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Windows 7: Programs not even launching - folders and other files such as pics are

27 Oct 2018   #1
RedLad

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Programs not even launching - folders and other files such as pics are

Hi everyone,

Please can anyone help? - it is a bit of an emergency

I started the PC this morning and it was hanging on a black screen, so forced powered it off. I have done this before a few times, with no problem.

So now, when windows launches and I get to my desktop, I cannot launch any of my programs.

The odd thing is - they are showing up in the Processes tab that they are in fact running.

But nothing is happening. Does anyone have any idea why this would happen?

Of course this would have to happen just as I am about to begin my big art project due on Tuesday.

Thank you,
Paul


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Oct 2018   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RedLad,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
So now, when windows launches and I get to my desktop, I cannot launch any of my programs.

The odd thing is - they are showing up in the Processes tab that they are in fact running.

But nothing is happening. Does anyone have any idea why this would happen?
[1] Have you got any external devices attached when you boot?
[2] Have you tried constantly pressing F8 when booting and then running Last Known Good Configuration?
[3] Have you got a System Restore Point prior to this happening that you could use?
[4] Have you got an installation disk. If so, you could try running Startup Repair!
[5] Have you got a Restore Partition?

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #3
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RedLad,

You could run Malwarebytes [FREE] first => Malwarebytes FREE.

There are a couple of other options that we can try if none of the above work!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Oct 2018   #4
RedLad

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Paul,

Thanks a lot for the quick response. I have an update, that I will tell you about then answer your questions:

Now, the programs decide to launch, after approx. 10 mins of nothing happening. But that is not normal, they usually launch quickly after a few seconds once the desktop loads. So something has decided to happen 'under the hood' so to speak. I won't be able to have my mind at ease thinking all is ok, as I know it isn't. But I think I will have to work in this state to finish the project, then worry about the tech stuff later.

To answer your questions:
1. I have nothing connected except the usual mouse and keyboard and WiFi adapter/receiver
2. I had actually tried the Last Good Known Configuration, but still got the same response.
3. I do not know if I have a restore point, last time I used this was on XP years back and remember not being a fan as I lost some stuff if I recall. Maybe I even lost a lot of hard drive space too, I cannot fully recall.
4. I have an installation disk for 7 Pro, but that is on my laptop (which itself isn't in the greatest of health!)
5. As for a restore partition, I am not too sure what you mean there, sorry!

Thanks Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #5
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RedLad,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
Now, the programs decide to launch, after approx. 10 mins of nothing happening. But that is not normal, they usually launch quickly after a few seconds once the desktop loads. So something has decided to happen 'under the hood' so to speak. I won't be able to have my mind at ease thinking all is ok, as I know it isn't. But I think I will have to work in this state to finish the project, then worry about the tech stuff later.
Have you got WU [Windows Updates] set to Never check for updates?

Have a look to see what runs/launches at startup. There might be something in there that is initially launching and slowing everything down. To do this, click Start > in the search box type msconfig > press Enter > click Startup tab.

I still recommend that you run Malwarebytes [FREE] first => Malwarebytes FREE.

You can use ANY Win 7 installation disk [as long as it's the same bit type as the OS installed] to run Startup Repair, it doesn't have to be the same version that is installed!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #6
RedLad

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi again,

Windows is set to Install updates automatically - should this be off? (I have had this setting for around 3 years since I got the PC with no issue)

For startup, I have not changed any of this so it should be the same. I will have a look into it though, to be sure!
Could something just decide to turn itself on upon startup, randomly?

I will install Malwarebytes Free, thanks. I think I had this some time ago on my laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #7
RedLad

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

OK, so I ran it and got the following:

Malwarebytes
Free Antivirus Replacement & Anti-Malware Tool | Malwarebytes

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 10/27/18
Scan Time: 3:03 PM
Log File: 07e5595e-d9f1-11e8-92e1-3417ebccec35.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.6.1.2711
Components Version: 1.0.482
Update Package Version: 1.0.7565
License: Trial

-System Information-
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: Paul-PC\Paul

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 454069
Threats Detected: 1
Threats Quarantined: 0
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 49 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Detect
PUM: Detect

-Scan Details-
Process: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Module: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Key: 1
PUP.Optional.Distromatic, HKU\S-1-5-21-3772028160-254055963-3041003162-1000\SOFTWARE\Distromatic, No Action By User, [6793], [359638],1.0.7565

Registry Value: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 0
(No malicious items detected)

File: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)


Should I Quarantine the selected registry key?

Thanks,

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #8
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RedLad,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
Windows is set to Install updates automatically - should this be off? (I have had this setting for around 3 years since I got the PC with no issue).
I, like many others, turn it off and then run it manually when it suits us, or download the relevant .msu file.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
For startup, I have not changed any of this so it should be the same. I will have a look into it though, to be sure!
Could something just decide to turn itself on upon startup, randomly?
When some programs get downloaded and installed they automatically add a startup item in the Startup menu, as I posted in post #5. This is totally un-necessary and will slow down the boot. If you want to use the program then you can just click it to open it. It might take a couple of seconds longer to open this way, but it will not initially be using valuable resources when the computer boots!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
I will install Malwarebytes Free, thanks. I think I had this some time ago on my laptop.
Malwarebytes has resolved many of the same sort of issues.

As I said previously, if none of the above work then we could try running CHKDSK [Check Disk] and SFC [System File Checker].

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #9
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi RedLad,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RedLad View Post
-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 454069
Threats Detected: 1
Threats Quarantined: 0
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 49 sec

Registry Key: 1
PUP.Optional.Distromatic, HKU\S-1-5-21-3772028160-254055963-3041003162-1000\SOFTWARE\Distromatic, No Action By User, [6793], [359638],1.0.7565

Should I Quarantine the selected registry key?
PUP is a Potentially Unwanted Program. I have just Googled it and it appears to potentially be a virus. There was one post that said it could be something to do with Amazon!.

I personally would Quarantine it and then reboot. I would then run a full AV system scan!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2018   #10
RedLad

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks, but I think you missed the last part where I asked - Should I Quarantine the selected registry key?

If this will have ANY risk at all, I would rather wait till after Tuesday, once I get my project done and dusted. I may even just leave the PC running as is, just so I know I can get my stuff done on time, without further tech problems.

This is the threat file that got detected during the scan:

Registry Key: 1
PUP.Optional.Distromatic, HKU\S-1-5-21-3772028160-254055963-3041003162-1000\SOFTWARE\Distromatic, No Action By User, [6793], [359638],1.0.7565

Thanks,

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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