Question

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Junk/trash characters stop access to desktop

By AlRosenbloom ·
Hi.
Yesterday a technician from Symantec was helping to remove a virus from my
machine. He went into my registry to change some values. (I wanted to the
titles for all desktop files transparent).

Immediately afterward, a strange dialog box began to appear everytime I would boot my machine. The dialog box appeared right after the Windows XP splash screen. It is basically an all white box but with what looks like
"junk/trash" characters in it. Generally there are only three characters. The first character was a like a small rectangle standing on end followed by this: ?r. The title of the dialog box was this small rectangle and ?. I have to click OK on the dialog box and I am immediately taken to the desk top. The characters might change on each boot. Today the title was a string of trash characters including a Chinese character. Generally there are two or three and always some random, weird combination.

Any ideas as to what is causing this and how to fix it?

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All Answers

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You're still infected........

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Junk/trash characters sto ...

Call them back and have them finish the job. They're not done.

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Why do you say that?

by AlRosenbloom In reply to You're still infected.... ...

I *have* talked with Symantec many times about this. They have run their virus diagnostic tool, including a complete scan of my system. They said my system is clean, no viruses. And I saw the results that said that was true.

Without something more specific, I am afraid I will be in a loop of them telling my system is fine and other telling me it is not.

Suggestions?

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Are you running.....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Why do you say that?

.... any anti-spyware/anti-virus software of your own? Have you used it to check your system? Have you used CCleaner or any other tool to clean out the registry?

Just exactly what have you done, besides calling Symantec? If you think they're going to tell you there's something left on your system which can not be detected by their software, think again. If you've got a pop-up window appearing, there's something left that hasn't been repaired.

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This might help you with your virus issue..

http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/a/bootsectorvirus.htm

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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Interesting but not a solution

by AlRosenbloom In reply to This might help you with ...

Thanks for providing a lot of information.

I am still looking for a solution to correct the current problem I have with booting up and the trash characters I still am receiving. Any suggestions?

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Do you normally get a readable dialog box at boot?

by seanferd In reply to Interesting but not a sol ...

Regardless, either you're still infected, damage from the infection hasn't been repaired, or the technician broke something in the registry.

The dialog box is trying to tell you something, but you don't have the proper character set to display it, probably because it is in another language.

I would recommend a different antivirus (try an online scan), anti-trojan, anti-rootkit, or registry cleaner.

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You might be right

by AlRosenbloom In reply to Do you normally get a rea ...

I agree that the dialog box is trying to tell me something, and I might not have the character set installed. This still leaves the problem trying to find the right character set but then interpreting something in a foreign language.

I definitely think something is broken in the registry but can't figure out how to repair it.

Any suggestions for an online can that will also remove the traces of a virus if found?

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This might be worth a try....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to You might be right

On occation, I've seen the default language settings get corrupted on certain dialog boxes, especially after you've been messing around in the registry or after a virus has damaged things. Not all will display the corruption though, so it's a tough one to track down.

To fix it, try setting your default language to another language, reboot, then setting it back to English, if that's what you're using. This can be very tricky though, if you can't read another language. What I did was to write down where the default language was located in the list of languages... say 3rd from the bottom of the list, or where ever it is... set to another language like Spanish which I could read a few words... reboot using your memory to know what it's going to ask for upon reboot, then reset back to English and reboot again.

Be very carefull, because if you can't navigate around in the new language, you could get lost.

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I need a little clarification

by AlRosenbloom In reply to This might be worth a try ...

This sounds like a very good suggestion. I presume you mean going into control panel -> regional and language option. Right? If so, than should I change the language in both the regional and advanced tab? Thanks.

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I suspect the answer is, "Yes".

by seanferd In reply to I need a little clarifica ...

The settings affect programs based on whether or not the character encoding is Unicode or not. I would suggest doing both so that you don't have to go through the procedure more than once. I also suggest that, when you change the setting, you pick a different type of English for your temporary change, as you will still be able to read text on your system with little difficulty. U.K. English or Zimbabwe English should work well.

Then, you'll have to tell us what that dialog box says! I'm curious.

Cheers.

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