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Registry cleaner deleted necessary files - I think.


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#1 jmcbudd1

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:41 AM

I'm running Windows XP ServicePack3. My computer was moving sluggishly and would freeze up while online. I would have to log off of AOL and then log back on and that seemed to work (although time consuming and frustrating). So yesterday on the advice of what I thought was a trusted source I ran "Cleanup" and SuperAntiSpyware. Now my computer takes forever to log on to many (strangely, not all) websites and then takes forever for each page to load or it won't access the site at all. I just get a blank screen. The worst is that I cannot download ANYTHING online. The download will initialize but it either locks up in the middle of the download and will not continue or, if it does actually complete the download, it won't open because the "file is corrupt." That is the error message I receive - multiple times. Email is working fine and I can access all of my personal files. Startup also seems to be working fine.

When the scan was complete I noticed there were two files that it detected as dangerous items that seemed odd to me:
C:\windows\prefetch\wuauclt.exe399A8E72.pf
C:\windows\prefetch\xpnetdiag.exe1275668B.pf.

Also, it now appears that I have some damaged files. My computer would only display part of the file names. They are: C:\windows\downlo...ltgctlcm.dll
C:\windows\downlo...ltgctlcm.inf
C:\windows\downlo...setup.inf


My unprofessional synopsis is that the registry cleaner deleted some files that were necessary for downloads and proper web page loading among other things. Who knows what I haven't realized yet. Can someone please help me. I've been at this for hours and have tried all the advice I've thought might work but nothing has.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:26 AM

Hi jmcbudd1, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

Have you tried doing a System Restore?

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#3 cryptodan

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:58 AM

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.



#4 jmcbudd1

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:37 AM

Yes. The unfortunate thing is that this particular registry cleaner (Cleanup) requires/instructs you to disable system restore before you do the clean. It then proceeds to eliminate ALL previous system restore points. In hindsight, that should have been a huge red flag. The second incredibly stupid thing I did was not to backup. Am I just out of luck? I've discovered this morning that my real-time virus scanning from McAfee is disabled and I cannot enable it.

Thanks for your quick reply.

#5 jmcbudd1

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:42 AM

Through HOURS of research trying to figure out what I've done (funny I didn't do that BEFORE running the registry cleaner) I have learned of the risks involved using registry cleaners. I have used Malwarebytes before to remove a virus and it was successful. Rest assured, I will NEVER do this again.

#6 dc3

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:17 AM

I realized when you first posted in this topic that you were already well aware of the inherent dangers of using registry cleaners, so I didn't even bother with the warning about their use.

At this point it would help if you would post the make and model of your computer.

If it is a custom built computer, please post the make and model of the motherboard.

Do you have or have access to an installation CD for this version of XP? Home or Pro.

If you do, then you may be able to repair this wit a Repair Installation.

Boot the computer from the XP CD. You may need to change boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device in the boot order.

When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below

This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.
You do not want to choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R.

Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair isn't one of the option end the installation, this will mean that you will need to do a fresh installation of XP.

The repair will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot, the repair installation will continue after the reboot.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





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