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computer now clean, but key programs don't work


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#1 sherwulff

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:52 AM

hi good people at bleepingcomputer,

i have ran a litany of programs to clean up my computer (had malware and a browser hijack):
  • superantisparewarepro
  • malwarebytes
  • combofix
  • TDSSkiller
  • avira
  • dr. web
i think it is working well, but i fear i may have gotten a bit too enthusiastic about cleaning it. i downloaded wise registry cleaner and revo uninstaller, and knocked out some programs i no longer used. Unfortunately, now Flash will not install (no youtube videos, for example), and Secunia PSI will not scan.

i'm pretty sure i must have deleted something from the registry that allows these plugins to activate. does anyone know of a diagnostic scan i could use to isolate what i have apparently erased. when this problem first presented itself to me, i thought i would be able to solve it without much effort, but after days of working on it, i'm still at a loss.

what do you recommend i do?

Edited by sherwulff, 19 February 2011 - 12:54 AM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:04 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.
With that said, are you getting any error messages?

Edited by cryptodan, 19 February 2011 - 01:04 AM.


#3 sherwulff

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:31 AM

ok, i finally got it to install. i had to do it "manually," and this flash is 10, not 10.2 (i'm not sure what this means aside from perhaps being an older version (i'm on an old computer), but all's well that ends well.

i am still unable to get Secunia PSI to work. i have reinstalled it twice, and it is still dead in the water.

i am not seeing any errors, cryptodan.

are you familiar with a program called parrotlogic registry cleaner? i downloaded this program a few days ago, but read some info on it, and some said it was a virus. i did all i could to expunge it from my system. the download was from CNet, and i assumed it was above board, but with all the misinformatoin on the web, i honestly couldn't tell if it was legit or not.

and thank you for the warning about registry cleaners. i will definitely leave that alone in the future.

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:41 AM

If applications fail to start or run there would be errors that are generated.

#5 sherwulff

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:08 AM

the GUI interface opens, but when i click on the scan, i get "0 of 8 steps completed" but if i left my computer on overnight, tomorrow it would still read "0 of 8 steps completed." Perhaps this is a question for Secunia PSI forums ...

but as to "errors generated" i'm not seeing anything. i can only defer to your expertise here, as i'm thrown in deep water as to any solutions. if there is some place i need to look for generated errors, let me know where to go, and i will search for them, but there is no salient error message popping up on my screen.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:16 AM

You can check the Application Log under Event Viewer in Control Panel and Administrative Tools

#7 sherwulff

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 04:13 AM

if there is an error, it is not showing in real time in the event viewer (e.g., if i click on START in PSI, a new Application event is not subsequently recorded in the log). PSI is hanging, but i'm seeing no explanation for this in the Event Viewer (or else it is further down in the log, and so abstrusely coded, i do not know how to locate it).

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:50 AM

Have you tried reinstalling the application?

#9 sherwulff

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:12 AM

yes, i have reintstalled it 2-3 times now (yet my scan results are still there despite the reinstalls)




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