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Vista: unable to close windows using X button; MMC not working

Posted on 2009-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi! I have a HP laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium. There seems to be a few problems on it:

1. I cannot open the Device Manager:

Microsoft Management Console
Failed to create an empty document

2. Some of the buttons on prompt windows are blank

3. I cannot close any windows using the red X button (ALT+F4 works). When the Aero theme is enabled the X button is clickable but nothing happens. When the Vista Basic theme is enabled, all the X buttons are greyed out and don't work either.

4. The context menu does not show when I right-click on an open window or application in the task bar.

I tried doing a system restore without luck and I cannot seem to find the cause or solution.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:Julian Matz
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by:alfil_28
alfil_28 earned 800 total points
ID: 23647150

Hi

I t seems you have a virus or malware try  this
www.superantispyware.com 

Let me know if this helped
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by:Julian Matz
ID: 23647152
I have Norton Anti-virus 2009 installed. It didn't detect anything...
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by:alfil_28
alfil_28 earned 800 total points
ID: 23647191

Try your norton in safe mode, remember to update vista with the SP1 service pack, assuming you haven´t done it yet, Norton has let me down a couple of times with malwares and spywares, it wouldn´t hurt to try another one.

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Alan Henderson earned 400 total points
ID: 23647455
No anti-malware program will catch 100% of spyware. alfil 28 is correct, superantispyware is a good addition to Norton.
You can only use one AV program, but you can use as many anti spyware programs as you wish.

I presume you have no Vista DVD.  If you can borrow a Home Premium DVD you can try System File Checker:
http://mywitsend.co.nz/computer-stuff/windows/18
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by:nobus
nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 23647920
i recommend  running these for malware :
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
     MBAM  :   http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                               online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                   download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                check the log

however a repair install may fix your problems , if your system is clean :
http://vistasupport.mvps.org/windows_vista_repair_options.htm      
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by:Julian Matz
ID: 23653272
Thanks! I ran a scan with Norton in safe mode, which didn't turn up anything. I'll give it another shot with anti-malware software.
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Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 23662412
Ok, I found some malware in safe mode and have removed it, but the problems still persist. I'm also getting erros about not having admin privileges even though I'm on an administrator account when trying to remove programs through the control panel.
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by:alfil_28
alfil_28 earned 800 total points
ID: 23665008

Now you have to edit your gruoup policy cause the damage is already been done and, well since Vista HP doesn´t have gpedit.msc. There are a lot of tweaking tools that you can use. Basically speaking, if you need to do things that policy allows, you need to get the OS that has policy installed.

Vista Manager, X-Setup, TweakVI, and TweakNow PowerPack have Vista versions. Group Policy snap-ins are just an easy way of implementing registry changes that can be done manually in most cases.
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Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 23666823
Thanks! I do have a Vista DVD. Is there anything on that I can use to restore the system/ repair the group policies?
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by:nobus
nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 23667685
see my post please -  i already  told you the solution to repair.
you can also run sfc /scannow :http://vistasupport.mvps.org/system_file_checker.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 23671426
See my post above:
".... you can try System File Checker:
http://mywitsend.co.nz/computer-stuff/windows/18 ....."
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 23673538
Sorry, missed that... Ran sfc and it seems to have fixed the problems as far as I can tell.

Just one more problem remains I think - I am trying to uninstall "Winamp Toolbar for Firefox" and everytime I attempt to uninstall I get this error message:

"You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Winamp Toolbar for Firefox. Please contact your system administrator."

I have tried uninstalling using a standard account with UAC on and also using an administrator account with UAC on and UAC off.
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