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can't perform any .exe function


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#1 Cadman23

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:53 PM

On a Windows 7 computer, I followed Bleeping Computer info to try to deal with a virus that may be named "Win7 Security 2011". First I downloaded and ran "FixNCR.reg". Then I did the same with rkill.com. Then I did the same with mbam (Malware Bytes). Malware Bytes found three instances of spyware and removed them after running a full system scan. Then I used Add-Remove programs to remove Microsoft Essentials. Then I installed Norton antivirus suite and ran a full system scan after it updated itself. It removed eight tracking cookies, but that is the only problem it found.

This problem computer is my wife's. I was logged in as a separate user under my own administrator's profile. After I did all the above, everything seemed to be working fine to me. Then I switched to my wife's profile. Under that profile, which is an administrator's profile also, I am unable to run any program. If I try to launch any program, it tells me to select the program I want to use to launch the command. I can never get any program to start. Then, if I switch back over to my profile, once again I have no problems. The same programs that won't work with my wife's profile will work with mine.

I can't really afford to take the computer to a computer shop, so I'm hoping I can get some help here to fix whatever problem I have.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Edited by Andrew, 23 May 2011 - 04:54 AM.
Mod Edit: Moved From Win7 To AII - AA


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#2 Jim Ow

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:39 AM

Hello Cadnan,

The issue you have is a problem with the File Associations. This commonly happens after a fraudulent security tool is removed from a computer.
You will have to apply the following to the Registry, just download the file depending on your operating system (The Vista one will work on Windows 7) and then double click it to merge it to the registry, this should resolve the issue.

XP
Whole list of File Associations
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/file_assoc.htm

Direct link to .EXE XP Fix
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip

Vista
Whole list
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/105/1/File-association-fixes-for-Windows-Vista.html

.EXE Direct link
http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/exefix_vista.zip

Hope it helps.

#3 Cadman23

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

Jim,

Thanks for the response. I have downloaded and run the regedit file you suggested.

I can now open programs in the profile that was a problem. However, I have to go through the following process to get them open. After I double click the icon to open the file (for example Firefox), a box comes up and tells me to "choose the program you want to open this file". In this dialog box is a checkbox that says "always use the selected program to perform this function". This checkbox is greyed out and I can't check it. I can choose the correct file and the program will then start to load. However, once the program appears to be up, there is still a dialog box in front of it that says I am: "Opening Firefox.exe. You have chosen to open Firefox. Would you like to save this file?" Then I can choose to save the file or cancel. If I choose cancel, I can then use the program with no problem until I close it.

Then, once I try to open the program again, I have to go through every step again to get the program open. Also, once I have the program open, I can use the program, but any bookmarks I've made or changes to the layout of the program interface the previous session are now gone.

After I typed all the above, I went back to the problem computer and tried to create a new profile and see how it worked. It seemed to work with no problems. Therefore, I think I will be able to fix everything via that method. I don't have time to do that tonight. I would love to hear any comments possible about what is happening and what I should do to prevent this happening again.

Thanks

#4 Jim Ow

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:34 AM

Cadman, sorry for the delayed reply.

I'm honestly not sure what to suggest to fix the issue. I sometimes get PC's in like this and all I can do is to create a new profile, transfer the data over and delete the old profile, which is what I would recommend you doing. Unfortunately sometimes the viruses can corrupt profiles, which it seems to have done here.

There's nothing really to suggest, apart from the obvious such as not opening files or emails from people you don't know. Always make sure you have an updated anti-virus on the PC depending on which one you use, and try to run a scan once a week.

These sort of viruses can't really be prevented, they're downloaded through legitimate websites (Hotmail is the biggest cause of the problems I deal with, tons of viruses make there was into the hotmail site)

AND, please always keep a back up of your data, also keep important things such as email addresses and passwords backed up, this is the biggest cause of aggro for me. People forgetting their passwords and wanting me to retrieve them!

Download Malwarebytes and run scans with that once a week as well, especially if you've been on any questionable websites or the PC starts acting strangely. Malwarebytes isn't an anti-virus product, so you still need something such as McAfee or AVG on the PC.

Hope it helped, let me know how it goes!
Jim.OW

#5 Cadman23

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:13 AM

Jim,

Thanks for the comments. I did create a new profile for my wife and I've got her programs working fine at this point. We have somehow lost her documents, but she didn't have much of anything that was really important. I did supposedly save her stuff when we closed her profile, but there aren't any documents, music, or photos in what was saved. I've done several searches on her hard drive and failed to find any of it, so it must be gone.


My wife doesn't back anything up, but she really doesn't do anything that would create any big loss if she loses everything again. I, on the other hand, do backups every day. I draw house plans for a living, so I have to be very careful with my approach to things. I think Linda will be much more careful from now on regarding following links and going to strange web sites.

I would like to bring up something else about this episode in case you have any comments. She uses AOL email, so she still has everything on their web site. However, for the last several weeks, her computer has been sending out bogus emails supposedly from her AOL address to everyone in her address book. These emails have a link to something that will supposedly make you a bunch of money. (Neither I nor anyone I know has clicked on the links.) Do you think this is something that was sent directly from her computer via the virus/spyware she had, or do you think it somehow went through AOL's website as it appears it did? I haven't received any of these fradulent emails from her since I used Bleeping Computer's info to try to fix her computer. I'm just hoping I was completely successful. Only time will tell.

I do want to thank you for your time. You have been very generous, and I really appreciate it. I also really appreciate Bleeping Computer's efforts to help those of us in need.

Bobby

#6 Jim Ow

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:31 AM

I would like to bring up something else about this episode in case you have any comments. She uses AOL email, so she still has everything on their web site. However, for the last several weeks, her computer has been sending out bogus emails supposedly from her AOL address to everyone in her address book. These emails have a link to something that will supposedly make you a bunch of money. (Neither I nor anyone I know has clicked on the links.) Do you think this is something that was sent directly from her computer via the virus/spyware she had, or do you think it somehow went through AOL's website as it appears it did? I haven't received any of these fradulent emails from her since I used Bleeping Computer's info to try to fix her computer. I'm just hoping I was completely successful. Only time will tell.


Cadman,

The issue with the E-Mails will go away soon. No-one actually has direct access to your wife's email account, so it's not in any danger. It's just a bot that somehow sends emails out in someone elses name ( don't ask me how, I have no idea ;) ) Once the bot has spammed enough accounts and thinks enough people have clicked on the link, it will then go away to someone elses account. As a matter of precaution, I would advise changing the password.

With regards to the documents that are lost, they might be under "My Computer > C drive > Users > 'Old Account name'" sometimes the folder for the old account remains.

Regards,
Jim.

#7 Cadman23

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:36 AM

Jim,

Thanks for the tips and info. I will try looking again where you suggest. I will also get Linda to change her password. I don't need to hear from you again, but I do appreciate your help.

Bobby




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