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AARP help desk: father's desktop is a mess


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#1 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 03:30 AM

Greetings.  My first post is in hopes that it can halt a pending 3hr road trip to diagnose my father's laptop problem.

He's stuck on XP as "the last operating system I'll ever need, damnit!", and at 89 I don't doubt him.

His laptop is a core duo style Dell of unknown description and I can only assume at this point that it's sp2.

 

For the past couple weeks he's been dealing with the loss of his normal desktop, which is a full screen high res shot of one WWII vintage aircraft or another as wall paper. That desktop image is liberally populated with program icons and short cuts to various web sites and what not.  It's... messy.

 

Wednesday he calls me and indicates that he lost his "homepage" image (actually his wallpaper) and it's been replaced by what you see in the attached image.  Apparently, at that time, he was unable to move any icons into the left side "blue area" with the repeating Flash logo and the small tiled graphics. 

 

Last night he reports that the Flash logod are now gone, as are the small tiled images, but the white field is still bugging him.  He can place icons anywhere again. Aparently he still has control of things... browser, email, etc. ... it's just that the icons are really messed up and his base image is gone.

 

On the phone I walked him through an attempt to set his desktop display to "none" hoping to clear some randomly created wallpaper image that somehow got saved.  No luck.

 

Given it's the Holidays and I've got nothing else cooking, I'm going to visit. I'm going to take with me an old version of KNOPPIX 5.1.1 which is live bootable and it might give me some insight as to wheather or not it's an OS thing or video hardware related... that's all I got.

 

I leave at 8am cst and will check back periodically in hopes that someone smarter than me can provide assistance.

 

Many thanks in advance.

DP

Attached Files


Edited by DPaulku, 03 July 2015 - 03:40 AM.


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#2 Condobloke

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 03:40 AM

G'day DPaulku, and Welcome to BC !

 

Any chance you can talk him through a system restore ??

 

I guess a backup would be out of the question...?.....


Condobloke

Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??

 

LINUX IS THE ANSWER

 

I USE LINUX MINT EXCLUSIVELY... NO DUAL BOOT, NO VIRTUAL MACHINE

 

 

 Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.

 

 

 


#3 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 04:05 AM

Caught me just before lights out... Thanks for the welcome.

 

Ha, yeah a system restore... that presupposes that he's been creating restore points as a regular maintainance activity.  Ah, no.

And backups, for a desktop?  Can't imagine that's gonna fly. (If I'm not mistaken even an original install point can't be restored to if it's been a really long time... I could be wrong on that.  We'll look at it any rate, good suggestion.)

 

We'll see tomorrow.  You get some sleep now too, unless  you're in Amsterdam, then grab some "coffee" with your lunch.... Oh. I just saw that you're down under.  Good on ya then. 'Always wanted to vist.

 

Thanks for the reply in any case.


Edited by DPaulku, 03 July 2015 - 04:07 AM.


#4 Condobloke

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 04:10 AM

He may well have a few nasties on there....

 

I am in Australia....local time here now is 7.00 PM

 

There are quick scans we can run to establish if infection is the problem.

 

Good Luck


Condobloke

Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??

 

LINUX IS THE ANSWER

 

I USE LINUX MINT EXCLUSIVELY... NO DUAL BOOT, NO VIRTUAL MACHINE

 

 

 Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.

 

 

 


#5 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 04:21 AM

Yup, I intend on running some scans.  Hope they help... In the past we've fixed his troubles by simply replacing the lappy.  Works every time!



#6 YeahBleeping

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:31 AM

Hello and good luck with this adventure.  As soon as you get there I would download and run Malware bytes and Herd protect.  Then as was suggested a system restore. XP should have created random restore points during some updates so he should have at least a few points. Good Luck



#7 Sintharius

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:37 AM

System Restore after running scanners is a bad idea since you can reinfect the machine with old restore points. If you are going to use it, System Restore first and then run scanners.

#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:39 AM

At this point you may be better off doing a factory reset after you backup his personal data. Hopefully the recovery partition is intact. Then do all updates including SP3. Personally, I would try and convince your father to put linux Mint or Ubuntu on the computer. Once set up create a regular user account for your father and you have the admin account for you with password. XP has too many security holes and it is no longer updated

 

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN130628/EN



#9 hamluis

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 09:49 AM

FWIW:  Anyone running XP with SP2...has severe vulnerabilities, IMO.  If you do a factory reset or reinstall of XP, I suggest that you immediately install SP3 and several hundred other critical updates.  Even though XP is unsupported at this time...critical updates are still available for install via Windows Update for users who have not properly installed such already.

 

Louis



#10 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for all the insights folks.  I'm at the throttle now and am learning a few things. 

1. Have not yet run scans or restore

2. boot up message:  "Hey, I can't start DaemonProcess.exe nor can I find Qtcore4.dll"

3. I searched the .dll and found two hits in a Google Earth folders "Client and plugin"

    The DaemonProcess.exe exists in a Program Files\Mogogenie folder and as a Windows Prefetch

4. I tried to reset the desktop via native windows property methods and the two attached captures show the results.  Something

    is trying to work here.

I'm going to try to see what happens now when I boot to Koppnix... then will look to restore, then scan.

 

Thanks all.

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#11 Sintharius

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 03:16 PM

Mobogenie is known to be a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program)... you might consider posting in Am I Infected if you need help cleaning the machine. Otherwise just follow JohnC_21's instructions, nuke the OS and reinstall it.

#12 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 03:51 PM

Oh, boy.  I haven't nuked an OS in a few years.  Not sure this box came with an install disc.

 

More info, Knoppix works like a champ, no weird vid behavior so it's def a Windoz deal. 

Not liking the PUP business.

 

Oh look who just popped up.  I'm starting to  smell a rat...

 

BTW the machine is a Dell D520series and running xp SP3 

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#13 Sintharius

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

It's for real - Microsoft Security Essentials for XP will only receive updates until July 14.

After that you will have to rely on third-party antivirus software if you want to continue using XP - and even then they will end. The vendor with the longest XP support that I know of is Webroot (2019), but then I still do not recommend using XP.

#14 DPaulku

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 05:51 PM

OK, so  I ran Malwarebytes and dumped the 444 PUP hits. 

Then went looking for a restore point... found none, nada, zip

So we rebooted or tried to.

 

1. from the start button menu I hit "turn off computer"

2. from the pop up secondary step I selected "restart"

3. the screen went black and a small "command prompt" appears in the first 20-40 pixels of the upper left corner.

4. and it blinks, and blinks, and blinks...

5. I force a power down and restart.

 

6. for a brief moment we are entertained by a full screen rendering of the classic Windoz desktop, see last attachments.

7.  ... then the machine self destructs in a rehash of the message re: missing DaemonProcess and missing .dll and oh yeah, the pop up about loosing XP support.

 

8. Power down again and reboot so that I can post this status report.

 

My view is that those missing /corrupt files are key but at this point I'm not going to take the time to sleuth that out. 

The desktop works, as far as icons function and stay put. The interwebs are available.  and that's key.  Its ugly but it's limping along.

 

Thanks for all the insights and suggestions, and if something comes to mind please post. I'll check in again in a day or two.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

dave



#15 Sintharius

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 05:55 PM

The missing file messages are probably orphaned startup entries and can be removed. You will have to live with the end-of-support message though if you still use MSE - switch to a third-party AV to get rid of it.

After this you might want to run sfc /scannow and chkdsk /r to see if there are any corrupted system files and bad sectors on the disk.

Regards,
Alex




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