I downloaded a "FREE" search engine keyword ranking program called something like "absolutelyfreesearchenginerankingchecker" or something similar. I should have known something was amiss just by the long, lame name. I've since removed the application and can't remember the exact name of it. I tried looking it up so that I could attach it to this post but can't find it anywhere. It was in the wee hours of the morning so who knows.
Anyway, I installed the program....and then all hell broke loose. The "Windows 7 Recovery" console opened up and began running it's scan and my first thought was that it would be an easy fix.....but it's not. I have since removed the program although the instructions here - "Windows 7 Recovery" Removal - did not help me at all even though I attempted several times each time making sure that I followed the instructions to the T (I'm thinking maybe a new variation?). I ended up tracking down the running processes and deleting the multiple installations of the virus and it's components using HiJackFree (which is NOT HJT - HiJackThis is a completely different program with a completely different purpose then HiJackFree), although I am not sure that I got all of the registry entries. HiJackFree allows you to detect running processes. It then allows you to remove both the process and associated files that are running the processes.
All is fine now except for the fact that all of my "All Programs" folders are still empty. I ran the "unhide" tool several times with restarts each time to no avail although it did unhide the files that were missing and all my desktop icons.....so it did a good job Here is a screenshot of the empty folders:
It seems that all of the posts for this "Windows 7 Recovery" virus are from within the last few days and I have yet to see an actual fix for the missing "All Programs" "empty" folders. All my other files are showing and work as usual and yes, I did make sure to unhide the files and folders ;) , but still no go.
I also saw a post where the user had the same issue and simply "reverted" the "All Programs" folder to a previous version, however that isn't an option for me because it says "There are no previous versions available".
I have updated and ran Mbam, AVG, S&D, Lavasoft Adaware, SuperAntiSpyware and Regcure. The only thing that they NOW find are the regular tracking cookies and other similar ilk.
I have noticed that a few of the folders have come back (no longer empty) such as my accessories (was completely missing), Google Chrome, MSQL, my "Virus Protection" folder (was completely missing) which contained Lavasoft - Regcure and SuperAntiSpyware which are all back as well, WinRar and ZazaSoftware folders are back too. All other program folders are empty within the "All Programs" menu.
I am running:
OS - Windows 7 Ultimate
Processor - Intel® Pentium® Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80 GHz 1.80 GHz
RAM - 2.50 GB (for some reason the system will not take 4GB's)
System - 64-bit
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Edited by selfmade64856, 26 May 2011 - 09:28 PM.