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Trojan attack - Start menu gone


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#1 AdamJ

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:36 PM

My computer got some kind of trojan virus recently, which pretended to be Windows Defender and flashed up messages telling me I had to buy a bogus antivirus program to get rid of various bogus viruses that it said had been detected on my machine. It also disabled all other applications on my computer.

By going into Program Manager and also the registry, I managed to disable it long enough to go online and search for help. As a result, I downloaded a free anti-malware program which successfully got rid of the problem.

However, I've been left with something missing. I'm not quite sure what it is but the symptoms are that:
My antivirus program (Avast) wouldn't automatically start up when switching the computer on. I had to reinstall it to do that.
The start menu is always empty, instead of showing the icons for my most recent / most used applications.

It's possible that other background programs are not starting when I switch on but that doesn't bother me because my machine is functioning perfectly well without them (whatever they were!). It's only the blank start menu which is a bit irritating.

Any ideas on how to fix it?

Thanks,

Adam

#2 Special_talent123

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

avast is really bad one i had them and they were awful I use microsoft security and avg and they are okay and my computer is running perfectly

#3 darkshine

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

Hi Adam, I had this problem (or a very similar one) two years ago - I ended up deciding to reinstall my pc's OS - which involved a long series of finding every file I needed, scanning them, storing them elsewhere and getting a friend to re-scan them as closed files (better safe than sorry with viruses) then I wiped everything from my pc - and I mean everything - this was far from a simple process as the virus had got into some locked partition of the hard drive and that took a while to work out how to kill it. I actually ended up installing the OS to a back up drive purely to access the locked partition and then reinstalling again (it was a very sneaky virus!).

Hope you can get it before it gets that bad!! I used to use mcafee with my internet providers spyware and pc check up - tedious - now only using Norton 360 and so far so good and it was norton that cleared out my virus too which I will always be grateful for lol (I haven't had a single problem since, whereas before there were loads). My dad used avg and got a virus... my whole family are on norton 360 now and nobody has had any issues since... Maybe its luck lol...

Sorry can't help with your start menu issue (I forgot to say that on mine the first clue was my desktop background going black before I slowly got locked out of the pc) hence the battle detailed above...

#4 Tanya52

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:03 PM

I've got virus with avg too. It was a train that firstly blocked my amazon account and secondly my pc started hanging on every time I’ve been browsing catalogues. We had to flatten my pc and buid again.

Edited by Tanya52, 13 January 2012 - 11:04 PM.


#5 Special_talent123

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:02 PM

i had no virus with AVG , 360 causes problems with computer crashing it and blocks some things that dont need blocking

#6 AdamJ

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

Hi Adam, I had this problem (or a very similar one) two years ago - I ended up deciding to reinstall my pc's OS - which involved a long series of finding every file I needed, scanning them, storing them elsewhere and getting a friend to re-scan them as closed files (better safe than sorry with viruses) then I wiped everything from my pc - and I mean everything - this was far from a simple process as the virus had got into some locked partition of the hard drive and that took a while to work out how to kill it. I actually ended up installing the OS to a back up drive purely to access the locked partition and then reinstalling again (it was a very sneaky virus!).

Hope you can get it before it gets that bad!! I used to use mcafee with my internet providers spyware and pc check up - tedious - now only using Norton 360 and so far so good and it was norton that cleared out my virus too which I will always be grateful for lol (I haven't had a single problem since, whereas before there were loads). My dad used avg and got a virus... my whole family are on norton 360 now and nobody has had any issues since... Maybe its luck lol...

Sorry can't help with your start menu issue (I forgot to say that on mine the first clue was my desktop background going black before I slowly got locked out of the pc) hence the battle detailed above...


Thanks for your reply. I'm certain that the virus has been destroyed so I'm sure I won't need to go as far as reinstalling Windows. It really is just the start menu that I need to reinstate. It's possibly nothing more than a missing folder.

Special Talent, I like Avast because it doesn't slow things up too much and it's free for ever (not just free for a limited period).

