Solved: 'Programs' folder appearing on desktop at startup
I don't really know how this happend but I can't figure out how to stop this. Everytime I start my computer, a 'Programs' folder appears on my desktop with nothing in the folder except a 'desktop.ini' file. I scanned my pc with spybot, superantispyware, and Nod32 v3 and they found nothing. I also disabled all startup items and services and it still happens. Although I am familiar with Hijack this for XP, I don't know too much about Vista to make changes. I am currently running Vista x64 Ultimate. Could someone take a look at my log file?
Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
Scan saved at 8:32:18 AM, on 7/30/2008
Platform: Windows Vista SP1 (WinNT 6.00.1905)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v7.00 (7.00.6001.18000)
Boot mode: Normal
I already mentioned that I was using Vista x64 Ultimate. The reason why most of my programs are located in "C:\Program Files (x86)" is because in Vista x64, any 32 bit applications that are installed on the PC are default to install to that directory. Any 64 bit applications are located in the default "C:\Program Files".
I have already attempted to edit the startup items through the "msconfig" command, disabling all startup items and services.
You should never use msconfig to control services. That can have unpredictable results and lead to problems. Use the services console and check the command lines for the startup services. One of them may need quotes, especially if a new servoce has been recently installed.
You should never use msconfig to control services. That can have unpredictable results and lead to problems.
I use the default msconfig command all the time. I have never experienced any glithces or major problems due to the use of msconfig in the past/present. If a startup item is encountering an issue, I simply re-enable the program at startup. What are these "unpredicatble results" that you speak of? Any examples? Everytime I have used it, I get exactly the results I expect.
As for the specific folder name, I am not at my PC at the moment so I have to check back in several hours to clarify.
Msconfig is for diagnostics. Using it for startup control means that you need to run in Selective Startup all the time and get no warnings when malware changes those settings.
Hmm, I never realised that. Looking at the startup selection, I have selected the 'Selective Startup'. So by using selective startup, I cannot get any warnings through my Anti-Virus that my system startup is being infected from malware? That seems like the most influential reason to stop using 'msconfig' as my primary startup utility.
Thanks for pointing out autoruns to me. I was already aware of this program, but when I initially tryed it out a bit, I was a little put off by how complicated things looked. However, after looking through the program a little deeper today, I found a simple setting that makes things so much easier to search through. By going in to the "Options" and then checking "Hide Microsoft Entires" and then closing and re-launching the program, I get all the little bits of information that I really need. That last part I probably never realized, because I probably just checked to hide the entries and believed that it would change instantly, being dissapointed that nothing changed, thus assuming that the program was too complicated to use and not working properly in the first place.
Anyways, I think I will use this program to properly manage my startup items and services. I will reply back later to see what happens to that folder that appears at startup.
There is a "Refresh" button at the top of Autoruns so that you need not restart it.
I know what you mean about it seeming complicated at first, but I can now scan through one pretty quickly since I use it so often. But it is surely overkill for most things, and a simple startup manager that just shows the most common program startup locations is also useful.
But I would warn that they all work a bit differently. Some disable starups by placing a character before a registry entry. Others move the entry to a subkey. So you should always use the same program to control startups because you can't necessarily re-enable an item with a different program.
Your AV would still alert you if a virus was located, but when you reboot after using msconfig for the first time in selective mode, a message pops up to inform you. Most people check the box to no longer be informed when startup is not normal.
Well I figured out what was causing a "Programs" folder to keep appearing on my desktop when my PC starts up...
Earlier, I was sorting my programs from the start menu, adding folders and deleting entires. I found that there was two locations that Windows used to store the program shortcuts:
In the process of organizing, I found that within my programs list at the start menu, I had another folder called "Programs" which listed pratically all the exact same entries as the original programs folder. This extra "Programs" folders location was C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. I ended up trying to delete this folder completely but it would not dissapear. I thought it may be on a corrupt sector of the HDD or something to that effect so I moved the folder to my desktop. Attempting to delete the folder failed. So I restarted the PC and was then able to delete the folder. However, I didn't realize that now I changed the default location of that "Programs" folder to my desktop, so that everytime my computer started, it would search for that folder and if it wasn't there, it would create a new "Programs" folder.
I decided to try to see if I could locate a source of the folder through its properties, so I right clicked the "Programs" folder that was on my desktop, went to "Properties" and searched through the tabs. I came accross the tab "Location" and found that the path was directed to C:\Users\User Name\Desktop because I moved it there on accident. I clicked on the "Restore Default" button which redirected the directory to C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. After rebooting the PC, I no longer got the "Programs" folder created on my desktop.
THIS THREAD HAS EXPIRED.
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