[My system info: Windows 7, Home Premium, 32-bit OS. Intel Pentium M. Service Pack 1, on an Acer Aspire 1640Z laptop. 2 GB RAM. Kaspersky Internet Security 2018. DSL cable]
Last things, first: cut to the chase-
I need to re-enable UAC and elevate it to its default, Microsoft-recommended setting, without losing the ability to connect to the internet (and read web content) using my preferred browser (Chrome), or ANY browser other than IE. And... I need to eliminate the other concurrent system "weirdness" (as defined immediately below) when UAC is enabled at any level.
About two weeks ago, post Microsoft update installs, I used a system cleaner (JV16 Power tools) to delete some archived history, Direct X caches, windows log files, management console info (can't remember what specifically). After rebooting immediately, I noted that my Kaspersky antivirus could not load its console... and... when I clicked on my default browser's desktop shortcut (Chrome)-- I was presented with an entire page of web/wingdings. The only intelligible thing on the page was the small, frowning “Aw, Snap!” icon that appears whenever there is an issue loading Chrome. It is important to emphasize that none of the issues existed prior to my effort to "safely" clean up my system. (cough)
This is what happened:
- I couldn’t view an opened Chrome browser normally unless I "run as Administrator". (I am always logged in as Administrator, by-the-way)
- Kaspersky antivirus loaded, but its console produced multiple icons (that disappeared if hovered over with the mouse) in the system tray as the console component eternally attempted to load itself.
- Interestingly, now when I tried to use the Clear-Type Adjuster utility, its pages 3 and 4 displayed web/wingdings.
- IE (11) is worked without issue, and without requiring administrative permissions.
- All other installed programs worked without issue.
- While running the Chrome desktop shortcut, I encountered the following error message if I clicked on another url shortcut--"Google Chrome is unresponsive. Relaunch now?" (Opting to do so did not launch anything, however)
This is what I tried to no avail:
- (Note: no Restore point existed as I had this feature turned off)
- ensured that Chrome was set as my default browser program and checked each file association
- ensured that the desktop Chrome shortcut pointed to the appropriate executable
- cleared Chrome's cache
- reset Chrome
- disabled Chrome's extensions
- attempted to run (not as administrator) incognito mode
- deleted Chrome profile
- flushed Chrome DNS cache
- ipconfig /flushdns (locally)
- uninstalled/clean-installed Chrome (already was current version; reinstalled current offline)--twice
- reinstalled Win 7 fonts
- ran scannow, chkdsk, Malwarebytes, KAV full scan... EVERYTHING results in "no bad sectors" or "no malware" or "no viruses" or "system healthy"
- ensured KAV was not blocking or limiting Chrome access
- uninstalled/clean-installed KAV
- ensured that I was the "owner" for the Chrome executable
- set up new MS user profile and attempted to access internet via Chrome (without running as administrator)
- selected IE as the default browser, rebooted, and then re-selected Chrome (performed this cycle of reassigning default browser several times)
- ran ComboFix (log available for upload on request)
- uninstalled Chrome and installed Firefox resulting in same issues as with Chrome (web/wingdings, et. al)
- uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled Chrome
In the interim, I created the following TEMPORARY workarounds:
- used Task Scheduler to run both KAV console executable (at startup) and Google Chrome shortcut as Administrator
- opened my other "ka-thousand" (formerly Chrome-associated) url shortcuts using IE as the default program for doing so
Ultimately, I did not believe these issues to be either a Chrome or Kaspersky problem: I suspected a local settings/profile root to these problems. After one and a half weeks of trial and error, I had an epiphany and tested disabling the UAC. Eureka! EACH of my issues DISAPPEARED IMMEDIATELY: I could view/read/surf using Chrome and Firefox, Kaspersky's console loaded without a hitch, and I could read all the fonts on each of the pages in my Cleartype Adjuster utility.
Post-solution, re-enabling UAC on any level recreates the aforementioned issues in their entirety. Aw Snap.
Edited by symbionsymbiosis, 16 February 2018 - 05:18 AM.