Tanya, it's a good idea to download the free anti-malware program that was recommended to me, so that you have a back-up solution in case something nasty gets past your antivirus software again. It's called Malwarebytes Antimalware, it's fast and very easy to use.

#7 darkshine

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

Usually when I get a problem that I do not know the answer to I trawl windows help and support and if that turns up nothing I trawl google - because I hate these problems and hate trawling I'm not gonna offer to do it for you :devil: sorry :oops:

But... if you are having trouble with what words to put in - cuz you get no answers - get back to me and if all else fails I will give you a hand searching for a solution - assuming nobody here has a quick fix :D

Edited by darkshine, 15 January 2012 - 02:25 PM.


#8 Mandapanda

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

Hi

Firstly Avast is a good programme. AVG is not great. Microsoft Essentials seems OK. Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware are highly recommended and will pick up things AVG misses.

Anything you want in your start up menu has to be copied to the Startup folder which should be in this sort of location:

C:\users\admin\appdata\roaming\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs

You can find it by searching your main hard drive for startup.

However it's a good idea not to have too many programs starting up automatically as this can slow your PC down, especially if you're playing games.

Not sure if that covers exactly what you're asking, but hope it helps.

#9 Mandapanda

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:18 AM

Actually ignore the above, I don't think it works. Sorry!

#10 butterfly73

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:47 PM

I did get a Trojan a few weeks ago..and several PUPP's.. Eventhough I like animals.. I don't like bugs!
AVG didn't recognize and kept telling me that everything was a-ok! In the mean time it had never done any inventory on how old their info was (about a year.. which is aeons in computer term, I think)
I'm used to Norton which does these things automatically.. So it's also a bit my fault for not checking.. But hey, AVG says I'm "protected"!

Luckily being an Aspie and online, also means having on hand friends, who actually work at helpdesks :D
Thus with their advise.. my computer is doing well again!
Though they don't see eye2eye when for Avast, AVG, etc etc..

#11 darkshine

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:19 PM

There's an old saying... "You get what you pay for" and I'm a firm believer that when it comes to anti-virus software, that its worth the cost. I managed to use a friends amazon account and bought mine for half the market value (such as from pc/electrical stores) and because the 360 version does everything so I don't need no other programs.

Last year I paid about £26 for it, so that works out at 50p a week - a new pc would cost me £500 - I'd rather pay the 50p per week and know I've got a much better chance of protection than risk messing around with free software that may not be as up-to-date on the latest threats and potentially have to fork out for a new pc because of taking that risk - or go through the hassle of getting rid of a virus like last time!

#12 Special_talent123

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:19 PM

Avast ruined my old laptop. AVG is ok. microsoft essentials is ok. Norton blocks certain programmes that dont need blocking

#13 chris54

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

Nothing in life is free. Some one some where must be paying for these free services. Why?

#14 darkshine

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:31 PM

Avast ruined my old laptop. AVG is ok. microsoft essentials is ok. Norton blocks certain programmes that dont need blocking

Better to be safe and spend 2 minutes changing norton's settings than not be safe and potentially lose hours and £££'s to a virus


Nothing in life is free. Some one some where must be paying for these free services. Why?

This is a big part of the reason I just decided to pay, I've seen enough of my friends and family lose money due to insufficient virus protection ;)

I've also watched people have too many types of different protection, where they've clashed and they've actually ended up with less protection :wallbash:

@Adam - Have you resolved your problem?

#15 Special_talent123

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:17 PM

i know what is safe and what is not safe.

Edited by Special_talent123, 20 January 2012 - 02:23 PM.


#16 AdamJ

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:27 AM

@Adam - Have you resolved your problem?


No - I suppose if I was really bothered about the problem, I would have put more effort into fixing it. It's no big deal, really.

