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Help & Support not working


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#1 atloss

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:40 AM

After getting rid of a rootkit infection ( per this sites instructions ) I seem to have lost the ability to access the windows XP help & support function! I get the help & Support panel but nothing else ( no icons, no topics, no search function ). Any suggestion on how to restore it? Thanks.
Chuck :thumbsup:

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 12 November 2009 - 08:25 AM.
Mod Edit: More descriptive title - AA


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#2 Senlis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:32 AM

Try Windows Update. Hopefully they have an update to help and support and will re-install the software.

Check services (windows key+r ; type 'services' in the run prompt and press enter). Make sure that, if there is a help and support service, make sure it is in "automatic" mode and started

#3 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

This link shows how to do a complete reinstall:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/rebuildhelp.htm

It might be a good idea for your own knowledge, to look at the instructions and check to see if the services mentioned are currently started.

There are a lot of different fixes for different variations of help and support not working and someone else here might recognize the particular one needed from your description.

I think several trojans try to infect the windows files associated with the help and support system so I am not surprised that cleanup might not be able to repair them.

#4 atloss

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:35 AM

Tried the rebuildhelp but cannt find file dataspec.xml on my winxp install disc!!!! It's supposed to be on there but DARN if I can find it. ANY suggestions?

#5 joseibarra

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:50 AM

You will not find dataspec.xml on your Windows disk.

You will find dataspec.xm_ on your Windows disk - in the i386 folder, so just point the reinstall to the folder and it will do the rest.

A lot of the files on the Windows disk are compressed and get expanded when needed for installation. They end with the underscore character such as:

.xm_
.ex_
.dl_

The install will figure this out if you just point it to the i386 folder and it will expand it for you.

You can sometimes find the expanded versions on your HDD from your original installation. Say you don't have a Windows installation CD - what would you do then? You are lucky to have an XP installation CD!

A lot of the already expanded files (including dataspec.xml) can be found in c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386 so you could just point the installation there, or you could hold up on the installation, search your HDD for the requested files which may be lurking about on your HDD someplace from a previous installation, point the installation there and continue.

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#6 atloss

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:34 PM

Does not work!! Have tried the disc and keep getting the message file not found. Have searched the entire winxp disc with the search function ( with Show hidden files ) and still NO dataspec.xm_. There is a dataspec xm on my HDD but when I try to use it to reinstall help & support I get " Install failed". I swear this is driving me crazy! I may just say x%%ss!!! it and forget about reinstalling help & Support. There areplenty of web sites that can offer help with WinXP problems.

Edited by atloss, 12 November 2009 - 02:36 PM.


#7 hamluis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:13 PM

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Try #235 on the left.

Louis

#8 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:18 PM

While I too find "help and support" somewhat useless, it is actually a canary in the coal mine. You will probably find several other damaged files that are windows files. . Can you run msinfo32.exe at a command line window? I let one of my boxes go without the WH&S since I did not need it. I later found I could not run msinfo32 either. I wish I remembered what the fix was... I probably added it to the env path statement as a temp fix since I have a new drive to put in this box and will reinstall soon.

Which rootkit did you get help with? Some of them damage specific files or directories. Some alter the path statement.

I don't ever trust any machine that has had a rootkit or a trojan to be 100% clean or trustworthy until I do a full repartition and reinstall.

Is you computer an OEM or a home brew?

#9 joseibarra

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:57 PM

Are you sure you have an XP installation CD or is it a recovery CD that came with your computer?

I just reinstalled my H&S using Ramesh's instructions with my I know for sure it is an XP installation CD and it worked just like the WWW page says.

If I pretend I don't have an XP installation CD, it still asks for other files that are all on my HDD:

dataspec.xml (c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386)
pchdt_w3.cab (c:\windows\pchealth\helpctr\binaries)
HCAppRes.dll (c:\windows\pchealth\helpctr\binaries)
atrace.dll (c:\windows\system32)

Then it wraps up just fine.

I don't use H&S either and it is a service I turn off because I am not using it and never want it to think about starting, but a lot of people do use it so I need to be able to fix it - somehow. Especially if they don't have an XP installation CD.

I forgot to ask - was this H&S malfunction preceded by the installation and running of any third party application that includes the words: registry, tune, tune up, mechanic, fix it, fix all, guaranteed, optimize, free or defragment in the product description?

If H&S used to work and then doesn't, there always seems to be a registry optimzer of some sort involved intimidately prior.

I usually ask that part first :thumbsup:

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#10 atloss

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:30 AM

Yes it is a install disc that I have used many times to install winxp on a new HDD. Yes I can start msinfo32.exe.Don't know the name of the rootkit! Computer is a OEM from 3Btech..Thanks for all the replies. I'll try the kellys-korner-xp and see what happens, :thumbsup:

#11 atloss

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:45 AM

Just tried kellys dodad and I get the message " cannot find helpctr.exe ". Another failed reinstall!! :thumbsup: And yet when I type it into search it shows up in 5 PLACEs on the C drive!!!!

Edited by atloss, 13 November 2009 - 07:50 AM.


#12 hamluis

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:58 AM

What are the file paths for helpctr.exe?

Info, http://www.threatexpert.com/files/HelpCtr.exe.html

I reflect two locations on my system (mine functions correctly):

C:\Window\System32\dllcache
C:\Windows\PCHealth\helpctr\binaries

Louis

#13 joseibarra

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 10:59 AM

Click Start, Run and in the box enter:

cmd

Click OK to open a command window.

In the command window, enter:

helpctr.exe

If no go, your path needs fixing, but make sure the executable is available and works by navigating to where the helpctr.exe file is supposed to be:

C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\Binaries

execute or double click helpctr.exe and report the results.

What about my other question :thumbsup: ?

I forgot to ask - was this H&S malfunction preceded by the installation and running of any third party application that includes the words: registry, tune, tune up, mechanic, fix it, fix all, guaranteed, optimize, free or defragment in the product description?

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#14 atloss

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 02:24 PM

I think I'll forego trying to reinstall the help & support function until the next time I have to reformat and reinstall XP. Who knows I might go to Win7! Thanks for the advice. :thumbsup:

#15 istbar

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

This link shows how to do a complete reinstall:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/rebuildhelp.htm


Finally! I've been scouring forums for a few days now trying to come up with a solution that works! I tried the Kelley's Corner, I tried Doug Knox, all to no avail. This link worked immediately without any hiccups!! Blessed by thy BleepingComputer!!

istbar
'You tried and you failed. The lesson is never try.'




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