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Virus/Malware. I'm at a loss.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello Overclock.net. I'm having a problem fixing one of my family members pc and was hoping someone could help me out. I'm not the most computer savvy person but I have put together a few systems.

So my aunt and uncle claim to have woken up one day last week to find their computer in the situation that it is now...They basically just handed it to me and said, "fix it we don't know what happened"....don't ya love when that happens?! They also don't want me to do a fresh install of XP on there, they want to get this version fixed. wooo whooo!

It's an OEM Dell with windows XP if anyone needed to know.

Here are the issues:
When I click the start bar, alllll their stuff is gone except a few unimportant programs. Their programs, accessories, and other main window files are missing from the start bar.

When I'm not in safe mode and try and click on ANYTHING in the control panel or even try and open some other programs it opens Adobe Photoshop. weird. If I go into safe mode and click on the same things most of the programs I want to open actually do.

If I go to their C: Drive, nothing was there at first. I was able to get the folder to show all hidden files but now some of the files are kind of blurred out if that makes sense? Like they are un highlighted or something.

I can't do a windows recovery in regular boot, safe mode, or safe mode with command prompt. Every time I have tried this, it would just freeze about 20 seconds into the recovery and autoclose.

I can't do a windows repair cause it asks for an administrator password and my awesome family members have forgotten the password...no joke I've sat on the phone with them for 30 minutes discussing what their password might be...ugh.

Malewarebytes won't load at all in any mode at all. When it gets to the end of the setup it just says "setup was unable to finish.

Those are pretty much all the problems I can think of at the moment. The internet does work on it and i"m not getting any spam popups or anything. When I talked to my uncle on the phone today he mentioned something about doing a registry clean up and after that the Adobe program started to open all the time.

If anyone has some suggestions I would appreciate it. They don't want to do a fresh install of windows and I guess I understand where they're coming from(it's their work pc, lot's of files not backed up) but this has been the most *bleep* I've seen a pc in the 3 years that I've been working on computers. Like I said, I don't know a ton but if anyone can help that would be awesome! Thanks for taking the time to read this wall of text.

I gotta work early tomorrow so I won't be able to check the thread till then. If anyone answers I'll get back to you!
post #2 of 4

Try running rkill before you install malwarebytes. It will attempt to end known malicious processes, I'm thinking that might be the problem with that

If that works, then do a full scan of all the drives. Then go back into the normal windows, download/install avast and do a boot-scan to clear anything else out.
If you get this far, just finish up with running some final cleaner programs such as ccleaner, HijackThis ect..
You're going to want to change their password for them, so burn this .iso and use NTPWEdit 0.3 or NTPWD password tools to change it to their desired password.


post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the reply. I'll get back to you after I get out of work and download the iso file. Looks like a helpful tool!
post #4 of 4
Ooh, these jobs are always fun.

Assuming you haven't gotten it fixed yet, give these a try:


At work, we like to use ComboFix:

But be warned, Combofix has been known for going rogue and deleting files, just keep a close eye, and if all goes well, you should be back to a clean PC.. sort of.
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