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Files and Desktop Icons suddenly missing


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#1 Kewpy

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 03:01 PM

XP Pro, SP-3
I started the computer today, and most of my Desktop icons are gone, as well as the Quick Launch icons and almost everything in the My Documents folder is gone. Also, I can't put the "My Computer, "My Network Places" and "My Documents" back on to the desktop. Nothing happens when I try.

Also, the left side of the Start Menu is blank and I can't enable the Tools/Folder Options to view system and hidden files or "hide extensions for known file types" etc.

I tried the Unhide utility, it un-hid some data files, but I need help cleaning out the virus or malware.

Thank you.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 03:11 PM

Hello, what is your Operating System?

Try running 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 Kewpy

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 03:47 PM

First line of post:
XP Pro, SP-3

Also, are you saying that I should run sfc /scannow BEFORE we deterimine what the virus or malware is?

#4 boopme

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:20 PM

Sorry must have had my foot in my eye :whistle: .
Ok I wasn't sure if this was a start after a clean.

You can try this first.

Please download the following program to your desktop:

Unhide.exe

Once the program has been downloaded, double-click on the Unhide.exe icon on your desktop and allow the program to run. This program will remove the +H, or hidden, attribute from all the files on your hard drives. If there are any files that were purposely hidden by you, you will need to hide them again after this tool is run.


Reboot into Safe Mode with Networking
How to enter safe mode(XP/Vista)
Using the F8 Method
Restart your computer.
When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.
Select the option for Safe Mode with Networking using the arrow keys.
Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode
.


>>>> Download this file and doubleclick on it to run it. Allow the information to be merged with the registry.

Now RKill....

Download and Run RKill
  • Please download RKill by Grinler from one of the 4 links below and save it to your desktop.

    Link 1
    Link 2
    Link 3
    Link 4

  • Before we begin, you should disable your anti-malware softwares you have installed so they do not interfere RKill running as some anti-malware softwares detect RKill as malicious. Please refer to this page if you are not sure how.
  • Double-click on Rkill on your desktop to run it. (If you are using Windows Vista, please right-click on it and select Run As Administrator)
  • A black screen will appear and then disappear. Please do not worry, that is normal. This means that the tool has been successfully executed.
  • If nothing happens or if the tool does not run, please let me know in your next reply

Do not reboot your computer after running rkill as the malware programs will start again. Or if rebooting is required run it again.


If you continue having problems running rkill.com, you can download iExplore.exe or eXplorer.exe, which are renamed copies of rkill.com, and try them instead.



Next run Superantisypware (SAS):

Download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSpyware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • In the Main Menu, click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the Scanning Control tab.
  • Under Scanner Options make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen.
  • Back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan.
  • Click "Next" to start the scan. Please be patient while it scans your computer.
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
  • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes".
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.
If you have a problem downloading, installing or getting SAS to run, try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.


Now reboot to Normal and run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
Download Link 1
Download Link 2MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
    For instructions with screenshots, please refer to the How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Guide.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

Troubleshoot Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Please ask any needed questions,post logs and Let us know how the PC is running now.
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#5 Kewpy

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:30 AM

I followed your instructions:
Used Unhide
Booted into Safe Mode
Used the registry fix
Used RKill, it found nothing to kill
Used Superantispyware, it only found tracking cookies and Fun Web coupons
Robooted and updated and used Malwarebytes, it found nothing.

The system is not changed.
Other symptoms:
Every time I start IE 8, it acts like it was just installed, asking to set the options for Search, "Do you want to turn on suggested sites", etc. Also when IE starts, it warns that the security settings have changed. It offers to reset them. It also says that the "default search provider has changed", and opens a window to manage them. I even check the box that says don't allow any other changes. But this happens each time.

