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programs disappeared from Programs and Features in Control Panel Windows 7

Posted on 2014-04-21
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Last Modified: 2014-04-30
After deleting many PUPs most of the legitimate programs are not listed in Programs and Features in Control Panel.  Environment. Windows 7 Home Basic.   Related issue perhaps, Internet Explorer also disappeared from the All Programs list in the Start menu.

Ron Hicks
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Question by:Ronald Hicks
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 167 total points
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Try running System File Checker. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW and allow to complete. Restart and test.

More likely however, the removal process has screwed up good programs.

You can try Windows Repair Install. Following is a Seven Forums tutorial to do this.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

Do back up first in case of problems.

If Windows Repair Install does not fix the problem, you will have to back up, format and reinstall Windows 7.
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by:Ronald Hicks
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will try that.  thought I should mention first that about half of the items in control panel itself were also missing, such as mouse, and personalization but all are now seem to be back after MalwareBytes cleaned up over 450 items.  ,
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Thomas Grassi earned 167 total points
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When did this start happening?

Try doing a system restore go back to an earlier date see if that helps
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by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 166 total points
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The problem is likely caused by a  Program with DisplayIcon having a negative number.

Try to run X-Setup Pro

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/x_setup_pro.html

According to Hoppy, it says:-

The following instructions should actually *fix* your problem -- as long as
you're comfortable with editing the Windows registry. These instructions
are compiled from a few different sources, including a couple of MS MVPs:
---------------
If the program list ends at a particular letter of the alphabet, you may
have
a huge white/blank space. Scroll down in Add or Remove Programs to see if
this is the problem.

If so it is generally due to a DisplayIcon having a negative number.

To locate the offending program using X-Setup:
Shareware version of X-Setup Pro v7.x is available here:
http://www.x-setup.net/downloads/home.asp?lang=EN

Open Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, and make sure it is sorted by
Name.
Note the programs listed before and after the white/blank area.

Open X-Setup, and navigate to System > Software Installation >
Add or Remove Programs List Editor. It will display an alphabetical listing
of programs that should appear in Add or Remove Programs.

Compare the listings. If X-Setup's list shows a program between those
listed in
Add or Remove Programs, it will probably be the program causing the problem.

To remove the negative number (see example below), edit the Registry from
here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{}

Example: The white space in Add or Remove Programs shows up after the
AutoCAD LT 2000i listing. To tweak the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
{5783F2D7-0065-0409-0000-0060B0CE6BBA}
Value Name: DisplayIcon
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD LT 2000i\aclt.exe,-1

Remove the "-" (minus sign) preceding "1" to read "aclt.exe,1" (Do not use
quotes.)

Source: http://help.lockergnome.com/windows/add-remove-programs-white-space--ftopict446833.html
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by:Ronald Hicks
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To trgrassijr55:  it happened along about the end of a session deleting about 40 PUPs and worse that were causing endless popups and scary messages about systems needing cleaning.  You know, all of today's usual suspects.   I'm reluctant to do a System Restore because I don't know if that will bring all those things back in.

To:  Jackie Man:  I am comfortable with editing the registry.  I've just had a look at the Uninstall key in HKLM\etc and don't see many with a DisplayIcon Value Name.  Two that I have installed since this happend do, MalWareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware do, but only a couple of others.  There are no white spaces in ProgramsAndFeatures in Cpl.

I previously had several programs that began with A at the top of Programs and Features, such as Adobe Reader, now the first one is Conexant Audio,  and I had about a dozen at the bottom that began with Toshiba, now only three and nothing below them, where I had had Windows Live.  But I see an entry with Display Name Windows Live in Regedit in the Uninstall key list.  But it has no "display icon"

Any further thoughts before I jump into some of the fixes that you collectively have suggested?

Oh, by the way, I'm not getting email messages alerting me that an answer to a question has been posted.  It seems to have just begun with this post.  
Does anyone know what that's all about?

Ron Hicks
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
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First, if you are not getting email alerts, post a question in Community Support and a Moderator will assist you.

Second, at this point, with all you have tried, you will probably have a more reliable system if you back up and reinstall Windows
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by:Thomas Grassi
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Doing a system restore will establish if you had the problem along or not.

If the system restore works then your good to go.

If you opened an email or looked at a web site or installed a program is what you will need to watch out for after the restore.

Also you can always restore back to current restore point to get back

The system restore is just a test to see if you have a good OS
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
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Many thanks for all the help.  Really good info.  I'm going to not take any further steps at this time.  All the installed programs seem to be running fine; and all the PUPs and trojans seem to be gone.  If I ever have to uninstall  I just do a reinstall and that should restore the prog to the Program list in Control Panel.   I really appreciate the reminder that doing a restore to an earlier time isn't permanent; that it can be reversed by just restoring to a later point.
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