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msconfig will not open

Posted on 2004-03-21
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
I can not open msconfig. I can not open system file checker. I booted up on the XP disk and did a repair. Then I started getting several messages and the computer got real quirky. I was not having any problems that I noticed. I wanted to look at msconfig and do something.

Below are some of the problems I have had after I tried to boot up with XP and run the repair. Wish I had never started. The computer is still a little quirky, though the below warnings are less frequent. I would like to be able to  open msconfig. My comments below were to Dell which did not help.

I have run the repair install. When I tried to run msconfig again, I got the following message:

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the itme."

I am still also not able to get sfc to come up.

Also, I am getting the following that pops up now:

“You chose not to restore the original versions of the files. This may offect windows stability. Are you sure you want to keep these unrecognized file versions?”

Also I am getting another pop up: “

Files that are required for windows to run properly have been replaced by unrecognized versions. To maintain system stability, Windows must restore original versions of this file.

Insert your XP Home Edition cd rom now.”
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Question by:johnsocf
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10643911
Wonder if msconfig is corrupted..  You can dnload another one from here and put it on your desktop..  Try executing it and let us know..

W2K Msconfig Utility

http://www.perfectdrivers.com/howto/msconfig.html
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 10644300
I'm fairly sure you have a virus ( a few of them cause this behavior)
go here and run one of these free online virus scanners
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

http://security.symantec.com/

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm


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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 10644736
There are a number of viruses, worms, etc. that cause Antivirus programs and useful system tools like MSCONFIG, TASKMGR, and REGEDIT to close immediately upon being opened.  See this page, provided by one of the top WinXP experts on this site:

http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/ToolsQuit.htm
Why does Task Manager, MSCONFIG, or REGEDIT disappear while opening?

To eliminate these viruses, you might need to try one or several of the online scanners over the internet that were mentioned above by stevenlewis.

You might also need to download and try these freeware tools for eliminating spyware, worms, etc.  Be sure and use the programs' option for downloading the latest data about adware, spyware, etc.:

http://download.com.com/3000-2144-10194058.html?tag=lst-0-1
Spybot - Search & Destroy

http://download.com.com/3000-2094-10045910.html?legacy=cnet
Lavasoft AdAware
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Author Comment

by:johnsocf
ID: 10645325
Fatal

I do not think I have a virus. I have legal use of Norton Anti-virus corporate edition. I have run it overnight and never showed a virus. I only ran it on the C drive though.

I downloaded the msconfig. It is an executable file, but I keep clicking on it and it never executes. I went to run and tried msconfig again and nothing happened. How do I get it to open? Please be very specific as I have little skill with a computer. I always remember executable files opening up upon clicking.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10645397
You are correct..  An exe file should 'execute' when clicked...   Besides just scanning for virii, use Lee's suggestion  and make sure you are clean of spyware also...  (Symantec Corp Ed should catch anything that comes in, but make sure that you Def files are up to date...   Depending on your version, you will find an update button on the User Interface)

After that, run the System File Checker..  Here is how:

System File Checker  

Start > Run > type "sfc /purgecache" {enter}

Start > Run > type "sfc /scannow" {enter}

Have your OS cd in your cdrom drive.

(You can also run these commands from the Command Shell – dos prompt)
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Author Comment

by:johnsocf
ID: 10645696
I ran the virus update right before I scanned the c drive. I had tried to run sfc before. All I had typed was "sfc". I saw a black screen quickly open and close. I could not tell if anything was written on it. The same thing happened when I did as you instructed. But the screen lasted slightly longer and nothing was on the screen. I also ran Adware 6.0. It said I had no virus.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10645801
Instead of using the command in the Run line, try it in the command shell..  

Start > Run > cmd (ok)..  this will open up the old Dos Prompt...  then issue the commands there...
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 10645818
There are a number of viruses that mess up the Registry data for running executable (.exe) files, so this can cause nothing to happen when you double click an .exe file in My Computer or try to execute one by putting the name in the Run dialog box off the Start Menu.  Various authors have come up with .reg (Registry) files to restore the proper contents.

For Windows XP, you can find one this way: go to the following page and click on the link for item number 12, "EXE Fix for Windows XP":

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

You would need to download the .reg file to someplace convenient where you can access it, such as your Desktop, then double click it to merge the contents into the Registry and reboot the computer.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10645911
And if you have trouble finding Lee's reg fix, let us know and we can copy into the thread for you to paste...  :)

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by:johnsocf
ID: 10646094

I went to the dos as you suggested and got this:

C:\documents and settings\charlesjohnson>

Nothing appeared to happen.

When I went to the site mentioned by Lee, I got the below plus a lot more just like it. Nothing downloaded that I know of.



HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{000214EE-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{000214F9-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{00021500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew]
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 10646121
What you should have downloaded was a file called Exefix.reg, which has the following contents:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile]
@="Application"
"EditFlags"=hex:38,07,00,00
"TileInfo"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion"
"InfoTip"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion;Create;Size"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon]
@="%1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler]
@="{86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PEAnalyser]
@="{09A63660-16F9-11d0-B1DF-004F56001CA7}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps]
@="{86F19A00-42A0-1069-A2E9-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page]
@="{513D916F-2A8E-4F51-AEAB-0CBC76FB1AF8}"

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk]
@="lnkfile"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{000214EE-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{000214F9-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{00021500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew]
"Command"="rundll32.exe appwiz.cpl,NewLinkHere %1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile]
@="Shortcut"
"EditFlags"=dword:00000001
"IsShortcut"=""
"NeverShowExt"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\CLSID]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Offline Files]
@="{750fdf0e-2a26-11d1-a3ea-080036587f03}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\DropHandler]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\IconHandler]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page]
@="{513D916F-2A8E-4F51-AEAB-0CBC76FB1AF8}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
@="Shortcut"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\InProcServer32]
@="shell32.dll"
"ThreadingModel"="Apartment"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\PersistentAddinsRegistered]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\PersistentAddinsRegistered\{89BCB740-6119-101A-BCB7-00DD010655AF}]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\PersistentHandler]
@="{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\ProgID]
@="lnkfile"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021401-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\shellex\MayChangeDefaultMenu]

Double clicking on this file in My Computer or Windows Explorer will import it into your registry to fix the .exe file information about how to handle it.
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Author Comment

by:johnsocf
ID: 10646172
I was using Mozilla. I went to Explorer and downloaded the file to the desktop. I double clicked on it and it blinked, but I could not tell if anything happened. I then right finger clicked and selected merge. I tried again to get msconfig and nothing happened.
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10646232
Sounds to me like you did it correctly..  if it had a .reg extension, then the merge took place...  have you tried System Restore yet..??  Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools....
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Author Comment

by:johnsocf
ID: 10648257
Since I have no idea how long that I have not been able to properly use msconfig, I have no idea how far back to go. At this point, I think the prudent thing is to just do a clean install and start over. The more I go, the more things I am finding are not working well. Ever since I did that install repair at the recommendation of the Dell support, I have had an endless barage of error messages of various types.

Thanks for your help.
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Accepted Solution

by:
sirbounty earned 250 total points
ID: 10648382
Hi johnsocf - if I could drop in my two cents...

I'll agree sounds like you've been affected by spyware or a virus of some sort.
A clean install 'may' fix it, but what if not?

Some virii are 'smart' enough to mask themselves from the local version of anti-virus, that's why it's suggested you run an online-scanner.  And I'd highly recommend running more than one.  All it will cost you is time.
Some of these will scan your system, and report the virus name, but may not remove it.  If one/more is/are found - post the name of it here and someone should be able to help you clean it.
At least try these three: (stevenlewis has already mentioned two of them, I believe).
  Symantec --> http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/default.asp?productid=symhome&langid=ie&venid=sym
  Trend Micro --> http://housecall.antivirus.com/housecall/start_corp.asp
  Panda ActiveScan --> http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/

In addition to that, if a virus has in fact infected your system, you may be able to boot into Safe Mode to prevent it from running during that session.
Try booting into safe mode this way:
>>>
Start Windows, or if it is running, shut Windows down, and then turn off the computer.
Restart the computer. The computer begins processing a set of instructions known as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). What is displayed depends on the BIOS manufacturer. Some computers display a progress bar that refers to the word BIOS, while others may not display any indication that this process is happening.
As soon as the BIOS has finished loading, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Continue to do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a "keyboard error" message. To resolve this, restart the computer and try again.
Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, scroll to and select the Safe mode menu item, and then press Enter.
<<<ref:http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2001052409420406?OpenDocument&src=sec_doc_nam

Also, try downloading at least three of these, and post back with the results.  For further review, post a copy of the log generated from Hijackthis.  Every expert here should be able to spot out the culprit from this log, if it's there.
  HijackThis -->http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html
  Ad-Aware --> http://www.netsecurity.about.com/library/blfreespyware.htm
  Spybot-S&D -->http://www.safer-networking.org/
  Web Shredder -->http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/cwschronicles.html#cwshredder
  All inclusive Spyware Protection and Removal --> http://www.firewallguide.com/spyware.htm
  Spyware defined --> http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html

Good luck - and hang in there!  
We won't give up on you - you can beat this thing!  :D
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Author Comment

by:johnsocf
ID: 10656955
Sirbounty added a note that I did not see until after my request to close. I am in the process of scanning for virus infection. Evidently I have a version of PE Bagle N.-O.

Please leave the question open as I will continue working toward resolution.
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Expert Comment

by:vitiris
ID: 10662664
yes, I've seen this problem with files named win.* msconfig.* command.* regedit.* and regedt32.* - I'm sure there are others.  It is because of a virus.

Usually a virus will make a file called msconfig.bat or msconfig.com (which will run instead of the exe).  Or the virus will replace the msconfig.exe file with one of its own.  Since I guess you found your virus, you need to make sure and completely clean it.  I've dealt with many viruses (virii?) before and the steps that sites like norton and mcafee say how to clean it isn't complete.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10667179
Very good SB...

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