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disappearing windows


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8 replies to this topic

#1 chordguy

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:50 PM

HELP!!!
Bet you never heard of this before !!!

Using Windows XP, old toshiba satellite laptop, 512 ram and 20 gig hard drive (I said old, didn't I).

About 2 years ago when I went to open Mozilla, which I'd used successfully for about a year, it opened and almost instantly zipped off towards the right hand corner of my screen and disappeared. So did some flash videos I tried to play.

I managed to "fish around" off screen with my cursor and successfully dragged the flash video windows back to center screen. But I was never able to do that again. I was unable to drag Mozilla back, which behaved the same every time I opened it---it disappeared up and to the right. I uninstalled and redownloaded Mozilla 3 or 4 times, and it continued behaving the same way. Once open, it would disappear off screen leaving only the taskbar showing it was open, and leaving only the options to close or minimize. I have never been able to use Mozilla again. I deleted it, hoping it would take the bug with it.

No such luck. Over the last two years, every few months the bug, whatever it is, "takes over" a file folder---never a document or program--and makes it behave the same way: upon opening, disappears offscreen. So the only way to retrieve files in a folder that has been infected--and forevermore disappears offscreen whenver opened--is to open an email, attach files one by one from inside the folder to the email, and then open them--and save them to a new location.

Now the bug has pulled a new one---it has affected one of my two external hard drives, so upon opening the window of the drive instantly disappears--any attempt to retrieve files from the drive (a calvary 500 gig) must be thru email, single file by single file.

I was ready to by a new computer anyway, so got a gateway laptop with 4 gig ram and 500 gig drive. But I am deathly afraid of putting files from the old computer on the new one, for fear of infecting the new one. For sure I don't want to connect the calvary to it, for obvious reasons.

I have run malwarebytes, avast, threatfire, adaware, etc., etc. Even Malwarebytes, which has found all sorts of crap nothing else could, can't touch this one.

Any help appreciated. A puzzler, isn't it?

thanks
Chordguy

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#2 xblindx

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 01:45 PM

Could you post the log files from the first few scans of MBAM?

#3 Maurice Naggar

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:04 PM

Hello Chordguy,

Just some thoughts here for consideration.
Firstly, documents/files/other items placed on the XP Desktop would be (as standard default) be stored at
C:\Documents and Settings\\Desktop

so actually, your "stuff", even if offscreen, is not really lost. {The above assumes your Windows drive is the C drive}.

Set your Windows XP to allow the showing of ALL files:
Set Windows to show all files and all folders.
On your Desktop, double click My Computer, from the menu options, select tools, then Folder Options, and then select VIEW Tab and look at all of settings listed.

"CHECK" (turn on) Display the contents of system folders.

Under column, Hidden files and folders----choose ( *select* ) Show hidden files and folders.
Next, un-check Hide extensions for known file types.
Next un-check Hide protected operating system files.

Now, select Search from the XP Start menu. In the search box for Filename, type in
desktop.ini
and press Search. Look for Desktop.ini in the Desktop folder or in the root of your C drive
If found at either location, you may delete Desktop.ini

If your AV is Avast {or whatever}, you should have run your antivirus both in Safe mode and again in Normal mode and remove obvious/blatant viruses.....before starting a malware thread.

I think, eventually, you should open a thread in the Malware/Hijackthis sub-forum and post a copy of the last MBAM scan log and a fresh DDS log.

See Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Hijackthis and other Malware Removal Tools

Q: Was Mozilla installed to the C drive in it's own folder? or did you use the standard default install ? or ??

Q: were the videos downloaded from a well-known & well-regarded source? or did they arrive from a peer-to-peer or torrent source?? ie, how sure are you they are clean & safe to run?
~Maurice Naggar
MS-MVP (Oct 2002 - Sept 2010)

#4 chordguy

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:25 PM

Hi All,

I will try and find old mbam scans or run a new one and post.

