I believe I am having user permission issues, which is manifesting itself with 3 symptoms:
1. My Quick Launch icons are no longer visible on taskbar on my desktop, even though I can still see the shortcuts in Windows Explorer.
2. I can't run any programs from the shortcuts via the "normal way" in Start\Programs\... and then selecting the appropriate program to run. But, if I use Windows Explorer to navigate to the appropriate executable, such as Excel.exe, then the program launches.
3. Internet Explorer doesn't work. By that I mean that when I run iexplore.exe, the application opens, but the screen is blank, my homepage (google.com) doesn't load, and all buttons within the app don't work. I need to use Task Manager to shut down IE.
This all started when I downloaded a utility. The program didn't do what I thought it was supposed to, so I uninstalled it. Immediately after the uninstall was when my Quick Launch icons dissappeared.
I have read online (with another PC) that the reason I can run a program from within Windows Explorer, but not from Start\Programs, is because the folder and file permissions have been changed from their proper values. But, I have't found anything suitable that restores these to their proper values, if indeed that is the problem.
To date, I have done the following:
Run Microsoft Forefront scan - no issues
Run MalewareBytes AntiMalware - found a couple of very minor items, but removing these did not help
Rn Combofix - no issues found
Had another user at work log in with his profile, just in case that just my user profile was corrupt somehow. He had the same user issues that I had - even with his user profile.
Tried some misc Registry fixes, but that did not work.
I am running Windows XP SP3 and IE7.
I spoke to a 2nd Level Support person who said they had seen these issues twice before, and both times, the only thing that would work was to reload the machine. I will do this if I have to, but if anyone has any advice before I do this, I will defintely appreciate it.
Edited by hamluis, 04 July 2012 - 11:17 AM.
Moved from XP to Am I Infected - Hamluis.