troubleshooting Question

Windows Vista malware has "hidden" program list + quicklaunch menu

Avatar of lgg733
lgg733 asked on
SecurityAnti-Virus AppsWindows Vista
3 Comments2 Solutions715 ViewsLast Modified:
Hi all,

I was recently hit with a bad case of malware which caused most of my files and programs to be hidden. Not exactly sure where the virus came from, possibly a bad torrent...

I believe I was able to get rid of the virus thanks to MalwareBytes, however, most of my files and programs seem to be hidden. I was able to use "unhide.exe" from Bleeping Computer ( to get my desktop files back to normal, however, my program folders under the start menu are all marked as "(empty)" and my QuickLaunch menu has also been cleaned out. I can still locate and use the majority of the programs upon a search, so they exist, just not in the appropriate spot. I've tried to copy and paste the program list into the appropriate start menu folder, but the user control permissions seems to be making this impossible.. I assume it's possible the malware had some sort of affect on user control although I could be wrong.

Unfortunately a system restore freezes on the initializing stage (both in regular mode and safe mode) so I assume the virus corrupted something with the system restore.

I was previously using AVG (free edition) when the malware hit and have since switched to Microsoft Security Essentials. I've scanned with MSE (full scan) and MalwareBytes (full scan) and it's no longer picking up anything malicious although I've noticed the annoying "Google redirect" bug taking place within Firefox, which leads me to believe that the virus came from somewhere within Firefox (like I said, possibly a torrent I downloaded, etc) and could possibly still exist on my system? Aside from the misplaced program list, missing quick launch items, missing system restore, and Google redirect virus (lol), I often get a random “Windows Explorer has stopped working.” notification in which Windows Explorer then restarts itself.. I would estimate this error takes place about once or twice an hour.

I’ve also run “rkill” and “Microsoft Fixit”, neither of which helped.

I've read a TON of threads about people having similar issues but nothing seems to be working for my particular case.

I am running Windows Vista, 32 Bit Home Edition.  

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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