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Random Startup Items and Random Desktop Icons


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#1
s'mores

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I originally posted this in the Malware Removal area, but they said I was all clean and sent me over here. Here is my post over there: http://www.geekstogo...ns-t206800.html

I appreciate anything you can do.
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#2
The Skeptic

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Hi there, thanks for helping me. I don't normally reboot my computer, but I did the other day and when Windows came back on, lots and lots of random windows came up. A few were text documents, some were just folders, and some asked me what program I wanted to open them with. My desktop is also full of randomly-named icons. A lof of them end in .dll. I'm afraid to delete them. I don't know what all of them are.

I have Symantec Antivirus and I updated the definitions and ran a quick scan but it didn't find anything. I have Super antispyware installed and I updated it and ran a scan and it found 6 tracking cookies and I deleted them, but it didn't help the problem. That's when I came here for help because I've been battling with this thing for days.

I ran ATF Cleaner and that went through fine. I created a new restore point. I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Here's that log:


I copied your post to make it easier to follow up on it. Please right-click some of these icons and files, look in properties and see if they are related in any way (e.g: different files of the same program). To do this click shortcut and look in target if the files are located in the same place.
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#3
s'mores

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Thank you for responding. I looked at the properties of every file on my desktop, but none of them had the words "shortcut" or "target" on any of the pages. The only similarity I can see between any of them is that it says "Location: C:\WINDOWS\system32 and all of them say that.
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#4
The Skeptic

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That's what I looked for. It would be easier if you have XP CD . If you don't, try to borrow one of the same version. Place the disk in the drive and click Exit when windows load up. Click Start > Run. In the command line type sfc /scannow (please note the space in the command). and press Enter. Windows will run the find checker and will replace any missing or corrupt file.
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#5
PC-Tech

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have you checked the start up folder in start>all programs>start up
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#6
s'mores

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I do have my XP CD. I have Service Pack 3 and my CD is only Service Pack 2. Will this cause problems?

As far as checking the startup folder, all it has in there is one file called Windows Search.

Edited by s'mores, 10 August 2008 - 02:01 AM.

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#7
The Skeptic

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You can run sfc /scannow with SP-2. No problems. Did the problems started after the installation of XP-3?
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#8
s'mores

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Okay, I ran it. It took forever, though. There is no change in the problems. They are still happening the same. Yes, the problems started after installing SP3, but not immediately after. It worked fine with SP3 until this happened. I think I downloaded something from a site, but I don't remember which one because it didn't happen until I rebooted.

Edited by s'mores, 10 August 2008 - 01:21 PM.

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#9
The Skeptic

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I have never seen anything like this problem. It looks as if some commands are being performed by themselves, like "Send to desktop" and "open", only on system files. Had you not been to the malware forum I would say immediately that's it malware. I hate to say this but I think that another look by the malware helpers is worthwhile.

As for myself, I can only suggest windows repair (as per instructions in the link in my list). I have lots of reservations about this process but I don't think that there is much that you can lose. Backup your data if you didn't do so before.

Had the computer been with me I would backup and clean format.
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#10
s'mores

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Should I post a new topic in the Malware forum linking to this one, or reply to my existing one in there?
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#11
The Skeptic

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Please post in the same place where you posted before. Tell the helpers that The Skeptic from the operating systems forum have asked for another checkup, just in case.

It's very possible that they will not find anything and what you see now is the damage done to the operating system by malware or some incompatible download. If this will be the case then I don't see any other options other then XP reapir (which will probably fail) or clean format.
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#12
s'mores

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Okay, will do.

Edited by s'mores, 11 August 2008 - 02:18 AM.

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#13
Rorschach112

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Sorry The Skeptic, but this is really a waste of time sending him back over to the malware removal forum. We ran some extensive scans and none of them showed up anything. It will be the same situation if he makes a new topic there.


Something is messed up on his PC though, but nothing we can fix over there.
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#14
The Skeptic

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I accept what you say as an expert opinion. The problem is so strange (to me at least) that I thought that another look for malware might be worthwhile. I do that very often when I dig for the source of stubborn problems.

Thanks.
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#15
Mike

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Just a small addition - The files are 'opening' because they reside in the global startup section... so everytime he boots the files will load.

Thing that bothers me is the 'random desktop icons'.

Edit, after a little talk with Mark - It seems you have already attempted what I was planning on doing.

I wanted you to fix the O4: Gobal Startup entries, this should get rid of the popups everytime you boot.

Wierd thing is that your environmental paths are fine - so something went crazy.

Anyways - about the desktop icons, if you right click > properties, are they shortcuts or actual files?

Edited by Mike, 11 August 2008 - 06:50 AM.

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