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"Disappearing Shortcuts" [Solved]


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#31
Essexboy

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Could you screenshot your desktop please
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#32
fenix1

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Essexboy am sending ya the screenshot of my desktop. Ur not going ta believe this! I mentioned that there were several system services that had been disabled or changed to manual. I went back and took a look at them and somehow MS Net Framework NGEN ver. 2.0 and 4.0 had been disabled! Changed both to automatic and rebooted and "Voila" the icons are back and my start menu. Checked and the machine turned the 2.0 version to manual and the 4.0 is still set to automatic. Gonna go back and do a really thorough check in services and see what else needs to be turned on or to auto. After this...NO MORE FREE SOFTWARE FOR ME! I have learned alot these past few days from you and Macboatmaster! As i said before...Thank GOD there's people like you who do what you do...I can't thank you all enough! Take care Essexboy and you Macboatmaster!



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#33
fenix1

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Tried to attach screenshot but said it was too big to upload. No matter. Thanks again fellas...Charlie
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#34
Macboatmaster

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You want to keep away from registry editors and defraggers

There are a FEW more reliable than the majority of them.

THEY any of them should NEVER be used in an attempt to fix a problem

Whenever they are used, if EVER they should never be used without a backup of the registry first using for instance ERUNT.

Defrag of the registry is to all practical purposes a misnomer and EVEN if there were a reliable registry defrag program, the totally unmeasurable gain, is far outweighed by the risk.

See this, a small article I have put together.

"You can install a brand new, pure OEM copy of Windows straight from Microsoft and it will likely find 120 "errors"What I am saying is they are not really errors, they are conditions a programmer has decided are errors"

and I MACBOATMASTER, would add that the errors found by these programs are far too frequently not errors, but the deletion of the registry key by the program, causes REAL errors, insofar as the deleted key corrupts the registry due to the inter-association of multiple keys amongst the hundreds of entries in the registry.

Registry Structure: The Tree, Nodes and Keys
The data is stored in the registry in a tree structure format, for those who have never opened the Registry Editor, you'd find its layout is similar to what you would see when you open your Windows Explorer. Each node within the registry tree contains a key which may have both subkeys and data entries (called values). Depending on the application you run, the application may need only the associated key while others may need the value data set for that specific key. A hive in the registry is a group of keys, subkeys, and values in the registry that has a set of supporting files containing backups of its data. The Windows boot process automatically retrieves data from these supporting files.


AND my attempt to explain it in simple terms - therein lies the problem with the so-called registry cleaner/optimizer programs. the program decides what is not needed and can be deleted. However, frequently the inter-dependance of the various branches of the tree are not recognised by the program AND this is where it goes horribly wrong. - MACBOATMASTER

..

and if you want the view of a Microsoft Tech Expert, which I found in the Microsoft Library sometime ago see this.


THE OPINION OF A MICROSOFT CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR
REGISTRY CLEANERS.
I am still wondering why so many people use Registry Cleaners and System Tweaking Tools while they don't even understand what the Windows Registry is, and/or don't understand Windows basics.

"Fix errors now!" and "Make your Windows fast again!", that's how all these tools are advertised.

People download and install it - click the "Fix it all" - Button (since many of these tools have such button available) and then notice that suddenly some programs won't work anymore, errors appear and in worst case, their Windows won't boot anymore...

Yes, I've seen it all... and many still won't believe that this may be a result of these tweaking tools, because after all, they are "supposed" to improve system performance, prevent errors and make a system more stable. Huh?

In most cases, people don't have any problems in the first place - but want to use these tools anyway.

I have to admit that there are some good "tweaking tools" around as well, but you shouldn't use these if you don't have basic knowledge about the registry and Windows in general. Only delete keys if you're certain that they can be deleted. Disable services if you're certain that you don't need them, let it set policies if you understand what they do etc..

Registry Cleaning won't really improve system speed anyway. Even though there are a lot of orphaned keys/values present, you won't notice a difference in system speed. The only difference you'll notice is when you actually search in your registry - but how many people do this?

On the contrary, as a matter of fact, if you "clean" the registry frequently, it actually becomes more fragmented after a while - and *that may* result in slower system performance, although you won't notice much difference.

I rather prefer to have a lot of orphaned keys in the registry, instead of keys/values that were deleted by a registry cleaner, which were not supposed to be deleted in the first place. And that's the risk of these Registry Cleaners, because many list keys/values as orphaned or unneeded while they are actually needed.

After all, a broken registry is a broken Windows.

The same goes for tweaking tools. Tools where you can select to disable certain services and add certain policies. The "Fix it all" button is also available in most cases, or an option where you can check/select several settings - and the more settings present, the more people believe that checking/selecting them all will result in a superfast computer...

Oh yes, check them all .... and complain aftwards:

* "Help! I'm having problems with Windows updates/Automatic Updates!"

Yes, because you disabled BITS - (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) you disabled Automatic updates, or you have set some restrictive policies related with Windows update

"Help! My add/remove programs list is empty!"

Yes, because some Registry Cleaners unfortunately delete the Uninstall key in the registry - reference here.




Finally from me
All the real work on this thread was done by my colleague Essexboy.

However I am pleased to have helped in some small way and good luck with it.

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#35
fenix1

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Sounds like some really good advice Mc. Guess the old adage is true. "If it aint broke...dont fix it"! Really appreciate you and Essexboys' help.

