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Windows 7: Windows 7 Missing Shortcuts / License Files.

20 Dec 2017   #1
Shadowolf83

Windows Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows 7 Missing Shortcuts / License Files.

Hello,
On Sun Dec 10th my CPU liquid cooler started making some weird noises (Antec KUHLER H20 1250), however it was still functioning and keeping my CPU cool, however I did not want to take any chances so I ordered a new liquid cooler (EVGA CLC 240 Liquid / Water CPU Cooler) and shut my PC down until the new cooler arrived, I then replaced my Antec one with the EVGA one on 12/14 then left my PC on all night and in to 12/15 (Acronis ran a full image on 12/15). Everything was good throughout the weekend, I rebooted my PC a few times but for the most part I left it on, No issues.

Monday (12/18) when I got home from work, my PC was running very slow, so I rebooted it, Upon the reboot I noticed my Digial Persona software (Using U are U 4500) said the finger prints for my user account were not enrolled (Worked fine on the weekend), So I made an attempt to re-enroll them, but it failed with an error saying my user account didn't have permission to do that and to contact my system administrator, so I logged in using my password and made another local account (Which was able to enroll without administrator rights), I verified my account was an administrator and I am as I can do everything a limited user cannot, so getting annoyed I simply ignored the problem and figured it was a bug in the software, That is when I noticed the following:

1.) Following the reboot Monday, when I launched Microsoft Office 2013, I got a message saying it was configuring office, It took 10 or so minutes, restarted office and everything was alright, I figured it wasn't a big deal so I continued to use my PC normally.

2.) After the above issue, I noticed Acronis required reactivation as well (And deleted all my jobs I had but the data was still good), in addition to that, I also noticed several other applications (Dameware, Snagit, and some other apps I used) also required me to re register them, I found this very strange so I re-registered them and rebooted (Odd thing was Windows and Adobe kept the licenses as did some of my other registered programs), all was good when I logged in (Aside from not being able to enroll my finger prints) so I moved on (All the registered applications were fine and didn't want re-registration).

3.) At this point, I was suspicious, so I began looking for additional things, That's when I found my start menu was dorked up, My games folder in the start menu was empty as was my tools folder (Start Menu > Programs > Tools (which contained my FTP, Video Editing and Graphics tools)). I was able to restore both folders which contained my shortcuts to the programs using previous versions, no additional applications were having issues at this point.

After all 3 of those issues, I attempted a system restore from 12/15 (Which failed) and one from 12/1 (Which also failed), however my PC is running fine for the most part once I fixed those issues but it bothered me that I wasn't able to enroll my finger prints and that I had to re-register applications so I created a Virtual Machine on my ESXI host, added a 512 GB hard drive and used Acronis to re-image the virtual disk using the backup from 12/15 on my external USB drive (Which worked, OS booted perfect and everything was fine).

My issue is this, I don't want to re-image my C drive and 3 days later have the same thing happen again (To test this, I am leaving the virtual machine up for 3 days then will reboot it to see if the same thing happens to it), so I am thinking whatever happened must have happened Sunday night and I didn't notice it until the Monday reboot, so what could cause a PC to lose registration settings for specific applications, cause shortcuts on my start menu to randomly disappear and cause Digital Persona to not be able to enroll me thinking I'm not an administrator when I am?

Things I ruled out:
- Virus / Malware (I run ESET NOD 32 and Malwarebytes) also ran Combofix and all was good with that.


Things that are possible
- Faulty SSD Hard Drive - Possible although SMART shows things good (Note: My S Drive was fine, nothing missing on it only C Drive had issues).
- Messed up profile / user account - This is also possible as the new user accounts I created were fine.
- Messed up Registry - This is possible also I guess.
- Messed up AV / Malware Scanner - I run ESET NOD 32 (latest version) and Malwarebytes Anti Malware (Latest version).


PC Setup:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (Personal PC not Company PC)
CPU: Skylake Core i&-6700K 8M Quad core 4.0 GHZ.
RAM: 32 GB Ram (Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB DDR 4 2400 X2)

Hard Drive 1 - C Drive (OS) - is a Samsung 850 PRO 512 GB SSD (Only missing data was start menu items / licenses for apps)

Hard Drive 2 - S Drive (Data Drive - No missing data) - Is a Western Digital Black 6 TB Drive.
*Data Drive has most of my games and applications installed as it, as well as everything I could configure the location of in Windows (Downloads folder, Music, Pictures, Basically the system folders of my profile that you could specify the location of, which was set to S:\Users\*Folder Name*). Program files and Program Files (x86) were manually created and I just have to remember to change the C to and S, as I only run the OS and Office from my C Drive.

Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 970


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
20 Dec 2017   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

The basic first.
Run a check disk.
Open Explorer, right click on the C: drive, Properties - Tools tab - Error check - Check now. It will ask if you want to schedule on next boot = Yes
Open Explorer, right click on your data drive (S: drive), Properties - Tools tab - Error check - Check now. It will ask if you want to un mount, no, schedule on next boot = Yes
Reboot and pay attention on the results.

Run a System file check
Open a CMD window and type:
sfc /scannow
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2017   #3
Shadowolf83

Windows Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
The basic first.
Run a check disk.
Open Explorer, right click on the C: drive, Properties - Tools tab - Error check - Check now. It will ask if you want to schedule on next boot = Yes
Open Explorer, right click on your data drive (S: drive), Properties - Tools tab - Error check - Check now. It will ask if you want to un mount, no, schedule on next boot = Yes
Reboot and pay attention on the results.

Run a System file check
Open a CMD window and type:
sfc /scannow
Ran on both drives, no issues were found and everything checked out fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Dec 2017   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Please edit your profile with ALL the specs.

What antivirus you have?
Did you try to roll back to an earlier restore point?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2017   #5
Shadowolf83

Windows Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Please edit your profile with ALL the specs.

What antivirus you have?
Did you try to roll back to an earlier restore point?
ESET NOD 32 as AV.
I attempted to roll back several times, all attempts failed, it looked like the issue was with restoring a file in my appdata folder according to the restore point. I attempted to restore in windows and from using a boot CD both failed.

My next step will be using acronis to replace my os drive back to a known good time, I did order a new SSD to be on the safe side.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Windows 7 Missing Shortcuts / License Files.




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