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Windows 7: Game install folder kept opening on restart

27 Nov 2016   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 w/latest updates
Game install folder kept opening on restart

Sorry for the lengthy post.

I built a new computer for my sister with Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit.

Everything was set up with no problems. I started installing some games of hers that she currently has on her XP machine, with no problems.

Some she had downloaded from Amazon and I saved the install folders so we wouldn't have to download again. Some were from CD's.

One game by PlayFirst is called Diner Dash Hometown Hero. For some reason I had made a backup of the installed program folder on her Win XP machine. I don't know why. I thought this was the game installer, so I ran the game and it seemed to start, but it first gave a message searching for updates (which her XP game doesn't). Then I saw that she had a CD for the game and this was just a backup of the folder.

So I deleted that folder and installed the game from the disc. It installed fine, but when I reboot it opened the install folder. I couldn't figure out why. I uninstalled the game and rebooted and the folder still opened but was mostly empty. I deleted the folder and then got an error message that the folder didn't exist.

I searched the Start folder for all users and her user, I ran autoruns64 and couldn't find anything and I searched through the task scheduler and couldn't find anything. I then searched the registry and found 2 entries for the game (not startup) and deleted them. I also ran glarysoft reg cleaner and disk cleanup. I searched through startup items and services in msconfig as well. No luck.

I ran a full system scan with Norton Internet Security, Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy (all up to date), and then ran them all again in safe mode (in safe mode the folder didn't open). Still no luck.

I then restored the computer from a restore point before the game was installed, and still no luck.

I then tried to install the game again, and it still did it. I uninstalled the game but this time clicked on Custom (which I didn't before) and it allows you to select which entries to install. I selected everything, uninstalled and rebooted. And it was fixed !! I then reinstalled the game, and it's good. No folder popping up.

Sorry for the long explaination. Because of this I don't think it was a virus. I think that when I ran the program from the install folder first, without actually installing it, it screwed something up. And the original uninstall was not a complete uninstall, since I didn't do custom.

What bothers me is why system restore did not fix the problem. That is what worries me.

I searched through the text file of the install log of everything it creates and didn't see anything that shows a startup item so I have no idea why that was happening and why I couldn't find it anywhere.

Any ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2016   #2

Windows 7 x64

Basic understanding of Installation.

Never touch both folders; "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)"

Do take note: As your computer is 64 bit, those program for only 32 bit will be install into "Program Files (x86)"

By copying the program folder from inside both "Program Files + x86" it is of no use as you cannot just copy back.

To understand if your installation of application to the "Program Files w/o x86" go to the Control Panel, click on Uninstall Program, the application is valid if it is listed.

Games installation.

Most, if not all, games starting will look for the Disc, as this is how by copying the original game Disc to another disc may not work.
As for the update, it may use this name to visit the Game Developer for permission, as licence or not, as non disc version.

Some Games require the original disc to be inside (DVD/CD drive) in order to start.
While some other do not have this requirement.

Installation & Users

Do take note that some applications, depend, will only allow the user that install the application, the same use to uninstall.

Do make this point clear, if the computer can be accessed for 2 or more users.

System Restore.

Should you make any changes manually, the system restore may not be able to do the work perfectly.

Application install by the system (not copying from) system restore then would be able to complete the job.
If not, this may failed as moving application folder do affect system restore.

For Backup for games & applications, it is best to copy the setup files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2016   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 w/latest updates

I pretty much followed what you said. I had copied the folder into the Program Files x86, not program files. But again, because it was just a copy of the installed game and didn't actual install (adding registry entries, etc) I guess things got screwed up. I installed and uninstalled under her user name (there is only one user).

But like you said, system restore isn't perfect every time I guess. It just bothered me that I could not locate what was causing that folder to open at startup after checking all those places, even in the registry. I don't know where it was coming from. But it is fixed now.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Nov 2016   #4

Windows 7 x64

Program Files x86 is actually a 2nd Program Files but for 32bit applications only.

This is where some applications not compatible for 64bit machine.

If you do a compare on both folders, you may notice programs do not appear in both folders.

Just take this in consideration as try not to do anything in both folders, and Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2016   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 w/latest updates

Understood but I didn't do anything in both folders. I first copied the program folder into Program Files x86 and tried to run it. Then realized it wasn't the install file so I deleted that and installed it from the CD (which recreated the folder in Program Files x86). And that is when the problem started happening.

So I never did anything with the 64 bit program files.

The fact that I ran the game without actually installing it seemed to set some entry that caused the game folder to open upon restart. And like I said, what bothers me is I searched everywhere and couldn't find what was causing it to open and system restore didn't fix it. That is why I was concerned.

doing a custom uninstall of the program (from the game's uninstall icon) and selecting everything is what got rid of it. I just wish I knew where the start up item was located and why system restore didn't get rid of it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Game install folder kept opening on restart

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