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Explorer.exe not starting up


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#1 sunfrog14

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:20 PM

I am having trouble with my computer when I restart it. It restarts and just the blank desktop shows up so I start the task manager and run "explorer.exe" from there and everything comes up. However, in addition a "my documents" folder also automatically pops up.

The computer also has recently become a little sluggish and CPU usage does shoot up to 100%.

I have run malwarebtyes anti-malware, ad-aware professional, and mcafee, but nothing has shown up.

Any suggestions on where I can go from here?

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:19 PM

From Rollin' Rog
A Microsoft MVP

You may need to think clean install on this one.

You may be able to recover explorer.exe either by running:

sfc /scannow

or by extracting it from cabinet files. This is a little tricky as it depends on OS version, the location of your cabinet files, and an exact command line.

Another alternative may be to use System Restore.

You don't need to boot the Explorer shell to run it:

http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;304449

If you do this you may be restoring the quarantined files as well, so you should choose a date that goes back to when the system was fairly normal.

-----------------------------------------------------

Also,


Please reboot the computer
Open MBAM and click Update tab, select Check for Updates,when done
click Scanner tab,select FULL scan
After scan click Remove Selected, Post new scan log for review

Edited by garmanma, 02 February 2009 - 08:28 PM.

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#3 sunfrog14

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 10:32 AM

"You may be able to recover explorer.exe either by running:

sfc /scannow"



Since, I would like to try the easiest possibilities first...I tried the above. It comes up and says "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Insert your Windows XP Professional CD 2 now."

I have Windows XP Media Center Edition on this computer and do not have the disk they are asking for. Is there a reason why they would be asking for this disk and/or is there something I can do?

#4 garmanma

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

It wants to copy the needed files from the CD to the i386 folder
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#5 sunfrog14

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:06 PM

Well, I figured it wanted to add something from the disk. The problem is it is asking for a different version of XP...then what I have. It won't use the version that I have.

However, I did do a system restore and at least now explorer.exe is running when I restart.

My computer still does seem to be acting off though. Any suggestions on what I should do? I have run mcafee, adaware, malwarebytes, and did defrag.

#6 garmanma

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:19 PM

ATF
Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop.
  • 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".

------------------------------------

Now SAS,may need an hour
Please download and scan with 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. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • In the Main Menu, 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".

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.

Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
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#7 sunfrog14

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:39 PM

Thank you for your reply. I followed your directions and here is the log:

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

Generated 02/09/2009 at 03:55 PM

Application Version : 4.25.1012

Core Rules Database Version : 3747
Trace Rules Database Version: 1714

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 03:14:45

Memory items scanned : 251
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 6299
Registry threats detected : 1
File items scanned : 108743
File threats detected : 11

Adware.AlfaCleaner
C:\Program Files\AlfaCleaner
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\config.dat
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\Log\ACServer.2006-01-31-20-40-23.log
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\Log\ACServer.2006-01-31-20-41-08.log
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\Log\log.2006-01-31-20-40-33.log
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\Log\log.2006-01-31-20-41-08.log
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner\Log
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\AlfaCleaner
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Application Data\Skinux\AlfaCleaner

Adware.MyWebSearch/FunWebProducts
HKU\S-1-5-21-692996806-1628831532-417877450-1005\SOFTWARE\FunWebProducts

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@advertising[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@at.atwola[1].txt

#8 garmanma

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:57 PM

You are infected with Alpha Cleaner. It is a Smitfraud infection
We have a guided tutorial on how to remove it:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43477/how-to-remove-alfacleaner/
If you are up to it, read the instructions through first and print them out, if possible before running the application

Edited by garmanma, 10 February 2009 - 02:59 PM.

Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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#9 sunfrog14

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 05:33 PM

Okay great! I will (hopefully) do that tonight and post the results. Thanks again for all your help!

#10 sunfrog14

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:22 AM

Well, I really wanted to thank you for your help so far.

Okay so I followed the directions you gave me and successfully removed that problem. I tried to follow the rest of the directions that were on the page you gave me (the before you post a HJT log), but some of the things I cannot do. It keeps saying "make sure you are the administrator" (which I am, or at least I am suppose to be-I am the only user on the computer). Is there a way to fix it so that I am the administrator? Or check to make sure I am?

Edited by sunfrog14, 11 February 2009 - 12:48 AM.


#11 garmanma

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:19 PM

There might not be any need for HJT
Run SAS again and see if Alpha Cleaner has been removed
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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#12 sunfrog14

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:28 AM

I followed the directions again because it was not gone. Then I ran SAS again.

Here is the scan:

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

Generated 02/12/2009 at 00:02 AM

Application Version : 4.25.1012

Core Rules Database Version : 3753
Trace Rules Database Version: 1718

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 01:14:26

Memory items scanned : 555
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 6223
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 40847
File threats detected : 17

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@questionmarket[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@ad.yieldmanager[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@atdmt[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@cache.trafficmp[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@2o7[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@media.adrevolver[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@adrevolver[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@at.atwola[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@trafficmp[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@serving-sys[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@sales.liveperson[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@tribalfusion[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@doubleclick[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@sales.liveperson[3].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@advertising[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@dynamic.media.adrevolver[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Erin Jacqueline\Cookies\erin_jacqueline@bs.serving-sys[1].txt

#13 garmanma

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:22 PM

Those are just cookies, what I was concerned about looks like it's gone
Please try this scan:
-----------------
Please download Dr.Web CureIt, the free version & save it to your desktop. DO NOT perform a scan 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".

Scan with Dr.Web CureIt as follows:
  • Double-click on launch.exe to open the program and click Start. (There is no need to update if you just downloaded the most current version
  • Read the Virus check by DrWeb scanner prompt and click Ok where asked to Start scan now? Allow the setup.exe to load if asked by any of your security programs.
  • The Express scan will automatically begin.
    (This is a short scan of files currently running in memory, boot sectors, and targeted folders).
  • If prompted to dowload the Full version Free Trial, ignore and click the X to close the window.
  • If an infected object is found, you will be prompted to move anything that cannot be cured. Click Yes to All.
  • When complete, click Select All, then choose Cure > Move incurable.
    (This will move any detected files to the C:\Documents and Settings\userprofile\DoctorWeb\Quarantine folder if they can't be cured)
  • Now put a check next to Complete scan to scan all local disks and removable media.
  • In the top menu, click Settings > Change settings, and UNcheck "Heuristic analysis" under the "Scanning" tab, then click Ok.
  • Back at the main window, click the green arrow "Start Scanning" button on the right under the Dr.Web logo.
  • When the scan is complete, a message will be displayed at the bottom indicating if any viruses were found.
  • Click "Yes to all" if asked to cure or move the file(s) and select "Move incurable".
  • In the top menu, click file and choose save report list.
  • Save the DrWeb.csv report to your desktop.
  • Exit Dr.Web Cureit when done.
  • Important! Reboot your computer because it could be possible that files in use will be moved/deleted during reboot.
  • After reboot, post the contents of the log from Dr.Web in your next reply. (You can use Notepad to open the DrWeb.cvs report)
Then follow it up with one last mbam scan
-----------------

Please update mbam and select FULL Scan
Run the scan, Remove selected and reboot
Post the log for review
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook and Twitter

#14 sunfrog14

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 02:21 PM

It says not to run that the Dr. Web program if there are other antivirus programs on your computer. I have mcafee.

Should I do it anyway?

#15 garmanma

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:34 PM

Following the directions I have posted, it will be fine
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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