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Administrator Has to Disable UAC to Connect to Internet & Other Weirdness


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#1 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:06 PM

[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.

 

Issue background:

 

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.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 11:25 AM

JV16 Power tools is a optimization software which also includes a registry cleaner.

 

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

Why you should not use Registry Cleaners and Optimization Tools

There are numerous programs which purport to improve system performance, make repairs and tune up a computer. Many of them include such features as a registry cleaner, registry optimizer, disk optimizer, etc. Some of these programs even incorporate optimization and registry cleaning features alongside anti-malware capabilities. These registry cleaners and optimizers claim to speed up your computer by finding and removing orphaned and corrupt registry entries that are responsible for slowing down system performance. There is no statistical evidence to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are borderline scams intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product.

 

Does this occur in Safe Mode?

 

If UAC works in Safe Mode let me know and I'll provide instructions for running a Clean Boot to see what third party service is causing this problem.

 

Please run sfc /scannow.

The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces corrupted and incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

Important:  There will be a short message at the end of the scan informing you of the results.  If you receive the message "no integrity violations were found" you don't need to do anything else, no corrupt files were found.  You should watch the scan to see the results at the end of the scan.
 
1. Click on the Start orb, then type cmd in the Search box.

2. CMD will appear above the search box, right click on it and select Run as administrator.

3.When the Elevated Command Prompt opens copy and paste the command below, then press Enter.

sfc /scannow

This will start the scan.  Please allow the scan to complete.  Stopping it could damage files.

4.To find the sfc /scannow log open the start menu and click on Computer.

5. Click on the drive letter Windows 7 is installed on.  This usually is the C: drive.

6. Clik on Windows, then Logs, then CBS.

This log usually is very large, for this reason you should use a host website like Dropbox to post the log.  You can start a free 30 day trial.  Once you have loaded the log at Dropbox post a link to the website.

 

Do you have the installation media for this computer?

 

 

 


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:09 PM

Thank you, dc3, for taking the time to respond to my issue.

 

Since my present UAC-relative problems, and before posting to Bleeping Computer, I re-evaluated my usage of JV16 Power Tools and committed not to use it going forward. I will say that I'd used this product on 5 systems over the past 13 years or more without incident. However, this recent problem promptly put me off ever using this product, or any like-product again (i.e., registry cleaner).

 

I need to clarify that I can use my system's UAC in Safe Mode, and that the issues that I described occur in either mode with any user if UAC is enabled on any level.

 

As outlined in my first post, I ran scannow (among other programs) twice previously to determining that (post-cleaning) UAC was affecting my ability to connect to, and correctly view my browser's content. I have uploaded the scannow CBS log dated 2/14 to Dropbox. Also, I uploaded a ComboFix log dated 2/13. However, as I don't use Dropbox, I am uncertain how to generate a link in the absence of an email address. 

 

Lastly, "yes," I have the installation media disc for my Windows 7 Home Premium product.


Edited by symbionsymbiosis, 17 February 2018 - 09:11 PM.


#4 dc3

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:36 AM

I am posting instruction for performing an inplace upgrade (aka as a Repair Installation).  Please follow these instructions to access the System Recovery Options and run the Startup Repair.

 

Repair Installation Instructions

Attention:  In order to boot from the installation disc you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the optical driver is the first device in the boot order, and the HDD/SSD is the second devcice.

1.  Place the installation disc in the tray of the CD/DVD drive, close the tray and restart the computer.

2.  You will be prompted to press any key to continue the installation, do so.

At this point the setup process will load files, this will take several minutes.

3.  You will now need to choose the  Language, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method that you'd like to use.

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After this is done click on Next.


4.  Click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom-left of the Install Windows window.

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This will open the Windows 7 System Recovery Options.

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5.  System Recovery Options will now search your hard drive(s) for any Windows 7 installations.  This will take several minutes.

No participation is required on your part at this time, wait till it has finished and the next window opens.

6.  Choose the Windows 7 installation that you'd like to perform the Startup Repair on, then click on Next

7.  Click on the Startup Repair link from list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options.

8.  The Startup Repair tool will now search for problems in the system files.

If Startup Repair finds a problem with any system files the tool may suggest a solution which you will need to confirm, or may solve the problem automatically.


