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Desktop Icons Disappear


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#1 isabzer0i

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:14 PM

Hi,

Im running windows vista home premium. When I open up my computer or any other folder, all icons on the desktop and the start menu disappear, leaving only the wallpaper. I have to use the task manager to restart the computer to get everything back. I am able to access mozilla firefox and use the computer as long as i dont attempt to open any folders or my computer. I ran norton antivirus scan, spybot search and destroy, and adaware 2007. Those programs found some stuff and deleted it, but im still having the problem. Help please!

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:59 PM

Have you tried doing your scans in "Safe Mode"?

Have you performed any Online Virus Scans? If not, then start there first.

If rescanning in Safe Modes does not help, then do this:


Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop. DO NOT use yet.
Please download and install SUPERAntiSpyware Free
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSypware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and unzip into the program's folder.)
  • Under the "Configuration and Preferences", click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the "General and Startup" tab, and under Start-up Options, make sure "Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows starts" box is unchecked.
  • Click the "Scanning Control" tab, and under Scanner Options, make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen and exit the program.
  • Do not run a scan just yet.
Reboot your computer in "Safe Mode" using the F8 method. To do this, restart your computer and after hearing your computer beep once during startup (but before the Windows icon appears) press the F8 key repeatedly. A menu will appear with several options. Use the arrow keys to navigate and select the option to run Windows in "Safe Mode".

Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
  • Under Main "Select Files to Delete" choose: Select All.
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
  • If you use Firefox browser click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • If you use Opera browser click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
Note: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp" ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware as follows:
  • Launch the program and back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan and click "Next".
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
  • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes" and reboot normally.
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.

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#3 isabzer0i

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 02:19 AM

Hi quietman7,

Thanks so much for the help! I followed what you said to do and the problem I was having is fixed. However, I get this message at the start of windows: Could not load or run C:\users\jamil\AppData\Local\Temp\efcaw.exe specified in the registry. Make sure the file exists on your computer or remove the reference to it in the registry.

And then when I click ok, three more RunDLL messages show up:

Error loading C:\users\jamil\AppData\Local\Temp\efcaw.dll
The specified module could not be found.

Error loading C:\users\jamil\AppData\Local\Temp\iocpqkov.dll
The specified module could not be found.

Error loading C:\users\jamil\AppData\Local\Temp\nnnnn.dll
The specified module could not be found.

What should I do about these messages?


Also, here is the Scan Log:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 01/05/2008 at 01:39 AM

Application Version : 3.9.1008

Core Rules Database Version : 3374
Trace Rules Database Version: 1369

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 01:15:06

Memory items scanned : 213
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 6682
Registry threats detected : 5
File items scanned : 76837
File threats detected : 9

Unclassified.Unknown Origin
HKLM\Software\Classes\CLSID\{DB0B918E-A0A8-482B-8D75-A682816B0C7B}
HKCR\CLSID\{DB0B918E-A0A8-482B-8D75-A682816B0C7B}
HKCR\CLSID\{DB0B918E-A0A8-482B-8D75-A682816B0C7B}\InprocServer32
HKCR\CLSID\{DB0B918E-A0A8-482B-8D75-A682816B0C7B}\InprocServer32#ThreadingModel
C:\USERS\JAMIL\APPDATA\LOCAL\TEMP\NNNNN.DLL
HKCR\CLSID\{DB0B918E-A0A8-482B-8D75-A682816B0C7B}

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@adbrite[2].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@adrevolver[1].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@ads.adbrite[2].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@apmebf[1].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@doubleclick[2].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@media.adrevolver[2].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@overture[1].txt
C:\Users\Jamil\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\jamil@server.cpmstar[2].txt


Again, thanks for all your help.

isabzer0i

#4 quietman7

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:44 AM

RunDLL32.exe is a legit Windows file that loads .dll files which too can be legit or malware related. The "Cannot find...", "Could not run..." or "Error loading..." message usually occurs when the associated .dll file(s) that was set to run at startup has been deleted and it becomes an orphaned entry in the registry. Windows is trying to load the file(s) but cannot locate them since they were removed during an anti-virus or anti-malware scan, the uninstall of a program or use of a specialized fix tool. However, the associated registry entry remains and is telling Windows to load the file(s) when you boot up. You need to remove this registry entry so Windows stops searching for the file(s) when it loads.

To resolve this, download Autoruns, search for the related entry and then delete it.
  • Create a new folder on your hard drive called AutoRuns (C:\AutoRuns) and extract (unzip) the file there. (click here if your not sure how to do this.)
  • Open the folder and double-click on autoruns.exe to launch it.
  • Please be patient as it scans and populates the entries.
  • When done scanning, it will say Ready at the bottom.
  • Scroll through the list and look for any startup entries related to the file(s) in the error message.
  • Right-click on the entry and choose delete.
  • Reboot your computer and see if the startup error returns.
Please follow the the instructions for using Vundofix in BC's self-help tutorial: "How To Remove Vundo/Winfixer Infection".

