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Windows 7: Invalid start mode: archive filename

28 May 2011   #1

windows 7 Home Premium x86
Invalid start mode: archive filename

I'm trying to UNINSTALL programs that I have not used for a long time. I can't find those in Control Panel -> Uninstall Programs & Features, but I found it in C:\Windows folder. When i tried to Run the Uninstall Application I'm prompted with: INVALID START MODE: ARCHIVE FILENAME

the programs i'm trying to uninstall were scanned with rootkits by Avast! antivirus

please help me as I am still novice in handling these problems

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

What programs are you trying to uninstall?

the programs i'm trying to uninstall were scanned with rootkits by Avast! antivirus
I'm not sure what you mean here. Can you explain?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2011   #3

windows 7 Home Premium x86

thanks for replying.

I've downloaded games from my friends' external hard drive into my laptop. after several UNSUCCESSFUL attempts in opening & trying to play these games (i also tried Reinstalling Using Recommended Settings), I immediately remove it through Control Panel -> Uninstall Programs & Features.

I am now using Avast! and just had my full system scanned. The scan report says that some of those supposedly removed games have rootkits.

I searched in my local disk C: and i found that these games still has a FILE FOLDER containing uninstall.exe

when i tried to run the application, it prompted me to INVALID START MODE: ARCHIVE FILE NAME, i clicked OK. It then prompted me to Product Compatibility Assistant: REINSTALL RECOMMENDED SETTINGS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

It sounds as though you successfully uninstalled the games and what you are seeing are "left overs".

Can you delete the folders associated with the games?

Any AV program can give false positive results. I would recommend running an online scan.

First, disable Avast! Then run ESET online scanner.


Disable Avast
  • Right click on the avast! icon in system tray (looks like this: ) and choose (Avast shield control)
  • Choose disable permanently.
  • Note: Don't forget to re-enable it after the fix.


ESET Online Scanner:

Note: You can use either Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox for this scan. You will however need to disable your current installed Anti-Virus, how to do so can be read here.

Vista/Windows 7 users: You will need to to right-click on the either the IE or FF icon in the Start Menu or Quick Launch Bar on the Taskbar and select Run as Administrator from the context menu.
  • Please go here to run the scan.
    Note: If using Mozilla Firefox you will need to download esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe when prompted then double click on it to install.
    All of the below instructions are compatible with either Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox.
  • Select the option YES, I accept the Terms of Use then click on:
  • When prompted allow the Add-On/Active X to install.
  • Make sure that the option Remove found threats is NOT checked, and the option Scan archives is checked.
  • Now click on Advanced Settings and select the following:
    • Scan for potentially unwanted applications
    • Scan for potentially unsafe applications
    • Enable Anti-Stealth Technology
  • Now click on:
  • The virus signature database... will begin to download. Be patient this make take some time depending on the speed of your Internet Connection.
  • When completed the Online Scan will begin automatically.
  • Do not touch either the Mouse or keyboard during the scan otherwise it may stall.
  • When completed select Uninstall application on close if you so wish, make sure you copy the logfile first!
  • Now click on:
  • Use notepad to open the logfile located at C:\Program Files\ESET\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt.
  • Copy and paste that log as a reply to this topic.

Note: Do not forget to re-enable your Anti-Virus application after running the above scan!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2011   #5

windows 7 Home Premium x86

hi, Carolyn, here's the log file of eset online scanner:

ESETSmartInstaller@High as downloader log:
all ok
# version=7
# OnlineScannerApp.exe=
# OnlineScanner.ocx=
# api_version=3.0.2
# EOSSerial=5c88dcaa843c52438129bef10f73d91c
# end=finished
# remove_checked=false
# archives_checked=true
# unwanted_checked=true
# unsafe_checked=true
# antistealth_checked=true
# utc_time=2011-05-30 04:29:42
# local_time=2011-05-30 08:29:42 (+0400, Arabian Standard Time)
# country="United States"
# lang=1033
# osver=6.1.7600 NT
# compatibility_mode=768 16777215 100 0 10172580 10172580 0 0
# compatibility_mode=1024 16777215 100 0 15637319 15637319 0 0
# compatibility_mode=5893 16776573 100 94 271512 59222888 0 0
# compatibility_mode=8192 67108863 100 0 274 274 0 0
# scanned=92324
# found=0
# cleaned=0
# scan_time=2706
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

You're being helped on the malware aspect but just to add- that invalid start mode message would mean that the uninstall.exe needs additional switches or parameters to run. The uninstall.exe needs these such as in a config file to do anything useful. Its possible that information has been wiped out by Avast.

If malware is ruled out, you should uninstall all these programs manually- remove their folders, startup entries, registry entries etc. If these are too many and unmanageable, you can even consider reinstalling windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

The ESET scan came back clean. I don't think that malware is the issue here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Invalid start mode: archive filename

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