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Cannot open add remove folder windows xp

Posted on 2004-03-21
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Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I must have downloaded some annoying little program that is closing out my add and remove program folder whenever I try to open it. Please help.
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Question by:dschafer77
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10644579
First ck for virii, and spyware while you are at it..

Spyware/Adware removal tools
------------------------------

What is spyware : http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html

SpyBot-S&D : http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspybot.shtml 

Ad-aware : http://www.webattack.com/download/dladaware.shtml 

Virus Check On Line

Online virus scan:  http://www3.ca.com/virusinfo/

Security Check:  http://www.symantec.com/product/index_homecomp.html
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Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 10645023
dschafer77:

did you install any shell enhancement utilities [StyleXP or something similar]?

If so, revert to Windows XP Classic theme, access Add/Remove Programs. Once the job is done, revert back to the theme you wanted.
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Author Comment

by:dschafer77
ID: 10646258
I checked for virus and spyware, I used three different tools including SpyBot and Spy Sweeper. I cleaned out anything suspicious.  I have not installed any shell utilities (I would not know how to change it without instructions).  My computer seems slow and I cannot change my default webpage. It opens first @ http://allsearcher.info which encourages me to buy software that will protect me from Spyware).  It will still close my add remove program folder the second I try to open it.
Please advice
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10646315
Okay, it sounds to me like your host file has been compromised...  you need to open it in Notepad and see if there are any added lines that point your browser to that site..  It is located here:

Windows/System32/Drivers/etc > hosts (no extension)

Open it in notepad and look for any line other than:

127.0.0.1    localhost

If any other lines exist that are not REM's (remarks) with a #, delete them...  Then save it (again, without an extension...   make sure that you are not saving it with the txt extension..)
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Author Comment

by:dschafer77
ID: 10646491
I cannot open the host file.  Whenever I try to open it the window (Which would allow me to choose the program to open the file) pops up for a second and is automatically closing down.
At this point, I am increasing the points to 250.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10646795
Try opening Notepad first (Accessories folder) and then File > Open and navigate to the host file above...  let me know if that works..
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Author Comment

by:dschafer77
ID: 10654131
I tried that as well. There is no file content passed the systems folder (Files types All files, Encoding: ANSI, Unicode...) when I try to navigate from Notepad.
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Author Comment

by:dschafer77
ID: 10654341
By the way, I cannot open ANY folder in the control panel, they all close immediately after opening.
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Fatal_Exception earned 1000 total points
ID: 10654415
Have you tried this by starting the computer in Safe Mode (F8 at bootup)..??

If this does not work, go to Start > Run > msconfig (ok)..  then go to the Startup Tab and stop all programs from running at bootup..  Also, go to the Services tab, ck the box 'Hide Windows Services' and stop any unnecessary services from running too..  Reboot and try the suggestions above, including running your spyware programs..

FE
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10655211
Guess that worked, eh..??   Hope all went well..

And thanks..

FE
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