Annoying big problem with Win2k SP4 or just the registry...

As told I run Win2k SP4, and I experience major problems during installation of new software. While some might install others won't (others like: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat) Why? Well, here are my diagnostics: It seems that there is a program hanging beyond processes (aka. does not appear on the processes screen when pressed Ctrl-Shift-Esc) This program calls itself "Sample," which appears when I exit windows as "This program is not responding." And straight after that (0.5 seconds before windows shuts down) I see the "setup.exe"...

I tried searching the disc for anything called "sample," but nothing of importance came up. So would anyone please help me with this problem?!?

I've tried to reboot it, the problem appears once again... And it doesn't go away untill I acctually click the shut down button, and "End now"... But then it's too late and the computer shuts down... and I reboot and etc. etc.

Here's what shows in the Advanced StartUp Manager window:
http://home.no.net/gronnin/1234.gif

Everything on this computer is up-to-date, I have Norton Antivirus and SpyBot, which both is run weekly (required by the place I go to school)...

(NO I wont fdisk, format and re-install, it would be the 5th time on this computer since august. Therefore I'm sick of re-installing all software)
Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAsked:
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meciabConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Still not responding about the file named "Program"...
BTW, what are the error message (if any) appearing when an installation fail?
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frifCommented:
download Ad-aware from http://download.com.com/3000-2144-10045910.html?part=69274&subj=dlpage&tag=button (freeware download)

Let it scan your system - it sounds like you have some kind of ad-ware of spy-ware installed that is buggering something up. Unfortunately, because these things are not technically viruses or security threats it won't have been picked up by Norton or SpyBot in this case...
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Downloaded, updated and scanned...

Did detect alot of things, but nothing of importance... Some cookies, and kontiki... but that's there only because I have something not completly downloaded in there...

Anyways I removed all the unwanted stuff, and tried running another setup.exe, but no difference. That's another thing, I could install Ad-aware... So I guess it doesn't apply to the setup files which are packed into one file.
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adonis1976Commented:
do a windows file check

Start > run sfc/ scannow

see if that fixes your problem
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Did the file check, but still no difference... *sigh*
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adonis1976Commented:
try running reg cleaner

http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBF/TIP2600/rh2639.htm

here is the direct link for the download

http://www.jsiinc.com/dl/regclean.exe
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Didn't work...
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meciabCommented:
Open the registry and go to the following key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
And check ifevery avlues there are needed. Those are application loaded at startup.
You will typicaly find the softwares from your notification area on the task bar here.
You can go and check the same key but under HKCU.

Check also the services running, to see if everything is needed.

"Sample" is one of the names used by the Sobig worm, check if you got an instance of "WINMGM32" running in your task list. End-task it and run some tool like Stinger http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/ (freeware) that will remove it.
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
There's no "WINMGM32," but there's a "WINMGMT" running; could that be it?
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Downloaded the Stinger and ran a scan, it did not detect anything...
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meciabCommented:
"WINMGMT" is a regular windows service, let it go...
Ok so we can assume you don't have a virus, it may then be a problem with an uninstallation that was not correct, have you checked the registry under "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" ?
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Yes, I checked that; nothing there that shouldn't be there...
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
By the way I've got the same question running at this forum:
http://www.littleblackdog.com/viewtopic.php?p=211629
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meciabCommented:
Let's try something else
I had some problem when installing software because there was an empty file called "Program" on my c:\ and some setup used to get lost in ther path to c:\program files\.
This file is left when uninstalling NAI anti-virus for example.
Maybe this "sample" running is another problem, and that the presence of that file is the cause of your installation troubles... Is it present on your hard drive? if so, delete it and try again.
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Not to be rude because I really appreciate your help, but if you had read the question at the top, you can see I already did that.

"...I tried searching the disc for anything called "sample," but nothing of importance came up...."

The disc = The hard drive



The feeling of desperation is coming, I can feel it...
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meciabCommented:
Well, are you sure you read my comment completely? :)
is there a file called "Program" (without extension and empty) under c:\?
It was the file causing me troubles....
I do not speak about a file called "sample", i just meant this can be completely another problem and not related to the one we are discussing.
Excuse my english, I'm french speaking normaly.
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Did the search again and the only thing I find suspiscous is a sample in the folder: "C:\WINDOWS\system32\oobe\"
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
oh... wait... I had Windows XP installed, which I figured out that I didn't really need, so everything in the WINDOWS folder is void.

There's nothing called "Program" on root...

If you didn't speak of a file called "sample" then what? Please tell me...
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Installation does not say that it fails, it just hangs... And I have to push the "End Process" button to end it...
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Gaute RønningenOwner, DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Problem is not solved therefore no answer will be accepted. But if it's a must I'll accept one. Hmmm.... There.... Happy now?!? I sure as h**l ain't...

I award this to meciab for posting the most...
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