results of these 2 specialty programs.

Here are the first steps, more steps may be needed, after I see the result of these logs.

Step 1: Run AdwCleaner
Tutorials if needed.
Close all open programs and internet browsers.
Double click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.
Click Scan
Click on Cleaning.
Confirm each time with Ok.
Reboot, a text file will open after the restart.
Please Copy & Paste the contents of that logfile with your next reply.

Step 2: Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware ( MBAM ) Use Threat Scan. Make sure Rootkit scan is on.
Scanning, you will get something like this.
After a restart ( if required ) Copy & Paste the contents of the scan into your reply.

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January 7, 2020 at 17:02:50
You are not explaining anything. How can anyone trust answers like this? You are TELLING ME WHAT TO DO, but not saying WHY. How do I know, or how can anyone know whether you have some financial motive, or some other motive, in recommending adw-cleaner or malwarebytes?

My question has not been answered! The question is: COULD THE SYMPTOMS I DESCRIBED INDICATE THE POSSIBLE TINKERING OR ATTEMPTED EXPLORATION OF FILES THAT CAN BE ACCESSED FROM MY DESKTOP? Yes or no? And if the answer is YES, then explain how and why someone might be hacking--what could they possibly be trying to achieve?

This site used to provide good answers but in recent years, all I see are answers like yours where the suggestion is made, or "order" given (in the case of your answer) to download some malware detector and check the results. We all know that the results will show that "my computer may be infected with malware" and in order to fix that problem, one must buy something or subscribe to a service. This is what many of us call "bulls---".

Can you provide an honest, solid answer without trying to get me to buy something I don't need? I have a trusted name-brand virus & firewall protection software package, and one can run a deep, thorough scan from their website. So, as long as my pc continues to function normally and operate efficiently and effectively as desired, why would I need to buy additional "protection".....assuming that's what it really is???

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January 7, 2020 at 23:15:02

I'm no expert at all on either malware or your specific problem, but
the people here have had some success using the free malware
detection and removal programs that John has recommended to
you. He has done this for many people posting here with problems
like yours. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes
we are eventually able to figure out what the problem was, sometimes
the original poster works it out without our help, sometimes the problem
goes away on its own and nobody ever knows why, and sometimes
the problem is never solved.

You have not provided enough information to analyze the cause of the
problem you are having. You haven't described the problem in enough
detail for us to even know exactly what you are seeing. Rather than
asking you a bunch of questions to get you to provide the needed detail,
John is apparently guessing -- based partly on your guess -- that the
most likely cause is some kind of malware. So he is telling you what
to do to confirm that and deal with it. John has not suggested that you
buy anything and it isn't likely that he will need to do so. Solutions to
malware problems and other software problems are usually available
at zero cost, and John recommends those when he knows about them.

I fully understand your desire to understand what is happening in your
computer. Your best bet to find out is to follow John's instructions, which
will provide him with far more information about what is going on in your
computer that isn't normal.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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January 8, 2020 at 16:24:32
If you hover your mouse pointer over your user name you will see your E-Rank which is your expert rank on this site, then do mine or others, then look at JohnW's rank. He is considered here are the most experiences with your type of problem. The programs that he recommends are available to use for free. One of them is available in a pay for version but will do all you need without paying for it and once you tell the program that you are not interested if the 'free trial' it will revert to and remain free. They are programs that I have used with very good success for a number of years for myself, my family, at work, and to help friends out. I also recommend them here.
The real answer to your question will be in the logs that you will find once the programs remove any junk they find and to translate them you can copy/past their content in replies here and John will look them over. You can also look at them yourself but once John sees them he can tell you if you need to do additional steps to completely clean out your system.
Please note that no one here is paid to do this and we make no profit at all from doing this. Please be considerate in your responses or you may find that no one will respond to you again if your replies get too snarky. Please have a great day and do what ever you like. You can take this as the friendly advice it is intended to be or you can decide I am not being nice. I really do not care.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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