Removed malware but still have issues

June 6, 2011 at 13:18:59
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium 4, / 512
My computer was infested with malware. I was able to remove it with Malwarebytes, but I'm still having issues with:
1) Only some programs showing up in Start menu
2) No desktop icons
3) Can't right click on desktop (in regular mode. I can in safe mode)


Running WinXP
Once the virus was removed, Windows Explorer was not displaying any files/folders. I had to manually "unhide" the folders. They are now displaying in Windows Explorer and some are in the Start menu, but most are 'empty' in the start menu.

So, it seems that the files and executables are all in the program file folders and I can run them. The problem is that all the shortcuts have been removed from the Documents and Settings folders. If I manually add a shortcut to the Documents and Settings folder, it shows up in the Start Menu.

My first question: Is there a utility or something that can restore all those shortcuts? Note, this is my friend's computer and they don't have a back up I can restore to.

The second and third issues have me baffled. When I log on to Windows I have the task bar and start menu, etc but the desktop is blue and I can't right click on it to get anything (properties, etc). At least in regular login. When I start up in safe mode and login as the admin, I can right click and go to properties, etc.

Any ideas on how to fix this problem, short of doing a restore?


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#1
June 6, 2011 at 14:14:08
Run hijack this in normal mode & post the log.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
June 6, 2011 at 14:14:20
Did you run a full system scan with Malwarebytes in regular boot? Quick scan is good during a weekly check for malware, but full scan should be used when malware was found. In addition, the Malwarebytes developers say it works best in regular boot instead of Safe Mode.

I suggest you also download and install SuperAntiSpyware Free, then install all available definitions and do a full system scan in Safe Mode. http://www.superantispyware.com/sup...

Please copy+paste the scan results of both programs in your next reply.

Apologies if I don't respond to your reply immediately. I don't check this site daily, but you're welcome to PM me as a reminder.


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#3
June 6, 2011 at 17:27:53
I have never had much luck with trying to fix a borked up system. I just reload the entire OS and apps from OEM disks. It works perfectly usually.

Your issue is more of why it did get that way. No matter how you fix it, unless you take steps to improve your security it would be a waste of time.

Learn and use as many best practices as you can to avoid this problem.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#4
June 6, 2011 at 21:11:37
I'm the opposite of Jefro in most cases. Sometimes it is quicker to reinstall or revert back to a recently saved system image, but that's typically rare. Most people don't have all their stuff backed up. I've lost important stuff before because I failed to properly back it up. It can be annoying reinstalling all the drivers and software and making personal adjustments with it all.

That's why I avoid jumping to that step and continue fighting the malware unless one of the following conditions are met.
1.) The client just wants to reinstall Windows from the start
2.) The client has had enough trying to remove the malware and wants to reinstall Windows
3.) The client has a recent hard drive image they'd be satisfied reverting to
4.) The client's important documents are backed up elsewhere and are willing to lose anything not backed up
5.) I have exhausted all my efforts in trying to assist and the last possible option I know of is a Windows re-installation.

I do agree with what he said about improving. Understand what caused the problem and make improvements in your methods to prevent it. Otherwise, the problem will likely happen again.

Apologies if I don't respond to your reply immediately. I don't check this site daily, but you're welcome to PM me as a reminder.


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#5
June 7, 2011 at 03:00:28
libby glancy, I have to agree with Xps86, sounds to me like you still have an active nasty. M-B seems to be able to handle most of them, but I've run into a few failures. That's never happened to me with Superantispyware. A scan with it seems to take longer (mine takes OVER an hour!), but... Suggest you try it. Won't hurt, may help.
HTH
Ed in Texas

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#6
June 7, 2011 at 12:34:51
I prefer to do it the right way, the first time, and be done with it.
If you wish to fool with it for days,weeks, then you can, many people do.

My way has never failed to produce a fully working system in minimum time.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#7
June 7, 2011 at 16:38:21
The right way is the way the client is most satisfied. Each client is different and each situation is different, so there is no universal solution. What you call fooling around for days/weeks is called troubleshooting and helps both the client and the consultant learn.

There have been times when I've worked continuously on a single problem all day and late into the night. In the end, not only do I get great satisfaction for solving the problem, but I also learned why it happened, how better to prevent it in the future, and how I can solve it again if I or someone I know runs into it. I wouldn't gain that knowledge or personal satisfaction had I just given up and reinstalled.

Depending on the situation, your way will not only delete important files and precious memories, but it will end up being slower as all the software needs to be reinstalled, personal settings to be adjusted, and any files/systems that were backed up need to be replaced. In plenty of situations, your way is indeed slower than mine.

As you said, learn. You haven't had much success fixing a problematic system, but I have, and I continue to get better with each attempt. To each his own, and that's all I have to say on that.

Apologies if I don't respond to your reply immediately. I don't check this site daily, but you're welcome to PM me as a reminder.


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