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Registry/Malware Problem?


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#1 utpride347

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:44 AM

I've got Windows XP SP3 Home Edition. I run Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D along AVG Free. I keep them all up-to-date and run a scan weekly at minimum. I should first mention I'm not entirely sure whether the problem I'm having is registry or malware related. I'm not that tech-savvy.

Basically the issue(s) I've been having have been that when I click on some programs either through the Program List or on my desktop nothing happens; at all. There isn't even an hourglass. For example Malwarebytes does not work. I'm tried re-downloading and re-installing but that doesn't help. The only thing that has worked is going into the program files and then renaming "mbam.exe" to something else and then it will run. My computer just seems buggy. The same thing for Spybot although I somehow did manage to get that working with re-installing it.

My browser (Firefox) has also had some issues. Some websites won't load and just hang. Sometimes when I do a google search and then click a result it hangs, I refresh, and it opens up the search results from the original tab. This never happened before and they're all "good" websites.

Finally, my computer won't recognize my Sound Card. I went to Device Managers and all the sound devices are listed and say they're working properly but I have no sound whatsoever. I only get that error "noise" that comes directly from the computer when you try to do something it doesn't recognize like for instance if you're searching a big folder for a file and misspell something it'll "buzz." My speakers work, video works fine, just no sound. I can't play the system sound they list, they're "grayed out" so I can't even select them. I haven't been having issues with sound before this happened. One day is was working fine and the next it wasn't.

I tried working in safe mode (not an expert) and the issues don't get resolved. I've run all my antivirus/spyware/malware scans when I can but nothing has really popped up and if it does I've removed them. I even ran Spybot at startup and nothing.

A couple days ago I noticed a program I uninstalled a long time ago still listed in my Add/Remove list and it wouldn't go away so I went into the registry and removed manually. I made a backup of the registry beforehand but when I try to "roll back" it says the registry wasn't properly saved, even though when I originally did it it said it was a success. I've run a number of registry cleaners/fixers, but that hasn't resolved the issue.

I have no idea what to do or the exact problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

Edited by utpride347, 14 October 2010 - 11:45 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:10 PM

The Windows registry <http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com/sasample/E1209.pdf> 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 unbootable.

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.

Have you tried doing a system restore?

Start> All Programs> Accessories> System Tools> System Restore.

When this opens make sure that "Restore my computer to an earlier time" is chosen, and click on Next>.

The dates appearing in bold are the dates that you can restore to, click on the date that you want and then click Next> to start the System Restore. This may take a long time to complete, and when it is done it will restart your computer. When the computer restarts and you have logged on as the administrator a Restoration Complete page will appear, click on OK to complete the process.

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#3 utpride347

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:58 PM

Thanks for replying dc3. I know how important the registry is and I'm kicking myself for opening it, if that's what the issue is anyway.

What should I do if the System Restore doesn't work? I tried two different points, both of which I know were before all the problems, and neither worked. I get a message that says something along the lines of the Restore function did not work, no changes were made.

Edited by utpride347, 14 October 2010 - 04:02 PM.


#4 dc3

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:12 PM

Microsoft has some information on this, and instructions on how to correct it. Trying the System Restore was the simple way, if it had worked. This is a little more complicated.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

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#5 utpride347

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:32 PM

Before I try that, does that apply to me since my Windows XP does start?

#6 utpride347

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:45 PM

Well, after some work and help I discovered I had a rootkit. I was able to remove it, again with some outside help, but I still don't have any sound despite the fact that everything in Device Manager is listed as working properly.

#7 dc3

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

In view of this rookit my suggestion for you would be to follow the instructions in This Guide starting at Step 6.

Once the proper logs are created, then make a NEW TOPIC and post it HERE Please include a description of your computer issues and what you have done to try to resolve them.

If you can produce at least some of the logs, then please create the new topic and explain what happens when you try to create the log(s) that you couldn't get. If you cannot produce any of the logs, then still post the topic and explain that you followed the Prep. Guide, were unable to create the logs, and describe what happens when you try to create the logs.

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#8 Orange Blossom

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:42 PM

Hello,

Now that you have posted a log here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic354499.html you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a MRT Team member, nor should you ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show in the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the helper assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the MRT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the MRT Team members are EXTREMELY busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the MRT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another MRT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.

Please be patient. It may take several days to get a response but your log will be reviewed and answered as soon as possible. I advise checking your topic once a day for responses as the e-mail notification system is unreliable.

To avoid confusion, I am closing this topic. Good luck with your log.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

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