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Cannot access programs in Windows 7 after program installation


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#1 mavandriel

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:52 PM

Hello,

I am looking for assistance with fixing a family members computer.  He was trying to solve a computer problem on a laptop running windows 7 that was preventing their external cd drive on their laptop from working, and googled what to do and saw a recommendation to install winrar and use it for something.  Hegoogled winrar and installed it.  He lost the ability to open programs from his quick launch bar or start menu at this point.  For example the Google Chrome button became blank, although if he right clicked it, he had all the correct menus come up, and most of them still worked (but not for all his other programs).

 

I assume that he downloaded a malware infected copy of WinRar, but A) an hour searching the internet didn't pop up similar cases, which made me think this might be more unusual and B) even if so, I am not 100% sure how to get his applications to work again so as to proceed with cleaning his computer out.

 

Given that he was actively having problems with his computer before this happened, I figured there might be overlapping issues, so I am looking for advice on how to go about troubleshooting his issues.

 

Thanks for any help.

 

PS: I have several screenshots of his issue, but didn't want to post them or link to them because A) the rules didn't really mention that one way or another and B) I browsed a few topics and no one else had, so I figured it is perhaps not accepted.

 

 



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#2 sflatechguy

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:24 AM

Not sure how WinRAR would help in giving them access to their external CD drive. WinRAR is a program that is used to "unzip" files that are compressed. It can uncompress files compressed with just about any compression algorithm. It is unlikely WinRAR is the cause of the issues he is now having.

 

Your first guess is the most likely one. Because WinRAR is free, there are a number of sites it can be downloaded from. Not all those sites contain uninfected versions.

 

I would recommend running a full anti-virus scan on that computer. What AV program is currently installed on it? You may also want to check the log files of that AV program, as well as the "quarantined files" section. If it is infected, don't attempt to make any other changes until the malware is cleaned out.

 

Post back your results after you've run a full scan.



#3 mavandriel

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 12:22 AM

He ran a full system scan using AVAST, which as far as I could tell doesn't have a convenient and postable result log.  The UI log indicated that the scan found no suspicious results, but some ~50 files that it couldn't scan for the stated reason:

 

"Error: Archive is Password Protected. (42056)"

 

quickedit: fwiw, his reason for using winrar was following the "solution" on this apple message board thread https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2151777?start=0


Edited by mavandriel, 26 April 2016 - 12:22 AM.


#4 sflatechguy

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 01:03 PM

That simply means those files are either encrypted or protected.

 

Try disabling or uninstalling Avast and running a full scan with another AV program like Sophos.



#5 mavandriel

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 02:08 AM

Sophos wouldn't open after downloading.



#6 sflatechguy

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 09:56 AM

Which version of Sophos did you download? Are getting an error message? What does the message say?



#7 mavandriel

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:24 PM

My brother sent me the most hilarious explanation when I posted your question, so I figured I would just link his explanation - its mostly screenshots of his attempt.



#8 sflatechguy

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 08:31 PM

Yeah, that won't work on a Windows machine.




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