although I'm another victim of FakeAlert!fakealert-REP (Windows XP SP3), I have (verifiably) cleaned the PC of the virus itself (using a combination of standard methods, some of which where mentioned in other threads on this board, i.e. safemode then HijackThis + MBAM (Updated) + Stinger + SuperAntiSpyware + TDSSKiller + UnHide). So the PC _is_ clean, as reported by all tools. There I was thinking that it's all over, but the aftermath of it, even with a machine totally cleaned of the virus itself, is awful, and _this_ is the part I'm asking for help with:
As mentioned by several people in threads dealing with FakeAlert (on this and other boards), the "hiding" isn't the whole story or the whole problem. In fact, even after unhiding all, and once your PC is totally clean, you discover that the start-menu shortcuts have actually been _deleted_. Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be a "minor" detail compared to the painful virus removal itself, is turning into the same sort of nightmare scenario.
I'm really desperate at this point (as I have a LOT of shortcuts, and it would be hugely wasteful of time to go through and recreate all manually), so I really hope someone here has a great suggestion or simple utility program (e.g. like http://windowsxp.mvp...Accessories.htm, but sadly this only takes care of System Accessories as opposed to all the Start Menu Shortcuts!), to do something which should in theory be simple: "repopulate an empty set of Start Menu Folders with their shortcuts to the programs which are all still happily on the machine, and registered in the registry". It's annoying to have all the folders there (in Start Menu), and all the EXE programs there in C:\Program Files, and no way to automatically recreate the shortcuts...
And when I say desperate, it's because I have tried, and failed, with a number of diverse avenues and expert suggestions:
* System Restore: the virus blew this away, so no restore points.
* Acronis TrueImage/Norton Ghost: if I had an image, I could mount and simply copy/paste the Start Menu & Shortcuts structure, but alas I don't (not for this particular machine).
* FileRecovery: (or utilities like it). Unfortunately, I cannot locate the deleted Start Menu shortcuts. I think I can however see the odds and ends of the deleted System Restore Point, but I'm not allowed to access "System Volume Information" in order to "insert stuff back in there". Plus I'm guessing that would introduce system instability which I don't need, after so many hours spent in actually cleaning out and properly recovering from FakeAlert.
* Manual "Repair" via Add/Remove Programs, in order to reinstall the shortcuts from the Installation package(s): This is at the discretion of the App developer, and only a few have got the "Repair" option in there (I've gone through and checked more than half of them, and only say 10% have this). Plus it would be horrendously painful to manually go through and do each one of hundreds.
So as you can see, I'm all out of options, and it is incredibly frustrating. Grrrrr. Please help someone!! :-( Thanking you all in advance, with the repeated caveat that my actual virus itself is removed and clean (this was dealt with in a separate forum & thread), and _this_ topic, albeit related, is solely focused on efficiently restoring the shortcuts to my Start Menu, as described above.