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Unable to find configuration files


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#1 bear613

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 11:21 PM

This MAY belong in anti virus, but here goes...

This is in regards to my father's computer. It's a Gateway Astro with only 63 ram.

SOMEHOW over 100 programs have found their way onto the computer. He has no spyware program and he's like an open book. I was trying to delete alot of this stiuff because there is so much on there, his desktop runsoff the screen and he cannot use the computer.

As Im deleting My Daily Horoscope, the thing goes NUTS, and I get a red box that says NAV Auto Protect across the top and in the box it says
Cannot find configuration files. You cant do anything else, no mouse, no cursor, enter does nothing. I even tried safe mode, nothing. I cant get to add/remove programs any longer, it stops loading and this red box appears and you cannot go anywhere.

Can anyone tell WHY this happened and what can I do to fix it? I feel responsible since I was removing the programs and now he cant use it at all. It's a horrible computer, but he's 72 and it's all he has.

Much appreciated thanks. :thumbsup:

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#2 phawgg

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 12:26 AM

Hi, bear613, welcome...

It's a Gateway Astro with only 63 ram.

...It's a BleepingAsstroComputer... but-dot-calm. :flowers:

Norton Anti-Virus I believe can do that. My guess is it's because that program co-exists with several other ones in the SystemSuite... One of which "protects" the recycle bin. That can complicate matters when deleting things, and it also makes lottsa log files of lottsa action it's taken. Add to that the fact that it misses some new virus types & malware and you've got some files that some crackers' creations can exploit. IMO.

You shouldn't feel too bad about tryin' to help Dad, though. Some of the stuff that can get into a computer with a wide open door will kill it when you try to fix it. Pretty nasty stuff, if ya' ask me. Those 63MB of RAM might just work well again with patience & special tools.

Anyway, please add a few more programs if you can... good ones. I understand you can't get into add/remove, but your InstallWizard may still work. We can take it slow, one at a time. Start with this:

Install Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.05 onto your PC. Hopefully it will install normally, and please read Using Ad-Aware SE to remove Spyware & Hijackers from Your Computer
next:
Run Ad-aware. Don't worry about fixing the negligible entries, just deep scan your Dad's C:\ with it. Fix everything it finds. Oh, and update it, too. Even though it's freshly downloaded there probably are a couple new virus definitions added by now. It is important that you run Ad-Aware before you proceed with the next step.

Fixing enties with Hijackthis may leave behind unwanted files on your computer if we don't try at least the Ad-Aware first, and it will find some nasty files for you. IMO

Create a folder on your hardrive to save HijackThis.exe. A directory like c:\HJT. You will need to un-zip the folder to it. We may need the backup/restore features that the program makes and it needs to have a permanent folder to do that. It should look like this C:\HJT\HijackThis.exe on your log. To make it that way: click Start-->My Computer-->Hard Disk Drive C:\-->File-->New-->Folder and name it HJT. I don't know what your OS is, win95 or win98 I guess but you might need a unzip program. I don't think it's built in to those OS's (this would be the other program I was worried about adding to the bunch you already have burdening that poor PC) Some of the free ones come with spyware, and this one is no exception, but it's predicable. (they don't want you to not buy it after 21 days, I guess) Download the "evaluation" trial to get goin' if/only if you need it. win-zip It won't work in win95 per the system requirements listed, though. (maybe google "zip programs"?)

Download HijackThis from:

HijackThis Download Site

Save this file into the C:\HJT\ you made previously and then run the program... Click on the Scan button and when it is finished click on the Save Log button. A Notepad window will open with the contents of this log. Click on Edit then click on Select all. Then click on Edit and then Click on Copy.

Create a reply to this post at this location. , and right click in message area and select paste to paste the log into the post.

Someone will reply to you after reading this post. DO NOT fix any entries unless you understand what you are doing.

To see a tutorial on using HijackThis you can click on the link below:

Using HijackThis to Remove Spyware, Browser Hijackers, and Dialers

Contact us again if you experience difficulties. Maybe something else can be done, but it will help a lot to see the HJT log in the section we constantly check in for problems like what you describe. Good Luck.

:thumbsup:

Edited by phawgg, 10 November 2004 - 12:36 AM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 bear613

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:12 AM

Thanks for the welcome!!!

Here's the big problem. I cant install anything. I cant get past start up. Ad-Aware is EXACTLY the program I was GOING to install when I got rid of all the extraneous "stuff" on there. I use it and it's fantastic.

When you re start, it starts going through the normal start up, but stops. Then you just get a blank screen, with the NAV Auto Protect red box. Mouse wont work, no cursor, etc. Even though inside the box it says [OK] as if beckoning you to hit it, but the mouse doesnt work, hitting "O" or "K" doesnt work, nothing.

How can I install anything if I cant get anything to work once that box appears?

