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Issue launching programs in Windows 7 Home Prem 64 bit

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a system in my shop that will not launch any program either by clicking the icon or running a .exe through the command prompt. This is different from the .exe file association issue that often happens after a PC was infected with a virus. My customer claims that her Avast A/V found a virus and removed it and since then nothing happens when you click on an icon. I have run Kaspersky, Malwarebytes & Avast and all of them say the PC is clean of viruses. I can't run Combofix because it will not launch from the PC (I removed the hard drive and scanned it on my shop system when I used Kaspersky and Malwarebytes). I have tried a Windows repair and there isnt any restore points available before this issue happened. I did try the .exe and the .lnk fix but none of those have worked either. So I present this case to you in hopes someone has some ideas for me to try.
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Question by:sevlar
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Expert Comment

by:jbooz
ID: 36894040
Have you tried to install combofix while running in safe mode with networking.  Also, can you open the programs if you right click--> Run as administrator?  I would try to see if you can open anything in safe mode first.  
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:CanusRufus
ID: 36894114
The best solution is too back up the data wipe and reinstall the OS. If there wsa a virus on the PC and has been removed and problems still persist....It sounds like the virus has done more damage than what is noticable (maybe a system resource is corrupted or a .dll. Both will hoose up a computer).
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Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 36894712
So no  actual error? Cursor just kinda laughs at you?

Sounds like the USER file association might be triggering an .exe instead from the sounds of it.

Does it affect ALL user accounts? Create a anew one if needed to test. Allot of these only affect current user...

Do .cmd/.bat.com files work ok?
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Author Comment

by:sevlar
ID: 36903121
Thanks for the replies. Combofix does not work even in safe mode. No program works in either safe mode or normal mode. I have disabled all services and it did not help. There isnt any error when you try to launch a program. You see the mouse icon spin a second and then nothing.I have enabled the hidden admin account and the issue still happens there also.

.cmd & .bat files do seem to work. It looks like its exclusive to .exe

I know I could format and recover but I would much rather fix the PC if there is any way to repair it. I am normally able to resolve most damage cause by viruses and this one has turned out to be a real challenge. I want to fix it instead of reformatting because my curiosity as to what is causing this issue is driving me crazy. lol

I welcome any more suggestions.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Anuj Bhatia
ID: 36904525
Hey Buddy,

Have you try to make a New Account .. and see if that solves the issue ..

You can also try to run Hitmanpro from http://www.surfright.nl/en/downloads and see if that solves the issue..

If that does not work.. do a right click and run as Administrator.

Lemme know how it goes

Thanks

Anuj Bhatia .
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Author Comment

by:sevlar
ID: 36904587
I tried the hidden admin but I will create  a completely new account and see how that goes. One interesting thing I just discovered is that none of the programs will launch except for Internet Explorer 64-bit. Why it will run and nothing else is still a mystery. I dont think Hitmanpro will be much help since I can't get any program execpt for IE 64 but I will give it a try anyway.

THanks for the suggestions. :)
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 36904820
It may hjave been a variant of Fakerean which sometimes after removal by antimalware programs such as Microsoft Security Essentials, the registry entries that were changed by the malware were not corrected, and thus .exe files won't run.

See the downloadable trojan_fakerean_exe_fix at the following page, and read the discussion:

http://www.malwarehelp.org/fakerean-xp-guardian-removal-2010.html
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 36904832
If .bat files run, you could also try renaming mbam.exe (Malwarebytes) and Hijackthis.exe (a program like MSCONFIG.EXE) to see if you can identify any malware still running.
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Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 36904840
That is, rename mbam.exe mbam.bat and Hijackthis.exe Hijackthis.bat
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Accepted Solution

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sevlar earned 0 total points
ID: 36905633
Thanks everyone for the tips. It turned out the sfc /scannow resolved the issue.

Thanks again though for all of your help. Your all awesome. :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:sevlar
ID: 36935286
I figured out that the system file checker or SFC /scannow command in the command prompt resolved the issue.
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