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Windows 7: .EXE Files Do Not Open - even in safe mode!


29 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7, 64 bit
 
 
.EXE Files Do Not Open - even in safe mode!

this has been occurring ever since my computer was diagnosed with a trojan. i removed it, and ever since then no .EXE files will open. I will click on any .EXE file, the revolving circle signifying loading will show for a second, and then it won't load at all - the program is not present in the task manager.

the weird thing is, there is no difference in safe mode. no .EXE file will run in any variation of safe mode. this prevents me from running ANYTHING apart from the command prompt, viewing folders, and notepad. i cannot load the internet, a virus scanner, NOTHING. it is difficult to fix something when one is literally unable to access anything.

i have attempted the 'repair my computer' option when i press f8, but it says it can't be repaired automatically. i downloaded a registry fix from a different computer, but it reads the message "Could not import exefix.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes".

I cannot load a registry fix, virus scanner, or the internet. i STILL cannot open .EXE files in any variation of safe mode. i do not have the windows 7 disc so i cannot reformat. additionally, the trojan appears to have erased all my system restore points, so i cannot restore to any previous time.

i have literally run out of ideas. i can't even install any fixes! any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Oct 2010   #2

 

A long time ago, I had something similar happen to me. I found my computer infected with some variant of the WinA Lizard (or something like that) virus that infected every .exe file I ran while it was on my system. It hosed every executable on the HD b/c it actually infected my command.com (in windows 95 - shows you *how* long ago). I got lucky b/c I loved making all of my .ZIP files self extracting executable files, and hosed every single one of the. I was able to still manually open the files using WinZIP, but I learned then not to make self-extracting executable files anymore.

At any rate, though, I found so many residual problems with that system I eventually formatted and reinstalled my OS. In this case, unless you can figure out how to restore your system to work correctly, this may end up being your only option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

Go by what the message tells you: "Could not import exefix.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes"

Try going into safe mode, open up services and then start clicking services and telling them to stop-- but don't do it to the RPC or DWM. After you've stopped a bunch of them, try applying your exe regfix

Just a thought
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by contristo View Post
i have attempted the 'repair my computer' option when i press f8, but it says it can't be repaired automatically. i downloaded a registry fix from a different computer, but it reads the message "Could not import exefix.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit
 
 

thanks for the replies
johngalt, how do i go about reformatting my hard drive without the Windows 7 disc?
rei, there are only five services active:
DCOM Server Process
Plug and play
remote procedure call
RPC Endpoint maPPER
User profile service

for all these services, the option for 'start' 'stop' pause' etc. are all greyed out. keep in mind this is in safe mode. does this mean the culprit is one of these five?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

No, those are core services.

Even with those only listed as running it still doesn't let you apply the fix... what's on your startup list in msconfig?

Edit: that probably won't run, then how about in the startup folder in the start menu

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by contristo View Post
thanks for the replies
johngalt, how do i go about reformatting my hard drive without the Windows 7 disc?
rei, there are only five services active:
DCOM Server Process
Plug and play
remote procedure call
RPC Endpoint maPPER
User profile service

for all these services, the option for 'start' 'stop' pause' etc. are all greyed out. keep in mind this is in safe mode. does this mean the culprit is one of these five?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7, 64 bit
 
 

the only two services in msconfig that are 'Running' are Group Policy Client and RPC Endpoint Mapper. there are no programs running under 'Startup'.

it's amazing to me that an os like Windows 7 can have a trojan bury itself into one of the core drivers. obviously i am only running the bare minimum, yet i am still unable to open any .exe file.

is there any way to just restore this to factory settings without the Windows 7 disc? i don't care if i lose files. i can just put the important files on my external hd before resetting. i've been working for hours on this and i'm about to give up since no one has an answer, but am without a windows 7 disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

... group policy?! That's a powerful tool.

If you can run some .EXE files (msconfig, notepad) then there is the chance that a software restriction was enabled or something like that. GPC enforces these rules. I'd un-tick/stop the GPC service.

If you can load MMC, add the following snap-in: Result of policy, then check through the list of things it says are configured. There really shouldn't be much listed if you've never used it before, so suspicious entries should stand out.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by contristo View Post
the only two services in msconfig that are 'Running' are Group Policy Client and RPC Endpoint Mapper. there are no programs running under 'Startup'.

it's amazing to me that an os like Windows 7 can have a trojan bury itself into one of the core drivers. obviously i am only running the bare minimum, yet i am still unable to open any .exe file.

is there any way to just restore this to factory settings without the Windows 7 disc? i don't care if i lose files. i can just put the important files on my external hd before resetting. i've been working for hours on this and i'm about to give up since no one has an answer, but am without a windows 7 disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7, 64 bit
 
 

thanks for your extended help rei. really appreciate it.

i'll try and disable that to see what happens, but it is not able to be disabled via the services. is there a way for me to disable it? all the methods for disabling it on google are for vista and do not apply
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7, 64 bit
 
 

i tried to use this method: Disable Group Policy In Windows

but when i get to the part where you change the START to decimal 4 it says "cannot edit Start: Error writing the value's new contents."

something tells me this might be the culprit. gotta be some way to get around it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

Mine can't be shut off either it seems. Must be the default way for it in Win 7.

Which browser do you use mainly on the computer? Firefox? IE? Have you tried renaming the .EXE for the browser and seeing if it runs?

Much like the registry, I really wouldn't recommend trying to fix things in there if you have no prior experience.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by contristo View Post
thanks for your extended help rei. really appreciate it.

i'll try and disable that to see what happens, but it is not able to be disabled via the services. is there a way for me to disable it? all the methods for disabling it on google are for vista and do not apply
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 .EXE Files Do Not Open - even in safe mode!




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