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Where Is Msinfo32.exe


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#1 brillo

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 03:27 PM

When I run msinfo32 I get the help and support center instead of system information. I found the following description of my EXACT problem at Kellys Korner-xp.com:

"Msinfo32 - System Information (Error or Missing)

Odd msinfo32.exe problem. msinfo32 mystery solved. (written by Vampirefo, furnished by Martin)

<Quote>

I finally figured it out, after running test after test. A index.dat file has been deleted, and that's why when some run msinfo32 they get the help center instead of system information.

I had this problem, and just now got it figured out, I restored a new image and system information was working great, I then ran Spider which cleans temp files, I saved the report rebooted and system information was not working.

I looked at what spider deleted and I found it deleted a index.dat here E:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache\\index.dat
I opened and image and restored just this dat, and now my system information is working, so this dat file is the cause for the problem
."

I don't think Spider deleted anything on my computer, I have no Spiders in my computer. I think my heavy delete finger did it somehow, but the result is the same, running msinfo32 gets me right back to help and support.

My question here is, How do I "open an image and restore just this dat" ? What does he mean? Does he mean go to "C:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache\\index.dat" and add a second \\index.dat, so it would be C:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache\\index.dat\\index.dat, or does he mean find "C:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache" and add "\\index.dat"?

Yes, I have to admit, I did, in a moment of frustration one night recently, delete a whole lot of stuff with CCleaner, stuff I didn't really look too closely at. So, do I have to go back to all those CC restore files and try to find that index.dat file? I'm not looking forward to a "Yes", but I'll live with it, if that's really the only way. I just checked my C:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache folder, it has no index.dat file in it, if that matters in solving this. I have not checked the CC restore files for index.dat, they're huge. I removed nero and a ton of other junk stuff, the list that day is a mile long, and that's just one list. But if that's what I have to do, please advise. Or is there a way I can copy those files somewhere and do a search for C:\\WINDOWS\\PCHEALTH\\HELPCTR\\OfflineCache" and add "\\index.dat? Pretty smart, huh? Except I don't know how to do that.

Thanks to someone who can/will assist me with this.

Edited by brillo, 27 March 2006 - 04:08 PM.


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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 06:38 PM

Can you open the Cc restore file and look at it with notepad or ?

#3 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:44 PM

Go to Start > Run and type the following exactly:

msinfo32 /categories +all -loadedmodules


NOTE: There is a space before the /, the + and the -

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 27 March 2006 - 09:48 PM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
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#4 brillo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 02:19 AM

Could someone who is running XP Pro check the size of the index.dat file in their "C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\OfflineCache" folder and let me know if it labelled index.dat, video cd movie, 85 Kb? I got an index.dat file as an email attachment from someone who read this post and offered to send it to me. Seems legit, but "video cd movie" seems a bit odd. If I can get a verification of 85 Kb, I'm going to use it to replace my missing index.dat. If not, I'll do as ALBERT F. suggests, altho that just gets me to the system summary page (thanks ALBERT), whereas this index.dat I received, if legit, will/should repair the broken thread.

Edited by brillo, 28 March 2006 - 02:59 AM.


#5 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 07:31 AM

Mine is 84.3 KB, and says only Index.dat.

I think it is healthy to be careful about installing any sort of file on your computer. Even if the person sending it is legit, they may unknowingly be sending something that you may not want.

One measure of protection is to send a file to Virus Total for analysis:

ENGLISH
SPANISH
You will see a browse button and a send button on the top of that web page,
so you can send a file up to 10MB for analysis of malicious software.

Files up to 15 MB can be sent to JOTTI for analysis.

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 28 March 2006 - 08:07 AM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#6 HitSquad

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:21 AM

When I run msinfo32 I get the help and support center instead of system information

Mine's been like that for as long as I can remember.
I have a couple different ways of getting there I can suggest if the .dat file doesn't do it for you.

1. Type "hcp://system/sysinfo/msinfo.htm" (no quotes) in the IE address bar, hit enter.
2. I have a small 1KB batch file I can mail you if you like. Just create a start menu shortcut to it or drop it on the desktop. It is not virus infected.