After running VundoFix, a text file named vundofix.txt will have automatically been saved to the root of the system drive, usually at C:\vundofix.txt. Please copy & paste the contents of that text file into your next reply.
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#5 isabzer0i

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 10:21 PM

Hi quietman7,

I ran the autoruns program and deleted the files that needed to be deleted. The computer is working fine now. Also, I ran the vundofix and it says it did not find and infected files!

Thank you for all your help. I appreciate it very much.

Isabzer0I

#6 quietman7

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 07:44 AM

If there are no more problems or signs of infection, you should Create a New Restore Point to prevent possible reinfection from an old one. Some of the malware you picked up could have been saved in System Restore. Since this is a protected directory your tools cannot access to delete these files, they sometimes can reinfect your system if you accidentally use an old restore point. Setting a new restore point AFTER cleaning your system will help prevent this and enable your computer to "roll-back" to a clean working state.

The easiest and safest way to do this is:
  • Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click "System Restore".
  • Choose the radio button marked "Create a Restore Point" on the first screen then click "Next". Give the R.P. a name, then click "Create". The new point will be stamped with the current date and time. Keep a log of this so you can find it easily should you need to use System Restore.
  • Then use Disk Cleanup to remove all but the most recently created Restore Point.
  • Go to Start > Run and type: Cleanmgr
  • Click "OK".
  • Click the "More Options" Tab.
  • Click "Clean Up" in the System Restore section to remove all previous restore points except the newly created one.

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#7 isabzer0i

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:52 AM

Quietman7,

The computer is running fine and showing no signs of further infection, so I will create a new restore point. Thank you for all your help! It is very much appreciated.

Isabzer0I

#8 quietman7

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

Your welcome.

To protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection, be sure to read:
"Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe".
"How did I get infected?, With steps so it does not happen again!".
"Best Practices - Internet Safety for 2008".
"Hardening Windows Security - Part 1".
"Hardening Windows Security - Part 2".
"IE Recommended Minimal Security Settings".

Safe surfing and have a malware free day.
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#9 sherpakid

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:54 AM

quietman7 you ROCK! I had the same issue as isabzer0i. I followed your steps and now my machine is working beautifully again. Thanks so much!

#10 quietman7

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:46 AM

Your welcome.

I'm glad your problem has been resolved. However, you need to be carefull when following specific instructions provided to someone else. Instructions given to others, especially in the HijackThis forum, have been formulate by a trained staff expert to fix that particular members problems, NOT YOURS after careful evaluation of the malware involved. Although your problem may be similar, the solution could have been different based on the kind of hardware, software, system requirements, etc. and the presence of other malware. Using someone else's fix instructions could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system. If you need assistance in the future, it's best that you tell us what specific issues YOU are having rather than point to someone else.
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#11 dman138

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:50 PM

Hi Everybody. Allow me to introduce myseld. My name is Dexter.

It appears that I have the same or similar problem on my PC. Half way through my desktop initialization all my icons and my task bar disappear. I read on one of the previous posts that I should talk to you before attempting this fix so here I am. Here is a quick rundown of what happened:

1) I DLed and ran a keygen.exe file (ya, I know, stupid me) (I am running Avast antivirus and it did NOT detect anything both while I DLed or ran the file - a scan of the file afrerwards detected a Win32 Trojan)

2) I rebooted as per the requirements of the program I was installing and My PC became very sluggish. I ran taskmanager and found 2 instances of explorer.exe running. So I rebooted again adn from then on my icons and taskbar disappear half way through startup.

3) I ran Avast antivirus scan and it detected and removed the suspect file.

3) Ran Spybot and it found Virtumunde Trojan, which I then had Spybot try and fix.

I cannot even get safe mode to stay up with icons or task bar. The only way I can use anything is to click on the icon before it disappears.

Here is a rundown of my system: Dell 4300 1.6 running Win2k with all available updates and service packs. Avast antivirus, AVG Antispyware(resident), Zonealarm.

Can I use this fix or not? Any assistance would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.

#12 quietman7

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:00 PM

Welcome to BC dman138

If you have an issue or problem you would like to discuss, please start your own topic. Doing that will help to avoid the confusion that often occurs when trying to help two or more people in the same thread with different problems. Even if your problem is similar to the original poster's problem, the solution could be different based on the kind of hardware, software, system requirements, etc. you are using and the presence of other malware. Further, posting for assistance in someone else's topic is not considered proper forum etiquette.

Thanks for your cooperation.
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#13 dman138

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:47 AM

Apologies for my poor etiquette. I'm fairly new to this forum stuff and an learning as I go. I will start my own topic.

Thanks for your help.




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