EXE files are being blocked

Cunningbeef
Cunningbeef used Ask the Experts™
on
I know this has been discussed on and off for many years. However,none of the old solutions are helping me solve the problem. I have been battling trojans, viruses and rootkits that AVG has not stopped, on a WIndows 7 desktop. I have used Malwarebytes and Stopzilla to get rid of a TDSS rootkit and numerous viruses and trojans.

However, at the end of it all, I now cannot run an .EXE files - I can laucnh the app by launching an associated document, like .DOC or .HTM, but not the executable itself.

I assume something is blocking these files! Either a virus or an over-zealous fix by Stopzilla or MB. I am hoping someone can shed some light. I am running another full system scan right now using Stopzilla and nothing is coming up (so far).

Thanks

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Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Try Exehelper
http://raktor.net/exeHelper/exeHelper.com

Win 7 32bit?

Author

Commented:
Yes, 32 bit.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Ok, try that.
After, scan with Hitmanpro
http://www.surfright.nl/en/downloads/
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Commented:
I think its the result of the virus,, if you have a high impact virus (Sality) or something like this, it infect the EXE file, so when the antivirus clean the virus from these files, these files are not able to run any more!

Author

Commented:
NOTE: The file link supplied by Optoma to EXEHELPER.COM gets blocked by McAfee as being a Trojan (Generic.dx!sbo) - warning to anyone who attempts to download this file!!
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Sorry, forgot to mention that a lot of AV vendors falsely flag ExeHelper.
Disable AV and allow the file to be downloaded and ran :)

Author

Commented:
Looking at the blogs, this may be a false positive from McAfee, can anyone confirm this file is OK to download and run?
Top Expert 2009

Commented:

Author

Commented:
If the EXE files were corrupt, as Mwani suggests, then they would not open when the associated document is opened. I don't believe the files are corrupt, I still think it is a permissions issue. Or a corrupted user account (but I've tried making a new one to no avail).

Optoma, EXEHELPER ran but no change. Hitmanpro is finding mostly Adware cookies but one "high risk cloaked Malware" - JXFP_RY5V.EXE - which I have deleted.

However I still cannot run .EXE files.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Can you post Exehelpers logfile.
Did you restart machine and test?
Do you get any error message or anything when trying to open an exe directly?
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Have you tried the options in this article, when .exes are blocked, i.e. renaming the tools before downloading, ie., renaming ComboFix to CF.bat before actually downloading the file.

If you can't run .exes
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Internet_Email/Anti-Virus/A_1995-CAN'T-RUN-EXES-IN-AN-INFECTED-SYSTEM.html

What ever you have, when you start having these kind of instability just same the data and format and reload the os. Fixing could only be a temporary patch, but not a final solution as you'll continue to find new problems. I've been through some viruses with my clients that stop EXEs, major of them software that get installed accidently with fake messages over the net, and a lot of them are not recognised as viruses because you agreed the install (common with fake antivirus). Some create a hinned partition or hidden spanned folder, and to view them you'll have to not only enable hidden file, but even the Protected Operation system ones.

Author

Commented:
for Optoma - EXEHELPER log file:

exeHelper by Raktor
Build 20100414
Run at 11:02:44 on 07/05/10
Now searching...
Checking for numerical processes...
Checking for sysguard processes...
Checking for bad processes...
Checking for bad files...
Checking for bad registry entries...
Resetting filetype association for .exe
Resetting filetype association for .com
Resetting userinit and shell values...
Resetting policies...
--Finished--

When I try to run an EXE the Windows Security message box that opens simply says:

"Your Internet Security Settings prevented one or more files from being opened."

It's not anything that has changed in my Internet security settings, they are as they have always been and even if I open them wide and cancel all firewalls and AV, the EXEs still won't run.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Before Avg, was there another AV/FW security installed?
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Sorry, reading posts,... you currently have McAfee installed and Avg??

Author

Commented:
No, sorry, ditched McAfee when problems began and installed AVG on advice from our central IT staff. Now AVG switched off, just running Stopzilla (seemed to find a lot more stuff than McAfee or AVG)...
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
In case McAfee didn't remove fully (unknowningly) run its removal tool>
http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS100507

Rename it from .exe to .com or .bat to run.
Try in safe mode if unsuccessful.

NB>create a restore point first :)

Author

Commented:
Ran MCPR. Hasn't yet made any difference.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Try Avg's removal tool
http://www.avg.com/gb-en/download-tools

What happens in safe mode?Same exe issue?
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Hi again.
If that dosn't work try resetting Internet Explorer settings, reboot and test
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923737

Author

Commented:
Thanks all for your valiant efforts but it just didn;t work, so I've had to reinstall WIndows 7 and am now having to reload all my apps. A real pain. Thanks again.

Author

Commented:
This is a tough one and nobody has ever fully worked it out, from all the threads I have been through. Thanks for your efforts.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
No prob. There will be answer some day :)

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