I never see 'Start', 'My Computer', nothing, the desktop is blank except for that BOX. :flowers:

This is a FANTASTIC reply!! I really really appreciate all this info. If I can just get around that BOX, I can do this, but when that BOX appears it disables everything else. :thumbsup:

#4 bear613

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 11:20 AM

Install Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.05 onto your PC.  Hopefully it will install normally, and please read Using Ad-Aware SE to remove Spyware & Hijackers from Your Computer
next:
Run Ad-aware.  Don't worry about fixing the negligible entries, just deep scan your Dad's C:\ with it. Fix everything it finds. Oh, and update it, too.  Even though it's freshly downloaded there probably are a couple new virus definitions added by now. It is important that you run Ad-Aware before you proceed with the next step.

I guess I would consider myself an intermediate 'fixer', Ive done MANY things to my own monster to fix it on my own, so I BASICALLY know what Im doing. And I just thought of something. Is there a way to install Ad-Aware using DOS? If I go into safe mode and choose to use DOS commands, can I install it? Because there is no way to do it 'normally'.

It's win98.

THANKS!!!!!! :thumbsup:

Edited by bear613, 10 November 2004 - 11:23 AM.


#5 raw

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:23 PM

Just my thoughts on this
You can get to Safe Mode prompt with F8?
choose command line,at the command line type:
scanreg /restore
pick an earlier date to restore to
other wise it seems your NAV has become corrupt (good job Symantec) and your not going to like what i say next, you may need to reformat. It is possible to stop NAV from loading,but this involves editing config files in DOS.Maybe win.ini or system.ini (but please dont hold me to that,i havent used win98 in a VERY long time)
HTH

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#6 phawgg

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:28 PM

After reading your reply, I realized more trial & error was needed. I rebooted into safe mode several times, checkin' variables. I winXP, you have several options, and I choose the one "safe mode with command prompt". It opens with a full screen CMD window. At the prompt I typed control panel. It responded with these actions:
  • popup dialog box: you are in safe mode, etc. wish to be? ah, yes. TY
  • showed only the start button
  • with the taskbar showing the CMD Prompt minimized
  • 10 seconds later the control panel covers the screen
Then I put my Lexmark installCD in the tray to see what gives. It has a guide that requires Adobe Reader and will load v4.05 for ya' if you need it. I've no adobe on my PC presently so, it would install if I followed through.

I guess my point is you should try loading from your CD-Rom , in safe mode, like you came up with. It might work. Then use your computer to burn downloaded programs onto CD.... to use in Dad's CD-Rom. I'm still checkin', though. (also how about a fresh re-load of win98? Is there data loss concern that can't be dealt with?)
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#7 bear613

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 06:04 PM

Just my thoughts on this
You can get to Safe Mode prompt with F8?
choose command line,at the command line type:
scanreg /restore
pick an earlier date to restore to
other wise it seems your NAV has become corrupt (good job Symantec) and your not going to like what i say next, you may need to reformat. It is possible to stop NAV from loading,but this involves editing config files in DOS.Maybe win.ini or system.ini (but please dont hold me to that,i havent used win98 in a VERY long time)
HTH

I will definitely try this. I was thinking today there had to be a way using the DOS command in safe mode as there is no other way to get past that #$!@* red NAV box.

Much thanks!

#8 bear613

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 06:08 PM

After reading your reply, I realized more trial & error was needed. I rebooted into safe mode several times, checkin' variables.  I winXP, you have several options, and I choose the one "safe mode with command prompt".  It opens with a full screen CMD window.  At the prompt I typed control panel.  It responded with these actions:

  • popup dialog box: you are in safe mode, etc.  wish to be? ah, yes. TY

  • showed only the start button

  • with the taskbar showing the CMD Prompt minimized

  • 10 seconds later the control panel covers the screen
Then I put my Lexmark installCD in the tray to see what gives.  It has a guide that requires Adobe Reader and will load v4.05 for ya' if you need it.  I've no adobe on my PC presently so, it would install if I followed through.

I guess my point is you should try loading from your CD-Rom , in safe mode, like you came up with.  It might work. Then use your computer to burn downloaded programs onto CD.... to use in Dad's CD-Rom.  I'm still checkin', though.  (also how about a fresh re-load of win98?  Is there data loss concern that can't be dealt with?)

I will try this as well. Ill burn the programs here and try getting them on there. UGH! Is all this worth it for a computer that has 63 ram? :thumbsup: Who knows? But Ill try till I can do no more.

Much sincere thanks for all the help!

#9 bear613

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Posted 13 November 2004 - 09:32 PM

Im back! With updated info!

The scanreg/restore didnt work the first time. Just said failed. I tried again, chose another registry and it worked!! I got into Safe Mode with an actual desktop!! :flowers: I deleted the rest of the crapola on the desktop and add/remove with ease, got Ad-Aware on there - found over 700 incidents of spy/adware, cleaned it out nicely, was quite pleased, then only to find a message that said-->

cannot locate atmsys.drv - must reinstall Windows

Poof! shutdown. Tried defrag, nothing. Tried and tried.

Now that Im home I see in my notebook this to reinstall Windows from MS-DOS - need to know if this is correct before I do any further damage - :cool: -->

cd c:\windows\options\cabs
[enter]
setup
[enter]

No ACTUAL CD exists

LMK and MUCHO GRACIAS for your outstanding advice!! :trumpet: :thumbsup: :inlove:




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