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Vista - Unauthorized Change, Limited Functionality

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#1 Molotov256


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Posted 26 April 2011 - 11:05 AM

Hi all, first post on here, but I've been lurking on the forums for quite some time. A troubleshooters paradise, this forum is!

I was fixing a friend's uncle's computer running Vista Home a few weeks ago, and he had an error message regarding an unauthorized change to Windows. It would boot into a limited functionality mode that essentially just gave him access to the MS Genuine Advantage page via an IE window, but no start menu, documents, etc. I ended up doing a system restore and all was well for a few days.

He contacted me again a few days later saying on system start, it was prompting him for password to authorize something (he couldn't remember what) so he clicked cancel. After that, it was back to limited functionality mode. Since system restore seems to have been a temporary fix, I ran sfc/scannow, and it says it found some corrupt Windows files but was unable to repair them. It saved a log file which I can post upon request if anybody would be willing to look at it, or I can look at it myself if anybody can tell me what I'm looking for :). Another forum had recommended using the find function to search for "Cannot Repair" in the log, but there were no hits on that particular term.

The odd thing is, on restart after running sfc/scannow, Vista was back to normal. I put the machine through 3 restarts, ran some programs, and everything seemed fine. I'm still not convinced I've addressed the root cause of the problem, though. Any input would be appreciated, but please understand I don't have easy access to the machine since it is not mine, so it may take me a day or two to run additional tests or go rooting around in his registry if you need to see anything besides the SFC log.


Edited by Molotov256, 26 April 2011 - 07:02 PM.

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#2 Molotov256

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:36 PM

Well, I can't say thanks for all the help on this particular issue, but I figure I'd post back with my solution and make this thread of some use to readers! Turned out the Avast Antivirus Gadget was causing some kind of conflict. Disabling the gadget did the trick, but he preferred AVG instead just to be safe. To the 200+ folks who have looked at this post, all I can say is check your sidebar gadgets if you haven't yet. Disable them all to start troubleshooting, and add them back in one by one each restart until you nail the culprit! Of course, that's assuming you have a misbehaving gadget, I'm sure the whole Vista Limited Functionality deal could be caused a myriad of other issues, too, gadgets just happened to be the problem in this particular case. I am not a bleepingcomputer.com mentor or authorized advice giver, so do with this as you may :)

#3 hamluis



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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

Any member is always encouraged to provide useful self-resolutions to situations which have been posted.

The BC Staff is not the only source of knowledge at these forums (since the possibilities of human experience and knowledge are vast and varied)...and they should not be viewed as such, other than in the malware forums.

We thank you for joining the other members who contribute their knowledge/experiences...to the forum members and readers who may benefit from such.

Happy computing :).


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