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Windows 7: Some control panel and tray icon popups won't respond to clicks

16 Oct 2015   #1
mbratch

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 
Some control panel and tray icon popups won't respond to clicks

I just finished getting rid of a bunch of adware and malware from a friend's Windows 7 laptop. It's running quite well now, but there are two remaining annoyances.

One is that when I open the control panel and have the major topic links with small subtopic links showing, about 80% of the subtopic links don't work. All of the main topic links do work. For example, there's a major topic called "Programs" with a subtopic, "Uninstall a program". Clicking on "Programs" takes me to the "Programs" control panel screen. Clicking on "Uninstall a program" does nothing. When in the "Programs" control panel screen, the same thing happens: major topic links work fine, and most of the small, subtopic links don't. Ultimately, I can do what I need in the control panel because the "final" link to what I need seems to work fine.

Similar to this, when I right click on a tray icon and get the popup menu, many of the submenu links do nothing, but some do work.

A similar thing occurs with the start menu. If I search for a command using the search box and several matching links come up, clicking on a link may not work. Clicking programs directly in the start menu works fine.

So there's something about how Windows 7 does these links that is acting wonky.

Obviously I can fix this by doing a heavy-handed Windows reinstall or significant restore. But all the user files and settings are just where I want them and everything otherwise works fine. I have run anti-virus and anti-spywhere and the system is clean. I ran "SFC /SCANNOW" and it turns up no problems.

Is there a way I can fix this problem without a serious Windows recovery action?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2015   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate try these (you may have tried some) for starters

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1538-sfc-scannow-command-system-file-checker.html


http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html< if necessary include the /f and /r in the command line as per Option2 (insafe mode is a wise way to go)



then these

http://www.superantispyware.com/

https://www.malwarebytes.org/lp/sem/5/?gclid=CJTmq6iGpscCFYqCvQodbfMN1A(free version and untick the trial option when it comesup

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

ADW download from bleeping computerdelete any rubbish found with the malware scans

(Anyone running Kasperskyinternet security will find it rants about ADW - ignore it or disable Kasperskywhile running ADW)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #3
mbratch

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Alas, I had done most those things already to no avail. The adwcleaner is a great program. It got rid of the dreaded "search.iminent" malware. I think the problem I'm left with is a result of some aggressive manual cleaning attempts in the registry, perhaps...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2015   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Now seeing you found some unpleasant stuff if it were me I would run this - it can take some time but it will scan the machine without involving Windows. You just have to make a bootable drive (I prefer a DVD) but a stick will do set the BIOS to boot from that source and let it run.
Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 there is also one other I like and that is the BitDefender one bit the Kaspersky I always try first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2015   #5
mbratch

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL View Post
Now seeing you found some unpleasant stuff if it were me I would run this - it can take some time but it will scan the machine without involving Windows. You just have to make a bootable drive (I prefer a DVD) but a stick will do set the BIOS to boot from that source and let it run.
Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 there is also one other I like and that is the BitDefender one bit the Kaspersky I always try first.
After I had run Malwarebytes, it seems to have narrowed the issue a little. Tray icons seem to behave correctly. Remaining issues are:

1) Many subtopic control panel links still don't work
2) A few (not many) of the searched items that come up in the start menu don't work. Specifically, if I search for "backup" and it shows the "backup and restore" link, clicking the link does nothing. Oddly, I can get to the backup and restore through other means (like control panel).
3) If I click the start menu and right click the Computer, it gives a pop-up menu. Everything on the menu works EXCEPT the properties. The properties just won't pop up. Weird.

So I downloaded the Kaspersky ISO and an scanning that now. It says only 11 hours to go! We'll see what it comes up with. It looks like an awesome scanner, based on a Linux K-desktop setup. Very easy to use. Thanks for all the great suggestions and I shall report back when the big Kas is done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate yes it will take some time if you picked all the items it can scan. Hope it picks up something and then it can be dealt with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #7
mbratch

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Alas, although Kaspersky found a couple more niggles, my problem remains. (As does another issue I hadn't mentioned, which is in Chrome if I click on "Show in folder" for a download, it says, "Class not registered" even though I uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome.)

I might be faced with a Windows 7 reinstall if I want to get rid of this issue. I thought Windows 7 install CDs had a "repair" option, but these pre-installs from OEMs don't seem to have that in their recovery images on drive D:. Factory reset is all they have. I don't know if that will include the apps that were pre-installed on the system, like MS Office. The system came with no CDs, so I would hope that it does, but there's no information I can find on their site or anywhere that assures me as to what this action actually includes and doesn't include.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2015   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Now there is one way around this if you know someone who has a Microsoft Windows 7 media (DVD) and you can use it to install the version of the Windows version you have from the borrowed DVD as long as you can follow the following tutorial and use the ei.cfg removal tool, have a valid activation code (should be on the sticker on your machine) and only install the version that code is for.
For example if the code is for the Pro version then you cannot use that code to install Ultimate or Home from the DVD because all DVD's have all versions on them it is all down to the code you have for the version the machine originally came with and only that version.
Anyway have a thorough read and see what you think. If it were me I would install a brand new drive and do this and save the original drive for any situations that might come up eg a bit of a back up if nothing else. Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

The bonus with this is of course you have a bloat free Windows OS I always advise anyone these days doing a clean install to keep an eye out for the Windows 10 updates especially KB3035533 if you are not interested in 10 and want to avoid that rotten nagging it brings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Some control panel and tray icon popups won't respond to clicks




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