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"Application Not Found" error

Posted on 2010-11-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
My customer has a PC running Windows XP Pro connecting to a Windows 2003 Server. This PC is used 24x7 by three different shifts. Each user has their own domain login.

One of the users reported that they were infected with some type of malware which Malwarebytes was able to remove. However, that particular user can no longer open Word, Excel, Control Panel, Spider Solitare, etc. The messagebox displayed simply reads "Error" on the title bar and "Application Not Found" in the body of the messagebox. However, not all EXEs have a problem since FileMaker Pro opens without a problem. The issue only happens to the one user who had the malware. The other users who login and use this PC have no problem launching these programs.

I have tried to do a System Restore to several points prior to the reported malware infection. Unfortunately System Restore indicates that it is unable to successfully perform the restore to any of the restore points that I have selected.

I have googled this issue and seen others with the problem, but have not seen a resolution that works. I saw this problem in EE, but the author reformatted their PC before any responses were given, so the issue was closed.

I am assuming that it is a registry setting for this user alone since the other users are unaffected. BTW, none of the users have local administrative rights on this PC.  

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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Matt V earned 2000 total points
ID: 34197560
I would suggest you delete the user profile for that user and see if a new login with new profile resolves the issue.
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by:wlramsey
ID: 34197636
I agree that a clean user profile is in order.  If this problem is only affecting one person on this particular machine and not the others, then most likely the shortcuts are redirected.  You could check those.   But in order to make sure that you catch them  all, a new user profile would be best.
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by:office_equipment_center
ID: 34219069
Thanks for the suggestion. Haven't been able to get to my customer to try it due to the holiday. Will post a reply in a few days.
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by:office_equipment_center
ID: 34262802
I hope you can provide a little insight for me. I finally got the chance to go to my customer site to delete the user profile. I was unable to do so however.

The PC is Windows XP Professional and the users who use it are connected to a domain server. I logged in as the Admin. Here is what I tried:
* If I look in the Control Panel/Users, the domain users don't appear.
* If I go to Documents & Settings, the user folders are there, but I can't delete them. I am told that they are in use (even though I am logged in as the Admin, not as the user I am trying to delete).
* If I go to the Advanced tab on the System Properties and click on Settings... button in the User Profiles section, I can see all of the user profiles. However, when I click on the profile that I want to remove, the Delete button remains grayed out and unavailable.

Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong?
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by:office_equipment_center
ID: 34268726
I went back to the customer site again today. I logged in again as the local admin and tried to delete the messed up user profile. But still I could not delete it because the Delete button was grayed out. The Delete button was not grayed out for any other user profile, only this one that was messed up.

I logged into Safe Mode as the local admin and found that I was able to delete the user profile. The profile names were all "unknown", but based upon the size of the user profile, I knew which one was the messed up one. I successfully deleted it. The next time I looged in as that user who had the messed up profile, a new profile was created and everything worked as it should.

Thank you for the advice. While it took a little work to get there, it was ultimately the correct advice. Thanks again.
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