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SYSTEM RESTORE & START MENU DISAPPEARED


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#1 DGG-KY

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:23 PM

Using ADD/REMOVE programs, I selected remove 'HAURI ViRobot 5.5'. The initial display showed it was removed and I installed 'BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011'. There seemed to be no problems and all was well until I reviewed the ADD/REMOVE programs menu and discovered that ViRobot 5.5 was still there. I set a restore point and progressed to remove it again.

This time it disappeared from the ADD/REMOVE menu, however upon exiting I immediately discovered that my START PROGRAMS menu was reduced from 3 columns to 1 and the limited number of programs were not in the original order.

Next I discoverd that the 'RUN' command was gone and then that SYSTEM RECOVERY was compromised.

After executing SYSTEM RESTORE and selecting 'Restore my computer to an earlier time', then selecting NEXT, the calendar was not visible, selectable or functional.

I rebooted to SAFE-MODE and attempted SYSTEM RESTORE from there, but it exhibits the same condition. I have since used 'SYSTEM MECHANIC' to clean up the disk, defrag and check for MALWARE. I also downloaded 'ADVANCED SYSTEM CARE FREE' to do the same checks as 'SYSTEM MECHANIC' with the same results.

How can I recover my MENU, RUN, and SYSTEM RESTORE? The computer seems to be safe, clean, quick and functional otherwise. Attached File  ScreenShot.doc   176KB   6 downloads.

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#2 DGG-KY

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:18 AM

Forgot to include system information.

Windows XP Home Ver 2002, SP3, AMD Athlon 64 3200 w/4gb memory

#3 hamluis

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:11 AM

<<I have since used 'SYSTEM MECHANIC' to clean up the disk, defrag and check for MALWARE.>>

Do you have a MS Genuine XP CD?

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.
Louis

#4 DGG-KY

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:04 PM

Thanks for information on Registry Cleaners, I will limit usage in future and read all articles you have referenced.

Yes I do have an MS Genuine XP CD

#5 hamluis

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 09:43 AM

Since registry cleaners may remove/damage key files in the O/S...I would probably do a repair install of XP to ensure that any missing/damaged system files are replaced by good ones.

An alternative to doing a repair install would be to run the sfc /scannow command, being sure that any CD used for such...includes the same SPs currently installed on the system.

How To Use Sfc.exe To Repair System Files - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic43051.html

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 15 January 2011 - 09:44 AM.


#6 DGG-KY

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:43 PM

I have never had to do a repair install of XP, so I'm not quite sure how it is done!

If I follow your 2nd suggestion which is to run the sfc /scannow command, there are three issues with this.

1.) I have found numerous "i386" directories using explorer file search. Specifically which one [i386]contains the files needed by SFC.EXE ? NOTE: see attached file showing the directory locations.

2.) The "Run" command has disappeared from my start menu. The only way I know to execute the program is to go to "C:\WINDOWS\system32\sfc.exe" and run it from there. Is this acceptable?

3.) My MS Genuine XP CD is quite old [2002] and I have never created a backup CD, so it will not have any of the SPx updates. I am current up to SP3.

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:39 AM

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install (Stevens) - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Slipstreaming Windows XP To Create a Bootable Windows XP CD or DVD - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/slipstreaming-windows-xp-to-create-bootable-cd/

BTW: When I post "what I would do"...it's literally what I would do. It's not a suggestion of any sort for any member to pursue that path, merely my approach to troubleshooting/solving what appears to be the issues presented. Each member/user must decide the course of action appropriate for her/him.

Louis

#8 DGG-KY

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:15 PM

Louis

I am away from home this week SUN 1/16 to SUN 1/23 and won't be near my affected computer to attempt recovery.

Please keep my post open.

Thanks for the quick replies.

Don




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