I am not technically very savvy, but I did discover this:
folders that "disappear" from the desktop can in fact be opened
by opening My Computer folder (which is not so far affected),
then to C drive, then to documents and settings, then
to the user name, then to the desktop.

the Calvary drive E can similarly be opened from My Computer, no problem.

So I thought, maybe this thing just affects desktop icons.
So I redownloaded Mozilla and tried to start it from My Computer
in a similar way (program files).

Nothing doing. Mozilla appears on the taskbar but not onscreen.
Can't see it, can't use it.

That's what I know for now. Will run Avast in safe and regular mode
(altho I have done this in the past two years for sure) and then MBAM and post
what I can later this evening or tmw.
Thanks, all
best
Chordguy

#5 Maurice Naggar

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

@Chordguy,
You should have downloaded, and Saved Mozilla setup to your system, and only then ran the setup program. Is that in fact what you did?

If you did so, then, did you choose the standard (duhfault) setup options? or did you do a custom?

If the Mozilla icon is on your taskbar, a single click should start it. If you see the minimized icon on your taskbar, you can do a right-click with your mouse pointer and then review the options displayed liked Restore or Maximize.
~Maurice Naggar
MS-MVP (Oct 2002 - Sept 2010)

#6 chordguy

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:07 AM

Hi Maurice

Sure I did Mozilla the way you said, as I had done before the "disappearing act" first started two
years ago. Also running Mozilla on my newer Gateway, works fine.

On the older Toshiba with the problem, here's what happens when I double click the
Mozilla desktop icon: the "Mozilla" tab appears on the taskbar, and of course displays the
usual options when right-clicked (open, minimize, maximize, close), but Mozilla
just doesn't appear no matter what else I do. The only thing that happens normally is the appearance of
the Mozilla tab on the taskbar when I double click the desktop Mozilla icon, and the
disappearance of the Mozilla tab on the taskbar when I right click the tab and close.


The other infected desktop icons in question (a couple of normal folders with documents and the calvary hard drive icon) continue to open in the same way--tabs appear on the taskbar---but no window appears on the desktop, nothing for me to see or work on. The only way to see the contents of those is to go thru My Computer/C/
as you suggested.

I need to move some stuff from the old computer to the new one, and I sure don't
want this bug to follow. Best thing would be to get it out of the old one first, if that is possible,
then I could move the data in bulk.

Haven't run Mbam yet, will do so soon, but it never finds anything anyway.
Best
Chordguy
Thanks
best
Marc

Edited by chordguy, 18 May 2009 - 06:16 AM.


#7 Maurice Naggar

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:03 PM

My suggestion would be to de-install Mozilla on the problem pc. If you wish to consider, you might want to install Firefox on it.

As to the documents or files you want to transfer, just copy them to CD/DVD or a known clean USB flash drive, then scan them with an up-to-date antivirus. and if clean, copy them to the new/other pc.
One of the suspect areas I think, is that the old pc has a messed up Desktop.ini file, which should be deleted straight off.
~Maurice Naggar
MS-MVP (Oct 2002 - Sept 2010)

#8 chordguy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:28 PM

Hi Maurice

Finally got around to it. Here below is the mbam scan I ran today. How do I delete the desktop.ini file?
And how do I replace it with a clean one?

Thanks,
Chordguy

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.37
Database version: 2182
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

5/26/2009 4:05:28 PM
mbam-log-2009-05-26 (16-05-28).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 101789
Time elapsed: 22 minute(s), 4 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#9 Maurice Naggar

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:18 AM

You will note the MBAM scan found nothing as far as malware; so that is good.

Have you found a Desktop.ini file on your Desktop ?

Use My Computer {Windows Explorer} and simply look in your folder
C:\Documents and Settings\<User-account-here>\Desktop

to see if it possibly has a desktop.ini file

If one is found there, you may simply delete it while in My Computer {Windows Explorer} simply by clicking once on it to highlight and then pressing delete-key
It is not necessary to replace it.
~Maurice Naggar
MS-MVP (Oct 2002 - Sept 2010)




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