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Cannot open Add/Remove Programs


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#1
yellowjack

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Hi,

The topic is what it says. Whenever I try to go to Control Panel --> Add/Remove Programs windows says that it's loading but never finishes. There is no error message, it's just that it never loads.

Also, Windows Media Player stopped loading the startup page because it can't access the internet. Not sure if it's related. Internet has been lagging recently so spyware was suspected, but Microsoft Antispyware found nothing.

I have Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, and Microsoft Antispyware installed. I just downloaded CCleaner but can't differentiate between files that should be in startup from those that shouldn't. Same with the programs listed in Add/Remove Programs.
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#2
gerryf

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Start > run
regedit
<enter>

search for

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Right click this folder, choose EXPORT, save the file as Uninstall.txt

attach it to the next post...odds are, it is a corrupt registry key or bad reference
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#3
yellowjack

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Should be attached.

Attached Files


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#4
gerryf

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How new is this machine? Not a lot on there....

Any idea when this started?
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#5
yellowjack

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This is machine just 2 weeks old.

Another possible source of error is from a situation as follows:

For a game, I wanted to run w/o CD so I replaced the .exe and also a .dll file from one supplied from GameCopyWorld. I replaced it, but it required a full install for it to work so it didn't work. I uninstalled the game without any noticeable problem, did a full install, and replaced the two files once again and it has worked.

Could replacing the .dll file for the game in the first attempt have done something?
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#6
gerryf

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Unlikely, but at least now I know why the programs were so few in number....

Could you do the same as above, but this time export it as a REG file, then zip it up and attach it.

This is what I propose...I would like to eliminate a number of entries by date and see if we can get the list to show (most recent installs to least recent.

If that achieves nothing, we can use the reg file to return your system to current status.

Incidentally, if you are in safe mode, does the list appear?
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#7
yellowjack

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Attached should be uninstall.zip with uninstall.reg inside it.

I understand what you are proposing, generally. How would the benchmark (of deleting entries after that entry) be set?

In safe mode, the list for Add/Remove Programs loads.

Attached Files


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#8
gerryf

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whoa....it does load in safe mode?

Let's stop right here. This is issue could be spyware related. Could you please visit the malware forum, get a clean bill of health, then return here?

Follow instructions at the top....I am not up on all malware, but I know there is atleast one that kills device manager and the control panel...perhaps this is a varient

If you get the all clear, we will precede.
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#9
yellowjack

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I am not sure as to what is meant by a clean bill of health. Are you referring to downloading a few of the programs and having them scan my system, or posting a new thread there to have a moderator check that I've perform an appropriate scan of my system with particular programs?

In any event, I have downloaded and run scans from the following programs and encountered 0 incidents of files containing a virus or spyware:

Ad-Aware 6.0 SE
AVG Free Edition
Microsoft Antispyware
Spybot - Search & Destroy

Edited by yellowjack, 09 February 2006 - 12:20 AM.

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#10
gerryf

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after following the procedures at the top, post a hijackthis log there so an expert gives the all clear...I want to make certain we do not attempt to fix a problem that does not exist.

I have set up a dummy/clean xp machine and we will use the base uninstall key and see if it works.

That it works in safe mode and not normal mode is an indication of a problem other than a corrupt registry key.

If you wish, you can ATTACH, not post a hijackthis log here, and I will make a quick check, but I may direct you to malware.


In the meantime,

start > run
REGSVR32 APPWIZ.CPL
<enter>

I do not think this will fix it, but it's a simple fix that will not hurt
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#11
yellowjack

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Amazing, REGSVR32 APPWIZ.CPL seems to have done the trick! (what did it do?)

Thanks for all the time & responses to this thread Gerry.
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#12
gerryf

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it reregisters the add/remove applet in the windows registry...that by itself should not have worked given the earlier information (that it worked in safe mode, but not in normal mode)

If it worked in safe mode, the registry information was there and correct. That said, we will not argue the point since it worked and will consider ourselves fortunate!

:tazz:
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