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Windows 7: Programs missing in Start Menu and admin permission lost

22 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
Programs missing in Start Menu and admin permission lost

Symptoms of the problem:

1. Most of my Start Menu Programs are now empty but I can access the programs by going to 'computer' and viewing 'Program' folder. The programs are also shown when I go to 'uninstall' via Control Panel

2. If I try to download and install virus protection such as Mcafee (I have tried several anti-viris programs) the software fails to install and says that I don't have 'administrator' rights to the folder .. in this case the folder named McAfee.

I believe the two problems listed above are related and cause by malware or a virus... but I am unable to resolve it. I believe the malware has changed the permissions on my computer and I need to restore them or revert them. I should only have one user on my computer but I have suddenly had appear a second one called 'admistrator' when I log in. My user name has the word 'Administrator' with it.

I have tried a system restore but this process fails and won't restore to any previous date. I have had this problem for a few days.

Can anyone help?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 32 bit

I have managed to do a system restore... (to in the midst of the problem) and got back missing programs from the Start menu... BUT I am still unable to download anti-virus software as I don't have permissions for the folder to do so...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Download DDS from one of these links:

  • Disable any script blocking protection
  • Double click the dds icon to run the tool.
  • When done, DDS will open two (2) logs:
    1. DDS.txt
    2. Attach.txt <--- will be minimized in the task tray
  • Save both reports to your desktop.
Include the contents of both logs in your next post.
The scan will instruct you to post Attach.txt as an attachment.

These two logs will tell me what's going on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 32 bit

Hi Jacee, I appreciate your help. attached are the two files.. I wasn't able to 'zip' one of them I hope this is okay.

Attached Files
File Type: txt attach.txt (25.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: txt dds.txt (15.4 KB, 6 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium


Try the following:

Start Menu All Programs in Windows 7 - Restore Default Shortcuts

However, you need to make sure the computer is clean!!

First, please run the AdwCleaner 2.107 program:
Téléchargements - Outils de Xplode - AdwCleaner
(Right side, drive with the green arrow)

The program searches and removes unwanted toolbars, programs, adwares, and browser hijackers,
and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7: versions 32 and 64 bits.

After downloading, save AdwCleaner to the Desktop
Right-click on adwcleaner.exe and selectt: Run As Administrator

Click the Search button, if a search does not begin automatically.

Once the search is completed and, if it has located unwanted items, click the Delete button to remove these.

The computer is rebooted automatically.

Next, a text file opens after the computer restarts.

Please post the content of the AdwCleaner Delete report in your reply.

Note: You can also find the reports at C:\AdwCleaner[Sn].txt (S = search, n = order number), or, C:\AdwCleaner[Rn].txt (R = remove, n = order number)

The following should help with the Start Menu issue. But, most important, the program checks for rootkits, malware processes, Registry entries, and Master Boot Record (MBR) issues.
It has a 'hands-on' interface that the User can set and control.

Download the 32-bit version of RogueKiller:
Tlcharger RogueKiller (Site Officiel)

When you get to the website, go to where it says:
(Download link) Lien de téléchargement:

Click the dark-blue button( on the left, for 32-bit system) to download.

Save to the Desktop

Close all windows and browsers
Windows Vista/Seven, right-click and select: Run as Administrator

Press: SCAN

A report opens on the Desktop: RKreport.txt

Please provide the RKreport.txt (Mode: Scan) in your reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Neil, is this Windows7 an upgrade from Vista?

Your Java is extremely outdated! We'll get to that later. Follow my instructions below:

Download Combofix from any of the links below, and save it to your desktop.<--Important
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

Click on this link Here to see a list of programs that should be disabled.
The list is not all inclusive. If yours is not listed and you don't know how to disable it, please ask.
If your anti-virus or firewall complains, please allow this script to run as it is not malicious.
Next: Disconnect from the internet. If you are on Cable or DSL, unplug your computer from the modem.
Next: Please disable all onboard security programs (all running with back ground protection) as it may hinder the scanner from working.
This includes Antivirus, Firewall, and any Spyware scanners that run in the background.
  • Double click combofix.exe and follow the prompts.
  • When finished, it will produce a log for you.
Note: Do not mouseclick combofix's window while its running. That may cause it to stall
Please be patient while the scan runs, at times it may appear to stall.
When finished and after reboot (in case it asks to reboot), it should open a log, combofix.txt.
Post this log in your next reply
After rebooting ensure your Security applications have been re-enabled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 32 bit
Windows 7 upgrade yes

Hi.. yes it is a Windows 7 upgrade from Vista....

at the moment my Windows updates are not working and not sure why... I guess part of the same problem... I will run the program you suggested later this evening.. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #8

Windows 7 32 bit
Attached log file...

Hi Jacee... attached is log...

Attached Files
File Type: txt log.txt (67.7 KB, 8 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Next, I want you to download AdWareCleaner AdwCleaner Download to your desktop
1.Right-click on adwcleaner.exe and select Run As Administrator to launch the application.
2.Click on Delete button.
3.Confirm each time with OK.
4.Your computer will be rebooted automatically. A text file will open after the restart. Please post the content of that logfile in your reply.
Note: You can find the logfile at C:\AdwCleaner[Sn].txt as well - n is the order number.

After doing that, I'd like you to scan your machine with ESET OnlineScan
  1. Hold down Control and click on the following link to open ESET OnlineScan in a new window.
    ESET OnlineScan
  2. Click the button.
  3. For alternate browsers only: (Microsoft Internet Explorer users can skip these steps)
    1. Click on to download the ESET Smart Installer. Save it to your desktop.
    2. Double click on the icon on your desktop.
  4. Check
  5. Click the button.
  6. Accept any security warnings from your browser.
  7. Check
  8. Push the Start button.
  9. ESET will then download updates for itself, install itself, and begin scanning your computer. Please be patient as this can take some time.
  10. When the scan completes, push
  11. Push , and save the file to your desktop using a unique name, such as ESETScan. Include the contents of this report in your next reply.
  12. Push the button.
  13. Push

Now, copy and paste both the AdwCleaner.txt and the ESET scan log in your next reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #10

Windows 7 32 bit
ESET installl

For information... I have tried to previously - since this problem arose - to download and install ESET but was not able to install it.... with the install failing saying I didn't have administrator rights....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Programs missing in Start Menu and admin permission lost

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