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Duplicate Programs/shortcuts/files

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#1 Tereza


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Posted 24 January 2007 - 02:05 PM

I'm trying to get my parents computer back up and running. It's been slow for awhile but now it's almost at a standstill. After some investigation (and not much was needed) I see there are 50+ Internet Explorers, 15+ Add/Remove Programs, Etc. We took it to a computer place and they advised they removed 4,000+ duplicates but the remaining 17,000+ would be largely a "manual removal" so we should just wipe it and reload.

Well, isn't there another way? Plus, what will keep this from just happening all over again. I've got their information backed up (largely) but won't I probably just reinfect it (if an infection is what caused this?)

They claim it happened after Internet Explorer 7 was loaded through an automatic update. If this is accurate or not I don't know - they do their best with computers but their understanding is pretty darned limited! I ran Ad-Aware, Spybot, McAfee Stinger, Windows Defender, Defender Pro and the computer place didn't find any viruses/spyware either???

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanx for your time!

//Mod edit: Moved from Windows XP Home and Professional forum to the more appropriate.

Edited by KoanYorel, 24 January 2007 - 02:11 PM.

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#2 fozzie


    aut viam inveniam aut faciam

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:46 AM

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First do this and post any results

In normal mode, run an online antivirus check from at least two and preferably three of the following sites
Computer Associates Online Virus Scan
Panda's ActiveScan
Trend Micro Housecall
Windows Live Safety Center Free Online Scan
This scanner from Trend does not require an Active X to run.

1. Detects and removes malware ( viruses, worms, trojans, etc. )
2. Detects and removes grayware and spyware
3. Restores damage caused by malware to your system.
4. Notifies about vulnerabilities in installed programs and connected network services.
5. Multi-platform support for: Windows, Linux, Solaris.
6. Easy-to-use with the Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

certainly test nr. 6 would give you some information

removed 4,000+ duplicates but the remaining 17,000+ would be largely a "manual removal" so we should just wipe it and reload.

what kind of duplicates

Do you still have the Disk from XP?

#3 Tereza

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

Thank you for your suggeestions. I ran BitDefender, Computer Associates Online Virus Scan, and the scanner from Trend. Only the Trend came up with anything but it was more in the "cookies are enabled" realm. Nothing that appeared to be alarming.

I'm becoming more and more convinced this is a "malfunction" of some type. What about a program that deletes duplicates? I see some posting that don't advise it - but it still seems better then wiping everything out. My parents only really do email, their checkbook, keep some digital photo's, a few Word.doc's and look at the internet.

When I opened the computer last it opened 176 instances of Notepad (on it's own.) Also, when going to the Control Panel there are 6 Automatic Updates icons, 7 Add/Remove Programs icons, 5 Display Icons, and during one of the scans it must have looked through 100+ copies (at least) of Avery Design Pro. All have [2], [3], [3][3] and such written after them. Copies, copies, copies!

Yes, I have the original disks that came with the unit. (4 Dell Disks.)

#4 jgweed


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Posted 25 January 2007 - 07:40 PM

If you can save the photos, documents, and other needed data to disk, I would suggest that you need to reformat the disk drive and then re-install Windows. This would be, from what you write, a simpler task than trying to delete all the duplicates (and with dubious final results), and at least they could start out with a clean computer, without any malware, that you could at least monitor to determine if something they did---or are doing---is causing the problem.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#5 Tereza

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:30 PM

Will do - and it makes sense. By and by - your site & service are great! Certainly worth the donation I will be making for the help I got getting AntiVermins off my own system. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

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