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Explorer.exe is gone. No repair disk. How can I get Vista back up?

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I have a laptop that explorer.exe is now missing on. Not only does it not boot up, but in dos I cannot find it under C:\Windows or System32. Likewise, when I attempt to do a restore point, the rtsui.exe file is also missing.

It would seem I caught a nasty virus. I am attempting to take an explorer.exe file from my Win7 64 bit box and place it into Vista 64 bit. It tells me access is denied because I need to be in elevated mode, but I am in an administrative account. I cannot "Run as administrator" the CMD box because I have no explorer.

The only tools I can get to is the Task Manager, CMD, and the internet through the Task Manager. When I attempt to type C: in the Internet url, it gives me an error so I can't even get to explorer that way.

Anyone have any idea how I can get elevated mode in command prompt? I have tried runas and it isn't working. Maybe someone has better ideas on how to replace these missing files?
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Question by:Bardlebee
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5 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 33717373
Recovery disks for Vista are available here: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

With the recovery disk, you have access to all the repair tools included on the Vista DVD including System Restore.
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Accepted Solution

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jcimarron earned 2000 total points
ID: 33718313
Bardlebee--Can you run installed antivirus programs?  If none installed, can you download and install?  MalwareBytes would be ideal.  
http://www.majorgeeks.com/Malwarebytes_Anti-Malware_d5756.html
Restoring missing system files can be done by running sfc /scannow from a Command Prompt.  But getting rid of any virus should be done first.
The System Restore file is rstrui.exe not rtsui.exe, but using System Restore is not a particularly good way to get rid of a virus.  Sr.inf is the file to use to reinstall System Restore.  But that should be taken care of by sfc /scannow.
Can you get into Safe Mode?
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Author Comment

by:Bardlebee
ID: 33719939
I replaced Explorer.exe with another Vista 32bit machine (The one that is broken was 64bit) and it seems to have worked, at least for explorer. You were right I was misspelling the system recovery tool. I scanned with ESET Nod 32 and couldn't find nothing. Right now its doing a chkdsk, because it is running ridiculously slow.

One step closer. I will keep you guys updated, thanks.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 33720056
Open the command prompt and type sfc /scanonce
reboot, you may be prompted for windows cd
You can give this a try also http://www.ehow.com/how_6040337_replace-explorer_exe.html
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 33720498
Bardlebee--I understand you have all your files back.  If not run sfc /scannow as suggested earlier.
Do a DiskCleanup.  Start|All Programs|Accessories|System Tools.   Right click on Disk Cleanup and Run as Administrator if possible.
Other things to try to fix a slow PC:
1) Start|Run|type MSCONFIG|OK|Startup tab.  Win7 actually needs very few thirdparty programs (the ones you see in msconfig) to run at start. Antivirus, Firewall, Antispyware, programs associated with wireless connections such as mouse, network, etc. would be among the few.  Uncheck the box to the left of any program you feel you do not need at startup.  Click Apply.  This site will help you make decisions what you do and do not need http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
2) Run Disk Defragmenter. ((left click on Computer||right click on C:\ drive icon (again assuming that is your hard drive)|Tools|Disk Defragmenter|Defrag Now click Analyze) Unless the analysis shows defragmentation is not needed, proceed to run Defragment. That also takes a while.
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