9.  Startup Repair will now attempt to repair whatever problems it found with system files.  

Note:  If Startup Repair did not find any problems with system files you won't see this step.

Important: Your computer may or may not restart several times during this repair process.  This is normal, you should allow it to continue until you see the Restart your computer to complete the repairs window.

10.  Click on Finish, this will restart your computer.

It is possible that the Startup Repair will not be able to fix the problem.  If the Startup Repair tool determines this, it may automatically run the the repair after your computer restarts.  If it does not automatically run the repair but you are still having problems with Windows 7 repeat these steps to run Startup Repair again manually.
 


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:45 AM

Before moving forward with the Startup Repair, could you inform me as to whether the proposed process would be considered as "destructive" or "non-destructive"?

 

Although I am aware of the non-destructive reinstall process (preferred); I've been putting that off due to the preparation/post-updating for this process (i.e., creating several backups and temporarily moving personal files to an external drive; reinstalling security updates and IE11) set against several present time-sensitive, work-related projects that I need to complete using my personal laptop. 

 

Thank you.


Edited by symbionsymbiosis, 18 February 2018 - 10:51 AM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:46 AM

This will not have any effect on your personal files or third party programs you have installed.  This is non-destructive.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 02:35 PM

Good, it's non-destructive. This is helpful.

 

I may be wrong, but I surmise that I will (nevertheless) need to reinstall Windows security updates (of which .Net Framework 4.5 is one, and of which my Kaspersky Internet Security is reliant). My point being that there may still remain a lot of post-restoration work after the non-destructive Startup Repair. Therefore, if I am am correct about my surmise, please indulge me in asking the following additional questions:

 

  1. My gut instinct tells me that my initial actions somehow affected my machine's Group Policy Management settings.
  2. I cannot edit these since MS Group Policy Editor is not a part of Windows 7 Home Premium.
  3. Do you think that the Startup Repair has likelihood of resetting/restoring Group Policy for my machine to its original state of something akin to, "Allow logged on users to connect to the internet without requiring expressed highest administrative privileges"... and, "Allow Kaspersky Antivirus program to load its components at startup without requiring expressed highest administrative privileges"? 

 

Thank you for your time and indulgence.


Edited by symbionsymbiosis, 18 February 2018 - 04:26 PM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

The "repair Installation" is a misnomer, this actually has very little to do with a installation.  The only resemblance it that you use the installation media to boot from and select Repair to access the System Recovery Options where you will select to run the Startup Repair.  Nothing gets uninstalled, no updates disappear, no programs get uninstalled. 

 

To recap... this is a non-destructive process.  You will not lose any data, updates, programs, relatives or other family members as a result of running this repair.  I would like to remind you that the answers are out there, and Google is your friend. :thumbup2:


Edited by dc3, 18 February 2018 - 02:50 PM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#9 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 04:26 PM

Just posting this for some brief followup. I will perform the Startup Repair (Note: I edited the process name in my last post, as I did not intend to refer to it as a "Repair Installation") at some point over the next 48 hours.

 

Wholly agreed that "Google is my (BEST) friend". Amazingly, I invested a ridiculous amount of hours (without exaggeration) researching these issues and seeking resolutions over the course of 1 1/2 weeks, all to absolutely no avail before acting (with prejudice) to disable my system's UAC to test a growing hypothesis. I do research professionally, and know that the art of finding the answer(s) is in asking the right question(s). Can't begin to calculate how many different/creative ways I posed questions (i.e., search inquiries) for these issues--all to no resolution. Normally, I've resolved any technical "stuff" within 24 hours. 

 

On the other hand--what a productive journey in terms of heightened learning about a whole lot of other geeky stuff that I can/will use in the future. 



#10 symbionsymbiosis

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:04 PM

Thank you, users, for any feedback or suggestions made relative to a solution for the issues outlined in my original post.

 

Ultimately, I have been able to arrive at a satisfactory resolution through continuing along the lines of some of my more recent "Aha!" moments.

 

As of now, UAC has been re-enabled. I can connect to the internet without MS interference, and without needing to escalate to highest privileges. No more ever-present web/wingdings online using my preferred browser. Kaspersky's console loads without a hitch. 

 

Out.


Edited by symbionsymbiosis, 21 February 2018 - 07:05 PM.





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