#7 Enthusiast

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:10 PM

Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549/

#8 brillo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 08:04 PM

Thanks to AF, Enthusiast, and HS for their responses. I'm learning stuff here in spite of myself, Hah! With help. I put the new index.dat into its folder and I will reboot in a minute to see if this works.

I don't want to beat a dead dog here, but just out of curiosity and not wanting to leave anything important out, I thought I should mention that an additional icon appeared on my desktop maybe 2 days ago, the same time frame as the disappearing index.dat. To my knowledge, I didn't create this icon or put it there from somewhere else. I don't recall doing that anyway. It's named "initdebug" and the picture looks sorta like the my computer picture but slightly different. When I click on it, there is a 10+/- second pause and then the H&S screen comes on blank, with a small "System Information" pane is in front of it resembling an error message, saying "System Information can not open this NFO file. It might be corrupted or an unrecognized version". Then when I cancel that, (X) it, only option, the message disappears and the H&S window goes to.... you guessed it. System Summary. Just where I wanted to go when I clicked on "advanced system info". So I can get where I want by clicking this initdebug icon, but something is obviously not right.

What is this icon and since it does something obviously related to System Information, should I delete it so it doesn't foul up the index.edit repair? Does it really matter?

#9 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 08:16 PM

Let's keep beating this dead dog!

Right click on the icon, then choose properties. What is the target?
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


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#10 brillo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:01 PM

"initdebug properties" has no target. It has 2 tabs, Firts tab: General, type of file: MSInfo Document, Opens with: System Information, Loc: C:\Documents and Settings\Rob\Desktop, size/size on disk: 0 bytes, Created: Saturday, March 25, 2006, 4:31:58 PM, Modified: Yesterday, March 27, 2006, 1:22:25 AM, Accessed: Today, March 28, 2006, 12:56:22 PM. Attributes neither read-only or Hidden are checked. No target. Icon picture is little computer monitor with blue circle, white "i" in the circle.

Interesting, 0 bits. How does that work? It causes stuff to happen but has no bits? Let me know what You think. Second tab: Summary, has no info.

Edited by brillo, 28 March 2006 - 09:06 PM.


#11 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:13 PM

Well, I believe you are infected.

I would recommend following the prepatory guide to posting a High Jack This log. You may not need to actually post a log, however. If you follow the instuctions in the prepatory guide faithfully then this little bugger might be removed. However, rarely is a computer infected with only one thing.

If after completing all of the steps in the prepatory guide you continue to have issues, post a HJT log as instructed in the prepatory guide.

PREPATORY GUIDE


ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
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Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#12 brillo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:39 PM

I'm off to the HijackThis prep. I want to mention, I did the scan at http://www.virustotal.com/flash/index_en.html, and nothing was found, if that means anything. Back after HjT prep.

Edited by brillo, 28 March 2006 - 09:41 PM.


#13 brillo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 10:31 PM

Well, I have everything on the list already installed and ON, except one of the three firewalls listed; however, I do have McAffe firewall, which I assume is pretty good, it costs enough anyway. Should I add another from the list? Let me know. I'll scan and rescan until nothing shows up and... I'll be back.

Edited by brillo, 28 March 2006 - 10:34 PM.


#14 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 06:27 AM

You only need one firewall. Running more than one firewall can cause issues. (while we are on this subject, make sure that Windows firewall is off. Assuming you have SP2 installed: Start > Control Panel > Security Center.)

Did you replace your missing file and did that work?

If it did not work, then I think you should post a HJT log in the HJT forum to be sure your computer is clean. If you do post a log please put a link in this thread to your log also.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
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Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#15 brillo

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 06:41 AM

Yes, I have only McAfee firewall running, windows firewall is off, either you or ? (can't remember) explained that a couple weeks ago. Yes, your index.dat did work, just like new! BTW, before I got yours I tried that other one and it did not work. Also, I deleted the initdebug icon from desktop at the same time as I put your file in the OfflineCache folder. And, yes, I did post an HJT log after doing all the scan etc. stuff as directed in prep procedure. So just waiting to see what the HJT results are. BTW, I also put my HJT log through the automated online analysis at http://www.hijackthis.de/ Nothing much showed up according to that analysis. Will be interesting to see the Bleeping results.




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