Hopefully in a few months i may be able ta get ta England. Would like ta look ya guys up. I'll keep in touch. Thanks...Charlie

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#36
Essexboy

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I echo Macs sentiments about registry cleaners, I only use them if I need a laugh and want to reformat my system :lol:

Subject to no further problems :)

I will remove my tools now and give some recommendations, but, I would like you to run for 24 hours or so and come back if you have any problems

Now the best part of the day ----- Your log now appears clean :thumbsup:

A good workman always cleans up after himself so..The following will implement some cleanup procedures as well as reset System Restore points:

Run OTL
  • Under the Custom Scans/Fixes box at the bottom, paste in the following

    :Commands
    [resethosts]
    [emptytemp]
    [Reboot]

  • Then click the Run Fix button at the top
  • Let the program run unhindered, reboot the PC when it is done

Remove ComboFix

  • Hold down the Windows key + R on your keyboard. This will display the Run dialogue box
  • In the Run box, type in ComboFix /Uninstall (Notice the space between the "x" and "/") then click OK

    Posted Image
  • Follow the prompts on the screen
  • A message should appear confirming that ComboFix was uninstalled

Run OTL and hit the cleanup button. It will remove all the programmes we have used plus itself.

We will now confirm that your hidden files are set to that, as some of the tools I use will change that
  • Click Start.
  • Open My Computer.
  • Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
  • Select the View Tab.
  • Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Do not show hidden files and folders.
  • Click Yes to confirm.
  • Click OK.

Posted Image
Your Java is out of date. Older versions have vulnerabilities that malware can use to infect your system.
Please follow these steps to remove older version of Java components and upgrade the application.

Upgrading Java:
  • Go to this site and click Do I have Java
  • It will check your current version and then offer to update to the latest version

SPRING CLEAN

To manually create a new Restore Point
  • Go to Control Panel and select System
  • Select System
  • On the left select System Protection and accept the warning if you get one
  • Select System Protection Tab
  • Select Create at the bottom
  • Type in a name i.e. Clean
  • Select Create

Now we can purge the infected ones
  • GoStart > All programs > Accessories > system tools
  • Right click Disc cleanup and select run as administrator
  • Select Your main drive and accept the warning if you get one
  • For a few moments the system will make some calculations
  • Select the More Options tab
  • In the System Restore and Shadow Backups select Clean up
  • Select Delete on the pop up
  • Select OK
  • Select Delete

Now that you are clean, to help protect your computer in the future I recommend that you get the following free programmes:
Posted Image
Malwarebytes. Update and run weekly to keep your system clean

Download and install FileHippo update checker and run it monthly it will show you which programmes on your system need updating and give a download link

It is critical to have both a firewall and anti virus to protect your system and to keep them updated. To keep your operating system up to date visit

To learn more about how to protect yourself while on the internet read our little guide How did I get infected in the first place ?

Keep safe :wave:
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#37
fenix1

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O.K., now i'm gettin' reaaaally upset. Ran Avast intivirus it didn't find anything. Rebooted and when i logged on guess what? No icons, no start menu! Checked services and ms netframework NGEN 4.0 is still set to auto. Wasn't running si i tried to start it manually. Notification popped up and said that it had tried to start then stopped and that some services shut themselves off if not in use. Beats me...i dunno?
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#38
Essexboy

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I must admit I was a bit bemused when starting dotnet appeared to fix it.. So a question.. Have you ever used a theme programme like stardock ?
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#39
fenix1

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No...only themes i have are MS themes (backgrounds) that were made specifically for win 7 and downloaded from MS. Got about 10 of em and they're called "windows theme pack files".
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#40
Essexboy

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Methinks that a reinstall may be in order her to resolve this problem. As I can see no rhyme nor reason for it
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#41
fenix1

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I think you'r probably right. Trouble is i tried recovery days ago before i contacted this site and had it not been for a "recovery disk" that i made when i first got this computer a month ago i would have probably had to reformat and buy a new copy of win 7 to do a clean install. This machine is an Acer Veriton x488g. I have another Acer...an inspiron t-180 that wouldn't boot up...only the fans would come on so ordered a new power supply and put in it and same thing. I figured power supply wasn't geting a "power good" signal and wasn't turning on. Probably a bad motherboard. Thought of taking the old hard drive outta it and putting in this new one but don't know if the BIOS would work. It has vista home basic on it and it ran perfectly. Thought bout maybe adding it as a slave but don't think this x model form is big enough to accomodate a second hard drive. No more "free" junk for me!
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#42
fenix1

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Almost afraid ta do a complete install. As flaky as it acted last time. If i can't get this thing running right guess i'll get some blank cd's and copy ONLY the personal things like picture and stuff and then attempt a complete reinstall.
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#43
Essexboy

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Might be worth asking Acer for a full set of recovery discs.. I believe they charge postage and a small handling fee.
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#44
fenix1

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Thought i'd let ya know...i managed to restore my computer back to "factory condition" after i copied all my pictures, videos, and other personal files to cd's. Know the problem i had was caused from downloading a "freeby'.(rootkit-"zero access") Will be VERY careful in the future bout doing that AND no more registry cleaners for me! Figure if it only takes less than 30 seconds to defrag my entire c drive that is sufficient! Essexboy...thankyou and Macboatmaster for all your' help...don't know what i'd done without you!!!...Charlie from Louisiana, US.
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#45
Essexboy

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Aye you do need to be carefull of these freebie programmes.. I would recommend that you always make a restore point prior to using any of them

Glad that all has been :thumbsup: resolved though, thank you for the feedback
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