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Am I still infected? Registry cleaner error


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#1 miyamotomusashi

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:31 AM

Hello, I am running Vista Home Premium Service pack 2. A few weeks ago, I got infected by Antispyware Soft. I used Rkill.exe in safe mode, and ran Malewarebytes antimalware. The computer is working great now, but I am wondering if I am still infected. I ran Norton 360 version 4.3.0.5 and the registry cleaner portion of it is not working. It keeps saying that there is an error. I then downloaded 'Registry Mechanic' to try to fix the problem in this way, and afterwards tried to run Norton again. The error still came up.

The first time I got infected with Antispyware Soft, I ran RKill and Malewarebytes, then I uninstalled norton 360 and installed Avira Antivir personal because I felt that Norton was ineffective when it comes to guarding against this thing. Needless to say that I got infected again, and did the process over. This time, once I ran Rkill and Malwarebytes, I uninstalled Avira Antivir Personal, and reinstalled norton 360. This was about a week ago I think, and I haven't had any type of problem since. But when I run the scans with Norton, I get that error message with the registry cleaner. Does this mean that I am still infected?

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#2 boopme

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:08 AM

The problem is most likely bad uninstalls and damage done by the muliple Reg cleaners.

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.

Let's run SFC

Please run SFC (System File Checker)
Please run System File Checker sfc /scannow... For more information on this tool see How To Use Sfc.exe To Repair System Files

NOTE for Vista/WIN 7 users..The command needs to be run from an Elevated Command Prompt.Click Start, type cmd into the Start/Search box,
right-click cmd.exe in the list above and select 'Run as Administrator'


You will need your operating system CD handy.

Open Windows Task Manager....by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC

Then click File.. then New Task(Run)

In the box that opens type sfc /scannow ......There is a space between c and /

Click OK
Let it run and insert the CD when asked.
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#3 miyamotomusashi

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:13 PM

I will get back to you as soon as I can, as I don't have an operating system cd. I will need to order one or something. Once I get the cd, then I will run SFC and let you know what happens. Thank you very much!!

#4 quietman7

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:27 PM

What is the specific error message you are receiving? Norton may already have a solution.
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#5 miyamotomusashi

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:41 PM

When I run the registry cleaner on Norton, it doesn't even initiate. Actually, it starts off saying 'running', then just stops and it says 'error' The area where it is supposed to tell the status after a scan just says error.

file:///C:/Users/nate/Desktop/norton.JPG

I am not sure how to post the screen shot I have. I wanted to insert the photo, but it asks for a url. The jpg is on my desktop, so I don't think you'll be able to see it. I am hoping I am wrong.

Edited by miyamotomusashi, 02 February 2011 - 04:55 PM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:30 PM

When doing a Google Search for norton registry cleanup error, it appears to be a common complaint even with older versions.

I would be asking the Norton Community folks why this issue has not been resolved?
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#7 miyamotomusashi

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:59 PM

I should have ran the sfs /scannow at the command prompt from the beginning. I purchased a restore disc and finally received it today. I ran the command 'sfs /scannow' at command prompt, and windows doesn't see any system file violations. Looks like it definitely is a Norton Issue. Thanks for your help everyone!!

#8 quietman7

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:22 PM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.
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