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Computer files and actions mostly locked out in normal mode Win 7

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-03-29
This is an HP tablet computer running Windows 7 Pro.
The computer did have some problems booting but that seems fine now.
In normal mode:
The C: drive appears empty.
Almost no programs work.
Right click in task bar to Task Manager gives a message:
"Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from being opened".
BUT, CTL-ALT-DEL works.
One app is running: "Windows Security"
Only safe mode seems to work: shows files and allows .exe files to run.
Malwarebytes Antimalware in safe mode showed nothing.
SuperAntispyware showed nothing.
Set up a new user/profile.  No difference that I can see.
In normal mode, see MXTask2.exe process running using 50% of CPU.  There are very few processes running in normal mode.
Can't stop any of the processes in normal mode with Task Manager.

Looking for suggestions.  It's rather tough when nothing will run!  Safe mode looks like a possibility though.
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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10 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:marek1712
marek1712 earned 100 total points
ID: 37748494
Too much hassle. I'd reformat the system drive and install it from scratch...
But you can start with Trojan Remover.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 37748635
fmarshall--
Run MalwareBytes in normal mode, not safe mode.  Is anything found?

Do you use Fix-It Utilities?  http://forums.v3.co.uk/showthread.php?t=203019

"Windows Security" could be undesireable.  It is hard to tell if this is what you refer to.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-win-7-security-2012

Rather than a reformat, you might consider a Repair Install which does not affect personal data and installed programs.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 37751221
Do you have Avanquest "fix it utilities" aka Earthlink's fix it program software installed?

The file MXTask2.exe is associated to this program and others have reported it as a resource hog.
http://tinyurl.com/7sqf5xp
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Accepted Solution

by:
Fred Marshall earned 0 total points
ID: 37755041
Well, I fixed it using ComboFix finally - starting in Safe Mode of course.  None of the "standard" removal programs found a single thing.  I've had that experience before.  Not often.

Recall that this system would not do anything much in normal mode.  Thus started in Safe Mode.

I also removed Net Defense Firewall which I think is an Avanquest program.  It would pop up as starting even in modes which were seriously disabled.  I can imagine that "it" had been corrupted by a parasite.  

Anyway, I got it all working and apparently clean.  

ve3ofa .. if I did would it be a good thing or a bad thing? ac7vr
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Assisted Solution

by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 200 total points
ID: 37755348
fmarshall--Glad to hear all is well.
As mentioned in the link
http://forums.v3.co.uk/showthread.php?t=203019
I posted in http:#a37748635 (the same link posted by ve3ofa a day later) MXTask2.exe is  part of the Fix-It Utility and is a resource hog.
Is that what you are asking ve3ofa?
If all is OK after using ComboFix, is there a reason to do anything further?
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LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37755376
don't use that app uninstall it and your mxtask2 problems will be gone.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 37761339
fmarshall--This is not meant to change your decisions.
If you feel you are free from malware now, you could run a Repair Install, which should not disturb your personal files or installed programs.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 37761385
jcimarron: Interesting thought about doing a follow-on Repair Install.  That brings a couple of things to mind:
- if there's something broken that's lurking then it might help.
- if it ain't broke don't fix it

Unfortunately I rarely have the original disks and am often reluctant to spend the time to figure out if I can do a Repair Install without the "right" ones.  And, of course, many systems these days don't offer a Repair Install as there are *no* disks (e.g. HP).  Or am I missing something here?
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 37761531
fmarshall --Based on marek1712's post and your comment I assumed you planned a reformat, which would wipe all your personal files and installed programs.
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LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 37780909
Well, just to be clear, I wasn't having obvious problems with mxtask2.  But, since I'd never seen (or noticed) it before over many, many systems, I thought I'd ask about it.  

ve3ofa: I was responding back to your:
"Do you have Avanquest "fix it utilities" aka Earthlink's fix it program software installed?"
asking: would that be good or bad if it were?  But, I guess this was a preamble....

marek1712: I guess my life is a hassle.  My normal mode is to try to preserve the system.  But, in simple cases where a computer is easily configured after an OS install then I surely agree with you.  Most systems I see don't fit that description.  I get probably over 95% success rate.
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