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alanvcole
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I'm stuck

Customer brought in a computer that, whenever you attempted to run a .exe file it would load the AOL desktop manager and not recognize the file, of course.  I've had that happen before with spyware and was able to use .com programs to clean up the unit.  This one says that it doesn't know what program to use to open a .com file.  Ran AVG rescue Boot CD and it only found one minor spyware.  Pulled hard drive to another machine as a secondary drive and ran Malwarebytes with again minor infections and still had the same problem.   Tried to do a repair installation of XP "over the top" and get to the 34 minute left mark when "Windows cannot open this file File: rundll32.exe" error comes up.  Any thoughts? or am I looking at wiping the system clean and starting over?
Windows XP

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Arman Khodabande

8/22/2022 - Mon
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jeb

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Kent Dyer

Further to @jeb's response, do a CHKDSK /r which can take quite a while..

You may want to read up on ComboFix as it does detect RootKits as well as Malware and Virii..

I would start here: THINGS YOU NEED TO DO WHEN YOUR PC IS INFECTED

HTH,

Kent
sysreq2000

Can you run regedit? If so look in your registry under hkey_classes_root\.exe

See if the value there for default is anything other than exefile.

If it is, you can try running this by copying it into notepad then saving it as fix.reg. Once saved double click fix.reg.

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe\shell\open\command]
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\secfile\shell\open\command]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\shell\open\command]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\secfile]




sysreq2000

Once you do the above you should at least be able to run malwarebytes or similar AV program to clean up.
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johnb6767

.EXE file assocation fix
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/fileassoc/xp_exe_fix.zip

However, since you have started a repair, you might need to use that as a guide.....

While in the GUI setup, hit SHIFT+F10 (or F11), and in the CMD prompt, try this....

cd c:\windows
ren regedit.exe regedit.com

regedit.com

Then if regedit launches, use the .reg file to compare the registry keys.....

Actually, if this one exists, delete it.....

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe
alanvcole

ASKER
problem is I am now stuck in a loop on the Windows reinstallation where I am not getting back into the windows system.

So, can't run programs on this machine - I could try running combofix on the second machine

I DID run CHKDSK /R and FIXBOOT with no results
sysreq2000

Can you get into the recovery console? Then you can run the reg fix as a bat file?
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johnb6767

"problem is I am now stuck in a loop on the Windows reinstallation where I am not getting back into the windows system."

I was hoping you could use Regedit WHILE in the GUI Mode setup to check/repair the file associations......
SOLUTION
Arman Khodabande

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nobus

>>  the 34 minute left mark when "Windows cannot open this file File: rundll32.exe" error comes up  <<  could be a bad cd, or a bad cd drive - clean it or try another drive
alanvcole

ASKER
Ok, some progress to report

Was able to do the Shift F10 and got into the registry.  Changed the value for the key .exe from Asklimewire to exefile.  Windows proceeded past the 34 minute and installed.  It got stuck at the end with the Windows Logo and "please wait".  Waited an hour and rebooted.  System said I had to activate windows before getting into windows.  Clicked "OK" and a blank blue screen with the mouse pointer came up and I was unable to proceed any further.  Ran Chkdsk and redid the installation.  Same problems.  I CAN boot into safe mode with command prompt and run regedit.  Is there a way to bypass my issues using the registry?
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nobus

LImewire??    one of the first i uninstall
alanvcole

ASKER
@nobus

That is all fine and good - doesn't do anything to help solve the problem
alanvcole

ASKER
Ok, no answers?  Maybe more points will help
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johnb6767

Windows (xp) cound not start because the following file is missing or corrupt   \windows\system32\config\system
https://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_25203206.html

Disregard the title... I would restore the OS back to a time before this repair was started, and THEN use the reg fix to handle the .EXE associations issue....
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