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beyond hope?

Discussion in 'Virus & Other Malware Removal' started by mezzerooni, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. mezzerooni

    mezzerooni Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    hi-

    posting this for a friend whose computer no longer allows him to open any programs, including IE. without trying to paraphrase his dilemma, here are some things that are for sure happening.
    he can get to his desktop, but no icon he clicks on will open any program.
    he has a disk w. adaware, but he can't even open that on his d drive.
    he believes his trouble started when he downloaded a ram-boosting program, something with "2000" in the name. (could it have somehow contained or enabled a virus?) anyway, he thinks if he can remove that program and/or run adaware he'll be out of the woods. (i'm not so sure, but i said i'd ask).
    he says he has tried safe mode. says add/remove or program uninstalls don't work. (not sure if he tried those things in safe mode, but i'd guess so).

    i THINK he says when he tries to open the desktop programs they all ask to be opened as zip files, but won't unzip. and when he tries through "programs" the window asking him what program he wants to use to open appears.....

    isn't there another way to get into the registry to do a radical cleaning? short of uninstalling/reinstalling windows?

    is there any way any of you geniuses can shed any light on this without a hijackthis log?

    sorry i can't be more concrete. and thanks in advance if you are able to help in any way, even just to confirm he is screwed.

    mezz
     
  2. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, Can you post his version of Windows (98, ME, XP, etc)

    There is a fix for opening .exe files- sometimes file associations can be mixed up, resulting in no programs starting- they usually start with an .exe file....
    The SirCam virus can cause the problem, but also a mixup in the Registry can. Your buddy should do an online virus scan like this one:
    www.housecall.antivirus.com

    or, there are several others, like Symantec's

    http://securityresponse.symantec.com/

    He then would use the "Online Security Check" link there.
    There are some fixes to reassociate .exe files, but need to know his version of Windows! Hope this helps...

    If he has winXP, this page has a download to fix it:
    http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/exefile.htm

    Here is a program NOT for winXP, that can correct wrong associations, and a lot more....
    http://www.pricelessware.org/PL2003FILEUTILITIES.htm

    Called "Freedom of Association" down the page a bit.
     
  3. mezzerooni

    mezzerooni Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    thanks so much for looking at this mess. his OS is ME. sorry i omitted that in my first post.

    the problem with him doing any online scans is still, of course, that he can't open explorer-- can't get online, can't access housecall, symantec, etc.

    hope you can still come up with a suggestion. i was afraid this was one of those hopelessly stupid questions with only one easy answer: "your friend is toast".
    he is unable at present to afford getting it in to a tech shop, so your help is kinda priceless, even if it is a long shot.

    thanks again.

    mezz
     
  4. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, First have him try this fix for .exe file associations:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~rmbox/Reticulated/Only_IE.html

    He needs EXEfix08.com, double click to install it, should repair file associations so he can open programs.
    There is also a zipped file to use but he probably cannot open it....
    Farther down same page, there are two other fixes in different forms to try.

    Then there is this one:
    http://www.mvps.org/PracticallyNerded/SoftFixes.htm

    Under "File Name" get Fixexe.com
    NOTE:
    Your pal might be able to use Windows Explorer to type URL in address bar, which should open IE to a web page to scan for trojans, which may be the cause of his problem. I think that info is in some of the links I posted...
    He may be able to hold the SHIFT key down while clicking on the .exe fix or any .exe file to start it up, too.
    Using Safe Mode may help to do any of these operations.
     
  5. mezzerooni

    mezzerooni Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    thanks so much, byteman--

    i still have trouble seeing how he can download any of the fixes while unable to open IE. are you saying in the following what i think you are saying?

    NOTE:
    Your pal might be able to use Windows Explorer to type URL in address bar, which should open IE to a web page to scan for trojans, which may be the cause of his problem. I think that info is in some of the links I posted...

    does this mean he can somehow get to those webpages and download scans/fixes by typing the appropriate URL somewhere in windows explorer, which may then allow him to open IE? can you walk me through exactly how and where he would enter the URL? the little i have used win. explorer has just been checking out folders, etc. i haven't noticed anywhere to enter URLs (not that i would have been looking).

    guess i should check this out, too. are you saying that IF the windows explorer route gets him to the fix website(s) and his computer, say, lets him download them but won't let him open them, that he MAY be able to open them (the .exe files) anyway by holding down the shift key?

    thanks for your patience.....

    mezz
     
  6. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    17,742
    Hi, Yes, the Windows Explorer is a file browser and will /should open a webpage for your friend! (that is if he could get online!) I should have taken a sec to post a link so you could read or print the info...I will post some at the end of this, OK?
    Also- you could download the fixes to a floppy disk for him, or he could on any Windows machine running win 98 or similar to apply them to his broken pc. All those fixes are very small and run from a DOS prompt or can be placed on bootdisk floppies and installed. He does need an ME startdisk, which can be easily downloaded again, if not by him on that pc, then on any or yours....from here:
    www.bootdisk.com
    Use the download link for windows ME of course. Place the download on the desktop and double click it, and have a floppy handy.

    The file you download is NOT the bootdisk, it is a bootdisk creator, which will tell you to put in a blank floppy disk and then make the bootdisk for you! Next, download the fixes, all if they fit, noting on paper the filenames and any instructions as to how to use them, and give him the disk or go there to help him- simple as that! May help to make a couple of them- and, write protect the disks by pulling the little tab down to the LOCK position so they cannot be infected if virus is indeed present.
    The windows explorer stuff::
    You can type any folder or filename into your Web Browser and it will do the same thing- try it! A browser is a browser, you see- what it depends on is what you type INTO the address bar at the top of Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer- if you type C:\ in there and hit Go, you will see the contents of your hard drive, even if you are online and using IE 6.0....
    Similarly, you can open a webpage from Windows Explorer, but you do have to be connected to the Net- able to dial up, or have cable, DSL etc running....which you posted he cannot do, so the only way to fix it is manually by giving him a disk with the fixes. Of course, saved web pages will open in Offline Mode....but that is probably of no use to the friend. He should do some antitrojan online scans, antivirus scans also, as soon as he is able, since it may just be that some malware has caused his problem, there are several baddies that can do exactly what his problem with .exe files shows.
    Hope this helps.

    http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/win2000/t1081266166

    http://www.codinginparadise.org/pap...indowsExplorertoManageyourTwoWayWebSites.html
    If he does have a cable or DSL connection- it may just open a webpage by using Windows Explorer!! It MAY even start his dialup connection....have him try. If it opens, it will be the two pane view with the webpage over on the right, list of files and folders on his hard drive on the left, which is why no one actually uses this browsing method much- but it is handy to have when working with uploading /downloading lots of files as you can work on creating, finding folders easily from this view!
     
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