Questions

Windows XP Professional shows wallpaper only, no start menu, no commands

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Windows XP Professional shows wallpaper only, no start menu, no commands

nanis
Hi,

My Windows XP Pro. system was infected by a virus. I tried to clean it but no luck. I tried to reinstall Norton but the virus prevented me. Norton adivsed to clean in safe mode. I could not start in safe mode. I forced safe mode using msconfig. Then, I ran Windows repair. After the last reboot it went into safe mode and install could not complete in safe mode.

I put the hard disk as a slave in another machine and cleaned the virus. I backed up the registry and used a copy of the registry files from the System Volume Information folder. I was finally able to complete the repair. Now I load Windows and it starts and shows the wallpaper but I do not have a start menu, no icons and cannot run any commands. Task manager runs and when I run coomands from it, they do not run. The only thing that works is shutdown and restart.

Can anyone help? I have a very important application installed and do not want to lose it.
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    wancona

    are there any error messages that pop up?

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    wancona

    Are you able to access the files when you had the HD attached as a slave to another computer. Also, is it just explorer.exe which will not start or is it anything? Like can you run calc, mspaint, or notepad?

    If you can run other things and just not explorer.exe try running this program to do a system restore
    %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\restore\srdiag.exe

    Hope something helps

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    nanis

    Wancona,

    No. No error messages.

    When I attach the HD as a slave, I can access files on it.

    When I put it as a master, nothing works. I run commands from the task manager but nothings works and no error messages appear.

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    IrishMike

    You may have already tried this but go into Task Manager and click on File> New Task and fine explorer.exe and open that. This should open it all up. Explorer.exe lives in Windows/system32 folder. if its not there then it could have been corrupted or deleted. A in-place upgrade of XP Pro may be in order. if you have the disk (OEM or retail etc) with XP Pro on it, boot from it and go to install Windows. It will tell you that Windows already exists and asks if you want to repair it. It won't get rid of any programs or personal files, though you will have to download and install all the windows updates again. Hope This Helps!

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    shady108

    more proof that norton sucks im afraid :)

    reformat ur pc and get a different antivirus such as NOD32 :)

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    hcetrepus

    I would try this as suggested above. Additionally, if its only files you are needing, you can use a live CD such as Ubuuntu or Knoppix. So long as the disk is physically intact, you will be able ot browse it and drag the appropriate files to a flash drive, and then you go about the business of reformtting.

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    willcomp

    Download this file on another PC and try to copy it to desktop of infected PC. If problem is what I've seen before iexplore.exe will run from Task Manager. Use Internet Explorer to copy and run program.

    http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=134965

    Hopefully, Combofix will get PC usable so you can then remove the other malware.

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    nanis

    Actually, I was able to clean the virus by putting the HD as a slave to another machine and scanning it.

    I can access the files on it and back them up as well. The problem now is that there is a software that a US company flew over to install it. I do not want to lose or else we will have to bring them again for the reinstall. And they are quite expensive.

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    willcomp

    What was the "virus" you removed?

    If what I suspect is correct, you have a serious spyware infection, not a virus.

    Since your software is so important, I'd suggest better malware protection and a change in web surfing habits.

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    wancona

    This may be pretty far fetched, but I'm trying to think of a way to save the application aoftware that was installed by the Americans.

    Purchase a replacement hard drive. Set the new hard drive as the master, and the older damaged hard drive as the slave (assuming that there truly aren't any viruses on the hard drive).

    Whatever software that was installed that's very expensive, point all applications to the slave hard drive and use the newly purchased hard drive as the main.

    Or just simply transfer everything that is related to the software application to the new hard drive. Set up and name the folder heirarchy the exact same way. This could possibly help.

    You can also try using dependentwalker.exe to find out exactly what that application is dependent upon to make this move.

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    nanis

    We decided we will clone the HD and use IBM rapid recovery. I used Partition Magic to clone the disk on another hard disk. Then we started IBM rapid recovery. To my surprise, the guy who installed it, created a snapshot of the system after the sofware installation (older version though).

    We will upgrade it to the new version and get it running soon.

    Thanks everyone for the tips. It was helpful

  • +
    0 Votes
    wancona

    are there any error messages that pop up?

    +
    0 Votes
    wancona

    Are you able to access the files when you had the HD attached as a slave to another computer. Also, is it just explorer.exe which will not start or is it anything? Like can you run calc, mspaint, or notepad?

    If you can run other things and just not explorer.exe try running this program to do a system restore
    %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\restore\srdiag.exe

    Hope something helps

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    0 Votes
    nanis

    Wancona,

    No. No error messages.

    When I attach the HD as a slave, I can access files on it.

    When I put it as a master, nothing works. I run commands from the task manager but nothings works and no error messages appear.

    +
    0 Votes
    IrishMike

    You may have already tried this but go into Task Manager and click on File> New Task and fine explorer.exe and open that. This should open it all up. Explorer.exe lives in Windows/system32 folder. if its not there then it could have been corrupted or deleted. A in-place upgrade of XP Pro may be in order. if you have the disk (OEM or retail etc) with XP Pro on it, boot from it and go to install Windows. It will tell you that Windows already exists and asks if you want to repair it. It won't get rid of any programs or personal files, though you will have to download and install all the windows updates again. Hope This Helps!

    +
    0 Votes
    shady108

    more proof that norton sucks im afraid :)

    reformat ur pc and get a different antivirus such as NOD32 :)

    +
    0 Votes
    hcetrepus

    I would try this as suggested above. Additionally, if its only files you are needing, you can use a live CD such as Ubuuntu or Knoppix. So long as the disk is physically intact, you will be able ot browse it and drag the appropriate files to a flash drive, and then you go about the business of reformtting.

    +
    0 Votes
    willcomp

    Download this file on another PC and try to copy it to desktop of infected PC. If problem is what I've seen before iexplore.exe will run from Task Manager. Use Internet Explorer to copy and run program.

    http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=134965

    Hopefully, Combofix will get PC usable so you can then remove the other malware.

    +
    0 Votes
    nanis

    Actually, I was able to clean the virus by putting the HD as a slave to another machine and scanning it.

    I can access the files on it and back them up as well. The problem now is that there is a software that a US company flew over to install it. I do not want to lose or else we will have to bring them again for the reinstall. And they are quite expensive.

    +
    0 Votes
    willcomp

    What was the "virus" you removed?

    If what I suspect is correct, you have a serious spyware infection, not a virus.

    Since your software is so important, I'd suggest better malware protection and a change in web surfing habits.

    +
    0 Votes
    wancona

    This may be pretty far fetched, but I'm trying to think of a way to save the application aoftware that was installed by the Americans.

    Purchase a replacement hard drive. Set the new hard drive as the master, and the older damaged hard drive as the slave (assuming that there truly aren't any viruses on the hard drive).

    Whatever software that was installed that's very expensive, point all applications to the slave hard drive and use the newly purchased hard drive as the main.

    Or just simply transfer everything that is related to the software application to the new hard drive. Set up and name the folder heirarchy the exact same way. This could possibly help.

    You can also try using dependentwalker.exe to find out exactly what that application is dependent upon to make this move.

    +
    0 Votes
    nanis

    We decided we will clone the HD and use IBM rapid recovery. I used Partition Magic to clone the disk on another hard disk. Then we started IBM rapid recovery. To my surprise, the guy who installed it, created a snapshot of the system after the sofware installation (older version though).

    We will upgrade it to the new version and get it running soon.

    Thanks everyone for the tips. It was helpful