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Windows 7: Programs being deleted from C:\Program Files (x86)

24 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
Programs being deleted from C:\Program Files (x86)

But not by me!

A whole bunch of my programs,....


3D Mark 11, 06, Vantage
Photoshop Elements 6
Cool Edit Pro 2
GIF movie gear
MSI Afterburner
Nero Burning ROM
Microsoft Autoroute 2007
AMD Catalyst Control Centre

...have disappeared, leaving my shortcuts looking like I uninstalled them. All deleted programs are still showing in control panel/programs and features, but with default windows icons next to the titles. I re-downloaded malwarebytes yesterday and installed to C:\Program Files (x86) again and did a quick scan and it came up with nothing. Spybot yesterday also only showed 'IWinGames' which I fixed. I re-installed photoshop yesterday as well to C:\Program Files (x86). Spybot today shows nothing.

Today, photoshop has gone again, likewise, malwarebytes again, and also some other programs: kies backup and restore, pinnacle studio, driver sweeper and tridef 3D software.

It occurred to me that every single one of the deleted programs were installed to C:\Program Files (x86), and nothing has been deleted that is installed to C:\Program Files, my E drive or my F drive. None of my other spyware programs and microsoft security essentials are installed to C:\Program Files (x86), so they have not been deleted.

Which begs the question, why are programs disappearing from C:\Program Files (x86) and C:\Program Files (x86) only?

As I type, I'm currently doing a full scan with malwarebytes on just my C drive and so far it's showing 3 objects detected. I'll report back with whatever they are in a while.

Just did a quick scan with microsoft security essentials and it's just quarantined Exploit:Java/Blacole.ES Alert Level: Severe

Encyclopedia entry: Exploit:Java/Blacole.ES - Learn more about malware - Microsoft Malware Protection Center

Could that be the issue?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

The Exploit:Java/Blacole.ES certainly may be part of the issues. Below my sig is a link to Super AntiSpayware, dowload, update it and do a full scan with it too.
Check for updates to your Java install. Better is not to have Java installed. Also check for updates to Adobe Flash and Shockwave if you have those.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1

Thanks Britton, will do. Superantispyware is better than malwarebytes I take it?

I've removed the quarantined exploit using malwarebytes to do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 May 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Superantispyware and Malwarebytes are both great programs. They're similar but not exactly alike. No antimalware program is 100% effective 100% of the time. (If there was such a thing we'd all be using it.) So using multiple free on-demand scanners just add another layer of protection to a computer. Some other free products are: Hitman Pro | HouseCall | ESET | Comodo Cleaning Essentials | Windows Defender Offline (not to be confused with Windows Defender. This is another example of Microsoft's ability to make completely different products sound alike.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

yes, the Windows Defender Offline is a good choice, thanks marsmimar. It runs befors Windows boots and can be more effective.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1

Thanks, will try windows defender offline too.

Well, wouldn't you know it, windows live mail has been deleted too.

I've managed to locate my .eml files in a 345mb folder in C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail, so I'm assuming they're all intact, although I can't find my archive of 1999 to 2009 emails that I imported from XP outlook express (I think they were .dbx files) to win7 when I installed win7 in 2009. In windows live mail, those archived emails were in a separate imported folder further down the left column. Any idea where I can locate them and would imported .dbx files still be called .dbx or changed to .eml or something else? And how do I import the emails I've found?

I'm going to reinstall windows live mail, but not to program files (x86). Need to ask, are my emails safe in C:\Users\Lee\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail or will they get overwritten when I install windows live mail and do I need to back them up or put them in some other folder for now?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

I'm no WLM expert but as a safeguard until we find out what's wrong, put them on something else, such as a DVD or USB stick for safe keeping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I would back up every essential file you have and then reinstall Windows. This is a particularly nasty virus you've contracted, and I wouldn't ever consider my computer fixed without nuking the current install and doing a fresh install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Reinstalling Windows would be the most thorough option. If I remember correctly, it doesn't actually matter whether a 32-bit program is installed to C:\Program Files (x86) or C:\Program Files. You could try installing Malwarebytes to C:\Program Files just to see if it stays there. That way you can see if the virus removes programs based on whether they are 32-bit or 64-bit, or where they are stored, and it might keep you from having to keep reinstalling some program while you are trying to fix the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #10
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hi Roman

As an additional observation,
open folder option. Try to uncheck hidden files, folders, and drives. Also uncheck hide protected operating system files, and seek for any strange hidden files in any drives and folder.
Some nasty viruses leave files attributed as hidden and system files.
But ignore this if you've done so.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Programs being deleted from C:\Program Files (x86)

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