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Win98se, major problem with programs that stopped running...

liorde
liorde asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Hello all,
I have a problem that occured just this instant. I am writing this message through my second machine.
When I booted my PC, my AntiVirus program found a worm called "Protoride.B" in the MsUpdate.exe file under c:\windows\start menu\programs\startup folder. I booted in safe mode and deleted the file, since the AV could not do anything with the infected file in normal mode.
Now that the file is gone, as soon as I boot Windows noramlly, I get an error that Windows cannot locate a file called "start.exe". I cannot run ANYTHING. I tried using the system file checker, but that too does not run.
Please guide me what to do...

Thanks a bunch.
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Commented:
Boot back into safe mode and

Sart > Run msconfig
Click on the tab marked "Startup"
unckeck all items except System Tray and Explorer.

If the problem no longer persists then one of the items in the starup is the culprit you just need to track it down.

Commented:
If you find something listed in msconfig that points directly to start.exe then just disable that.
Pete LongTechnical Architect
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Pete LongTechnical Architect
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Commented:
just knew that was gonna happen :)
EMEA Server Engineer
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Same feeling here Pete :(
Pete LongTechnical Architect
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Commented:
evening Luc drop me an EMail when you get 5 :)

Author

Commented:
Hi Lucf.
The file cannot run :-(
What does it do anyway?
Can I perform a "fixing" setup of Win98se through DOS (with a boot diskette)?

Commented:
Try this first

F-Prot Antivirus for DOS
http://www.f-prot.com/products/home_use/dos/

F-Prot Antivirus for DOS is free for personal use

Downlaod
http://www.f-prot.com/download/download_fpdos.html
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Author

Commented:
Trying these...
thank-you!

Author

Commented:
Hi CrazyOne,
I tried the f-prot anti virus program yopu suggested. it did not find anything infected.
Still I cannot run any application. Funny though that WinZip did work fine.
Anyway, I did the second option that you suggested, reinstalling windows as a fix. I chose not to backup the previous files, and performed the setup normally.
Now , all programs are functional but I cannot use Outlook express, Internet Explorer as they crash immediately when trying to reach any URL. I have checked with my AV program for viruses but found none.
My questions are these:
1. WHat is that MSUPDATE.EXE file that was in my windows->startup folder?
2. Where did this file come from ? I am always protected with my AV program (AVG ver 6) so how did that file get there?
3. Is this msupdate.exe file a legitimate file?
4. Is there anything else I can do to my WIn98se partition before having to format everything...?
I really do not want to do the 4th option...

Please advise.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
1) it's a virus
2) Could be your virus definitions where not up-to-date at the time you got that virus
3) No
4) as you can now run programs, post the hijackthis logfile.

Let's just take it one step at a time, both your OE and IE problems might be related to the virus.

LucF

Author

Commented:
Thanks LucF...!
Could you pleae tell me what this hijackthis.exe file does?

Thank-you,
Lior
Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Hijackthis does check what processes are running and what is starting them. It's an easy tool to spot all kinds of things that have been messing up the computer.

Just run it, then click "Scan" afterwards "Save log"
then copy/paste the contents of the logfile here.

Author

Commented:
Okay,
I will do this as soon as I get home.
Do you think that this problem I have with the Internet Explorer and OE is fixable...? Basically anything that requires internet connection crashes (with GPF) as soon as it attempts to perform it's internet connection.
Just thought you should know this.

Thanks again.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
I'm pretty sure that the problems with IE and OE are caused by something running on your computer.
I think after getting rid of the culprit IE and OE are fixed or maybe they'll just need to be re-installed, nothing to worry about.

Author

Commented:
Can it be that the Anti Virus I am using currently is not that good? (AVG 6)
I ususally update it every time I am connected.
Could it be that the virus entered when I was on XP and went by "mistake" to the C:\ partition, thinking it was the XP's drive?
I must know how it got in. Otherwise, how can i prevent it from coming in next time??
Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Let's take a look at the logfile before taking any conclusions about how you got the virus or whatever.
Different virusses have different ways of infecting a system.

Author

Commented:
Hi again
Some bad news. Today I tried to repair my IE and OE by installing it from a file I had on a CD(full installation, not web install). Everything seemed fine, but after the restart the PC started loading the startup files and then BSOD. I tried this several times but the problem remains. Funny thing is that I cannot log into Win98 in Safe Mode. Can't understand why though...?!?
Any ideas?

Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Try the repair installation again... that should bring you back in.
Then, please post the logfile...

LucF

Author

Commented:
Hello LUcf...!
Thank-you SO much for not loosing the faith man! I really appreciate it.
Tell me if this is a good procedure to do, and also suggest what you think is better:
1. Boot with Win98se CD, begin installation, choose "Do not save backup files (110MB)"...?
2. After finished setup, run SFC to see if there are any version conflicts with the current system files.
3. Install IE 6 + SP1 from CD. OR Install IE 5.5 from CD...? Which is better for Win98se??
4. Run AV to see if virus returned...?



Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Nope, just do 1, afterwards, post the hijackthis logfile, otherwise we might be back to zero again.

Commented:
Your are going around in circles here it is probably time to try something different.

First run the following

Also use SpyBot and AdAware in tandem. Neither is 100% accurate but the two of them together get pretty close to 100% accuracy.

spybot here
http://www.safer-networking.org/
Download
http://spybot.safer-networking.de/index.php?lang=en&page=download

AdAware
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/

then next do the IE Eradicator thing. And install and only use IE version 5.0 or 5.5
Version 6 in some instacnes been kown to be problematic on Win98. Prior version seem to work better for this OS.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server Engineer
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Commented:
Sorry to say this, but I wouldn't try this before finding the culprit...

Author

Commented:
Thank-you for sticking with me, it is very helpful...!
Unfortunately I do not have much to try these solutions, only at night when I return from work.
I will inform you what has become.
I am going for what LucF has suggested, first.
After this, all options are open, if there will be any more options...

Thank-you.

Author

Commented:
Hello again
I still have bad news. I cannot boot to safe mode. I tried reinstalling the system in repair mode. After the setup is done and wishes to "load windows for the 1st time" I het a BSOD. Something is conflicting there that is for sure...!
Is there a way, that I can disable things thru my other system? Since it is a dual boot, I have WinXP on D:\. Do you guys think I can work on the Win98se from WInXP?
Can I disable things that launch on startup for example?

Thank-you.

Commented:
What do you think you can work on from XP? In other words what do you plan to do?

Author

Commented:
I ask if I can modify my WIn98se regstry file, thru WinXP?
I am quite desperate as you can see...
I want Win98se to boot minimally so I can isolate the problem... hopefully.

Thank-you.

Commented:
The two registry files are system.dat and user.dat. They can be opened in Notepad. However the design of these files make it very difficult to do accurate editing and by editing them in this manner tends to corrupt the registry.

Commented:
What might work is run the regedit.exe file on the the Win98 disk making sure a copy of the system.dat and the user.dat are in the XP Windows folder. I haven't done this so I am just quessing that this might work.
Pete LongTechnical Architect
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
ThanQ

Author

Commented:
CrazyOne && LucF...
I am opening a new thread, since I finally was capable of loading Win98se in safe mode and ran HijackThis.exe file...
Please help me in the new thread...

Thank-you all...!!
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