I can't make any system settings change, such as showing the "My Computer, My documents, or My Netork settings on the desktop. It won't allow changes to which files are able to be viewed in "Tools, Folder options". MS Word wants to start with a file it can't find, then on shut down it warns that the Normal.dot template has changed. Nothing appears on the left side of the Start Menu. If I use MSCONFIG from the "RUN" box, it works, but then if I want to do it again, I have to type it again - the commands in the Run box are not retained. Speaking of MSCONFIG, if I used the Diagnostic Startup, nothing changes (as far as the symptoms are concerned)

Also, when I use the file explorer, when I click on Documents and Settings\User\Kathy's Docusments, all files are there, however if I just click on the "My documents" Icon on the Start Menu, all I get is 2 folders: MY Music, and MY Pictures - nothing else.

IE allowed me to go to ESET online scanner site, however it wouldn't let the scanner run. After aggreeing to the license, nothing else would happen.

Thank you.

#6 boopme

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:53 AM

I think we should get a deeper look here.
Please go here....
Preparation Guide ,do steps 6 - 9.

Create a DDS log and post it in the new topic explained in step 9,which is here Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs and not in this topic,thanks.
If Gmer won't run,skip it and move on.
Let me know if that went well.
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#7 Kewpy

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:19 AM

Hello
Before I could try your recomendations, my brother used a third party boot disk (Winternals) to access System Restore, as by that point the computer had become almost none responsive. It completed properly, however on reboot it complained that the registry SYSTEM file was missing. We found a copy, and XP started to load, but then it gave an lsass "password" error.

We then took the Hard drive out and scanned it on another computer, which found Pagefile.sys was infected with win32BHO-GW, as well as JSredirecter-El. We then put it back, but XP still wouldn't load, so we tried to do a "Repair" install, however it hangs at 35 minutes remaining, on hardware detection.

I've Googled the situation, found tons of articles (nothing on this site however, at least not by searching for "Setup hangs-35-minutes") but nothing helps. It is a Dell Laptop; I tried disabling various things in BIOS, even tried another XP disk, but it won't go past the "35 minutes remaining" mark.

At this point, unless anyone has any ideas about the setup problem (or any other suggestion), I think I'll have to do a factory restore.

Thanks.

#8 boopme

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:11 PM

Not an unwise decision to make. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS or doing a factory restore removes everything and is the safest action but I cannot make that decision for you.

Reformatting a hard disk deletes all data. If you decide to reformat, you can back up all your important documents, data files and photos. The safest practice is not to backup any autorun.ini or .exe files because they may be infected. Some types of malware may disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing extension of files so be sure you take a close look at the full name. After reformatting, as a precaution, make sure you scan these files with your anti-virus prior to copying them back to your hard drive.

Only back up your important documents, personal data files, photos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), autorun (.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml ) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or adding to the existing extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you scan the backed up data with your anti-virus prior to to copying it back to your hard drive.

If your CD/DVD drive is unusable, another word of caution if you are considering backing up to an external usb hard drive as your only alternative. External drives are more susceptible to infection and can become compromised in the process of backing up data. I'm not saying you should not try using such devices but I want to make you aware of all your options and associated risks so you can make an informed decision if its worth that risk.Again, do not back up any files with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.

If you're not sure how to reformat or need help with reformatting, please review:These links include step-by-step instructions with screenshots:Vista users can refer to these instructions:Don't forget you will have to go to Microsoft Update and apply all Windows security patches after reformatting.

Note: If you're using an IBM, Sony, HP, Compaq or Dell machine, you may not have an original XP CD Disk. By policy Microsoft no longer allows OEM manufactures to include the original Windows XP CD-ROM on computers sold with Windows preinstalled. Instead, most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition for performing a clean "factory restore" that will reformat your hard drive, remove all data and restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. See Technology Advisory Recovery Media. If the recovery partition has become infected, you will need to contact the manufacturer, explain what happened and ask them to send full recovery disks to use instead..

If you need additional assistance with reformatting or partitioning, you can start a new topic in the Operating Systems Subforums forum.
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