#17 AdamJ

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:57 AM

I never knew people had such strong views about antivirus programs - I feel like my judgement is being questioned because I use the free, yet multiple award-winning, Avast. Well, I don't know about the other 165 million users but I like it because it's unobtrusive, has a good interface and, apart from one miss in the last four years (no antivirus is perfect), it works. The virus database gets automatically updated just about every day. Oh, and it hasn't ruined my laptop, which is nice.

Back in the early nineties, we all had to pay monthly subscriptions to an ISP to get online. I wouldn't mind betting that subscription-based antivirus programs will have been equally long-forgotten in ten years time.

#18 darkshine

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:21 PM

Hi Adam, sorry to hear you've not found a solution yet (or looked that hard) ;)

Despite what I have said about virus software, do not worry about judgement from me, I just have my own opinions (that does not mean my views are right for everyone!!).

In terms of possible solutions these are the best ones I can think of - I tried the 1st and last myself when I had my virus issue, but since I was unsuccessful at that time of killing the virus they didn't work for me - they might work for you though)

Have you tried rolling back your software to a date before the virus? (Every time I virus check I create a restore point)

Have you tried manually finding programs you want on your start menu (by finding source file and copy and pasting!!) into the folder I will say in a second - it will depend on your OS but on xp at least it's C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windeows\StartMenu\Programs it'll be something similar for vista and win7 but maybe not exactly the same... cba to check :lol: (if you try this make sure you copy and paste and don't accidentally cut and paste or you'll have issues)

And finally you could try a system restore (a full one to factory defaults) - this would be my last option - for obvious reasons of having to back up a load of data and go through a million updates for everything... tedious...

Best

Darkshine

Edited by darkshine, 23 January 2012 - 01:21 PM.


#19 chris54

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:42 PM

Back in the early nineties, we all had to pay monthly subscriptions to an ISP to get online.



You imply that you don't have to pay for ISP to be on line. I know there are various packages and pay as you go, but one way or another your paying.

By the way there is Nothing wrong with using a "Free" service. Just as I said there is nothing in life for free. How would the company that provides the service continue if it didn't have money coming in from somewhere to pay its bills.

Most "free" things on the Internet come with a tirade of advertising for other products.

I use free services, programs etc myself, I just ignore, delete, block or uninstall the bits I don't want. Other use these bits, which often cost them, so I get it for free but they pay.

Back to the OP, sound to me like a bit of Windows is missing, have you tried there help line to see if they can help.

Edited by chris54, 23 January 2012 - 02:57 PM.


#20 AdamJ

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:08 PM

You imply that you don't have to pay for ISP to be on line. I know there are various packages and pay as you go, but one way or another your paying.


I was referring to the old ISPs (mine was Globalnet) who were separate from your phone line and who charged monthly subscriptions just to give an access portal to the internet, separately from the telecom provider's dial-up charges. These ISPs disappeared when broadband replaced dial-up.

#21 RainbowsButterflies

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:54 PM

These ISPs disappeared when broadband replaced dial-up.

Not all of them. We use one as all the free providers are rubbish in our area and we want a static IP address (apparently).

#22 darkshine

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:43 PM

I was referring to the old ISPs (mine was Globalnet) who were separate from your phone line and who charged monthly subscriptions just to give an access portal to the internet, separately from the telecom provider's dial-up charges. These ISPs disappeared when broadband replaced dial-up.

I don't miss dial-up - used it once at a relatives house and nearly spontaneously combusted through impatience - then decided to wait for technology to move along before I got hooked up :lol:

Were any of my suggestions of any use? And if not what OS are you running?

#23 AdamJ

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:12 AM

Yay, I fixed my missing start menu. I clicked on the start button to bring up the (empty) start menu. With my pointer over the start menu, I right clicked and by chance I came across a properties menu. I checked the box to have recently used programs shown in the start menu and hey presto, all is now well.

#24 darkshine

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:49 PM

:thumbs: excellent job Adam, typical of me to always look to the more complicated solution :lol: glad you got it sorted, and at least if anyone else on here has this issue they can get a few ideas ;)




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