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Can't create shortcuts, Explorer crashes with AppData\Local

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Golden Butterflies

Golden Butterflies


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So, my computer had some malware but now that's been cleaned up. The only problem is that some things still just aren't working properly at all. That's, hopefully, where you can come in. Here are the problems I'm having:

* Before the malware removal process, going to C:\Users\Me\AppData crashed Explorer.exe. This was a new behaviour that seemed to appear after the malware was acquired. Now that it's been removed, I can get to the AppData folder and the Local Low and Roaming folders inside of it. However, opening the C:\Users\Me\Local folder nearly-instantly crashes Explorer.exe every time I attempt it. This behaviour has never occurred before, and it worries me.

* I can no longer create shortcuts on my desktop or in folders or... anywhere, really, unless I'm actually right-clicking on a program and telling the computer to create a specific shortcut to it on the desktop. I can right-click anywhere, click New > Shortcut, but the prompt never shows up and no shortcut - not even a blank one - is created. I have literally let it sit for hours, but nothing ever happens. I used to be able to make shortcuts; and while this isn't a feature I tend to use, the fact remains that it's a function of the operating system thus it needs to actually work.

* There is a $RECYCLE.BIN folder in my C:\ drive. It wasn't there before the malware cleaning process, and I'm starting to think it was some sort of backup. However, if I right-click on my recycle bin and click properties, it says there's one on the C:\ drive and on the D:\ drive. The problem? D:\ is my recovery partition, and I've never before heard of a recycle bin having two locations. Further still, the $RECYCLE.BIN folder is completely empty on drive C, even though right now there are items in the recycle bin. I was told that it was a legit system file and to reset the settings so that important system files are hidden and hidden folders don't appear. Well, I tried this, and it didn't disappear. In fact, nothing seems to be invisible in the system area, even though it is still set to hide the important system files etc. And I have turned back on the visibility of hidden files and folders for purposes of convenience, but the $RECYCLE.BIN folder does not show up semi-transparent as other hidden folders do. Stranger still, I don't remember this folder being in either the C:\ or D:\ drive directly in the past. I'm fairly certain I would have noted the oddity of a folder with a dollar-sign in its name. I don't want to mess anything up beyond repair, but this is kind of bothering me. I guess I'm a bit obsessive about knowing what's going on with my computer.

* I had the Viewpoint Media Player on my computer, without intending to. I have no clue how it got there, but that's a bit beside the point I suppose. I uninstalled it using Revo Uninstaller but came across a strange problem. Even with the program gone, it has an entry under Programs in my Control Panel (but not under Add/Remove programs). I have found no obvious way to delete this annoyance. There is further information and screenshots in the post found here. I would repost the screenshots and whatnot, but I am not 100% clear on if that's allowed. So please see that post.

* ClearType and I do not get along. At all. It's fine as can be on my old PC with a so-matte-it-doesn't-reflect-anything LCD panel. But on my old notebook, with Windows XP, it was horrible. I ended up toying with the settings until it became unnoticeable most of the time, and now I woudln't know if it's still there because it has a flickering backlight and much more annoying monitor issues. On this notebook, however, it has been a constant battle with ClearType. I simply cannot read the alternative of not having ClearType on, but the peach-coloured pixels that it uses to shade stick out to me like a neon light in the dead of night. From certain angles, I see large blobs of red halos around certain letters - especially in Firefox. Now, however, it's also showing up on the desktop. I know that part of this issue is related to my eyes (I'm very sensitive to red) and the somewhat-poor viewing angle the not-very-much-worth-the-money desk I use provides for my computer; but I know that it just seems to be getting worse. I don't believe it's my monitor, because I can take a screenshot of an offending area, zoom it to 800% in GIMP, and see the obvious red pixels along the sides in proper scale. Changing to a different pixel layout in the ClearType tuner made things nearly unreadable, but none of the settings provided for RBG seem to make the red blobs/halos disappear. Is there anything I can do, or is it something I'll just have to live with?

* When going into sleep mode and when waking up from it, there's a high chance that my computer is going to crash. It's seemingly random, but bothersome and frequent enough that I stopped using sleep all together to avoid damaging files/data/the OS. I've read through Google that this is just a known Vista issue and there's not really anything that can 'fix' it. Is this true?

* During the malware removal process, one of the programs seemed to cause the creation of an Internet Explorer shortcut on my desktop. I don't often use IE, so I removed it and it said that to restore the shortcut I could use Control Panel > Preferences. Out of curiosity, I gave that area a peek... And there is no icon for Internet Explorer, nor is there a place to check Internet Explorer for appearing (the name Internet Explorer itself doesn't even show up). The only reason this concerns me is because the system told me in no uncertain terms that the option would be there. Personally, I don't care beyond the fact that something may be wrong with the functionality of the operating system in some way; I don't particularly want an IE icon on my desktop. Hence deleting it in the first place.

Now that I've probably burdened everyone with way too many things at once (sorry!), here's some information on my computer:

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1
CPU: AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile ZM-82
RAM: 3.0 GB
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200

I have the Vista theme patched so that I can use themes from places such as deviantART, but the one I'm using now as well as all of the ones I've installed are from before I purchased the computer over a year ago and have been on there from day two without causing any problems.

My computer is an HP Pavillion dv7-z.

I run an Administrator account for everyday usage. This is a single-account computer.

Edited by Golden Butterflies, 10 November 2009 - 12:09 AM.

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