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Windows XP Home run old DOS program


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#1 johnaubrey

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:22 PM

My elderly father-in-law is terminally ill and one of the few pleasures left to him is usind on old DOS program called Reflex by Borland. I recently did some routine maintainance and system cleaning on his computer, after which Reflex stopped working. Please help me correct this.

 

His system is Windows XP Home, Service Pack 3. Before the maintenance, Reflex worked fine on his computer, starting by clicking on a shortcut or by opening the file "reflex.exe." All of the maintenance routines I performed were as reccomended by previous Bleeping Computer Malware Response Team members, including (not in this order) : disk cleanup, delete all temporary files and cookies, empty recycle, Malwarebytes (update and run), Spyware Blaster (update and enable0, AdwCleaner, Ccleaner (update and run), SpyBot (update and run), and scan disk. Now whether clicking on the shortcut or opening the .exe file, all that happens is that the customary black window with a blue bar at the top appears, first showing "Reflex" and then showing the path. This appears for less than a second and then disappears. Sometime I also get the error message " NTVDM.EXE has encountered a problem and needs to close", and one time only I got the message "16 bit MS-DOS subsystem. Invalid startup directory, please check your PIF file." I tried System Restore to a date 10 days before my work, and System Restore failed to function. I then sucessfully restored to 1 day before my work, but the problem with Reflex was not corrected.


Edited by hamluis, 24 April 2013 - 01:15 PM.
Moved from XP to Am I Infected - Hamluis.


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#2 Animal

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:55 PM

Have you seen this MS Community topic on the NTVDM.EXE and DOS programs error? "NTVDM.EXE has encountered a problem and needs to close".

You may want to verify you have and then uninstall two KB updates. Per the second post "answer".

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#3 johnaubrey

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

Animal:

Thank you for your response. I read the topic you suggested. My father-in-law's computer had both KB2707511 and KB2709162, installed in 2012. I removed both with Windows Add/Remove Programs, but that did not correct the problem.

 

Since my last post, I have noticed some other things which make me wonder if this a malware issue rather that a maintenance problem. When looking at his Downloads folder, I saw that just before I downloaded the maintenance programs mentioned above, my sister-in-law had downloaded Foxit Reader. Cnet says this is a good program, but is bundled with a lot of adware, which I doubt she un-selected. Is it possible this is causing the problem?

 

So the sequence of events is:

 

Day 1   Reflex was working fine. In the evening Foxit was downloaded. Reflex was not checked to see if it was working.

 

Day 2   Without checking Reflex, I ran the maintenance listed above. These found about 6 problems, all of which I removed. I then ran Windows Update on shutdown without checking Reflex.

 

Day 3  Reflex was not working. I noticed the presence of taskbar and desktop icons for Foxit and Crazy Rollercoaster, neither of which were present on Day 1.

Foxit is listed in Add/Remove Programs, but cannot be sucessfully removed. I tried several times to download Revo Uninstaller from Cnet, but was always stopped with the message "You must be connected to the internet to download" even though I was definately connected. I can't tell if Crazy Rollercoaster is a program or a web shortcut. Also I have restarted many times. Most times the shutdown button shows updates available, even multiple times on the same day, so perhaps updates are being blocked. Also the scale of the desktop icons comes up different almost every time after restart.

 

This is an old computer with scores of programs and hundreds of documents he will never use again. The only issue worth spending time on is getting Reflex up again. Before this problem happened, he spent at least 8 hours a day working with Reflex. Although he is too polite to say so, I know he thinks I killed his computer, his only buddy. Your help is much appreciated.



#4 Animal

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

I would try downloading revo in safe mode with networking. The other option is to uninstall foxit in safe mode as well. Something is obviously interfering, but I'm with you, I'm not sure what?

Also try getting revo from the source: http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html

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#5 johnaubrey

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:09 AM

Animal:

I un-installed all of the maintenance tools mentioned above. I removed all Windows updates back to before the problem started. I downloaded Revo in safe mode with networking, then ran it in regular mode to remove Foxit. Revo's "built-in " and "safe" options for uninstall modes both resulted in the message 

    

     "C:\Program Files\Foxit:Software\Foxit Reader\unins000.msg" is missing. Please correct the problem or obtain a new copy of the program.

 

I continued with Revo's "safe" uninstall mode of Foxit and it completed successfully. Foxit no longer appears in the programs list. After restart Reflex still does not run. I also tried to run Reflex in Safe Mode, but it did not work. Do you have any other suggestions?



#6 Animal

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:13 PM

Unfortunately I'm out of ideas. I'll post in the staff area and see if anyone else has thoughts on what's going on. Might be a day or two before someone replies.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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#7 johnaubrey

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:40 PM

Animal:

OK, thanks. More weird stuff has turned up, making me think malware is involved. Should I post this in the malware forum?

 

Thanks,

johnaubrey



#8 Orange Blossom

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:16 AM

Do you still retain the MBAM log that was produced when you ran the program?

 

Also, how about the AdwCleaner log?

 

Those logs might hold some keys to what's going on.

 

There is no need to repost at this time.  Your topic is presently in the Am I Infected forum where we assist with milder infections or determine if in fact there is one.

 

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#9 johnaubrey

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:16 AM

In my panic to undo my error, I removed everything I had done, unintentionally including both logs you asked for.



#10 ddeerrff

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

When you try to run reflex.exe, are you doing it from windows, or are you first opening a command prompt?  Try opening a command prompt (Start - run - cmd.exe).  Navigate to the folder where Reflex.exe is (using the cd command), and then try to execute Reflex.exe from there.  Wondering if your path got messed up. 

 

I'm finding different descriptions of Borland Reflex.exe.  This is an old data base program, right?

 

Have a look here : http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324767


Edited by ddeerrff, 26 April 2013 - 01:45 PM.

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#11 ddeerrff

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

Also check out http://windowsxp.mvps.org/16bit.htm  and be sure you have valid autoexec.nt, config.nt and command.com files. 


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#12 Mark

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:23 PM

Hi all,

 

I've installed Reflex 2.0 on a fully updated XP Pro SP3 virtual machine. It will not run by double-clicking reflex.exe ; that gives a 16-bit application error. So after some reading, I decided to try and run it with a free application called "DOSBox", which is a DOS emulator. Reflex launches just fine with DOSBox.

 

I'm guessing that an update to XP has caused Reflex to refuse to launch directly.

 

The version of Reflex I got was from this link :

http://vetusware.com/download/Reflex%202.0/?id=3730

(free registration mandatory to download the app)

 

I got DOSBox from here :

http://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1

 

Quickly, this is what I did next :

 

- Created a folder (directory) : C:\DOS

... and extracted the content of the Reflex app's folder to that directory.

 

- Installed DOSBox, which puts a shortcut on the Desktop for convenience.

 

- Launch DOSBox and :

1) Mount the directory where Reflex resides by typing : mount c c:\dos (hit Enter)

2) Type : c: (hit Enter)

3) Type : dir (hit Enter > to view content of directory)

4) Type : reflex.exe (hit Enter > you're in business !)

 

 

Hope this helps a bit :-)


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