Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu items

rtxx

New Member
Hi
I'm helping a friend who had a malware infection, which has now apparently been eradicated. Vista Home Premium SP2 32bit. I don't know if the problems it still has are a result of the malware, or if they were preexisting on my friend's computer. But I suspect they were used by the malware to protect itself.

*The taskbar won't unlock, even temporarily (in contrast to the folder properties issue mentioned below).
*I can't show hidden files/extensions, even temporarily.
*Folder properties can't be altered permanently, e.g. the user documents folder is always displayed as "Pictures and Videos" type instead of "All Items" ; can't set to use Windows Classic folders, show full path in Title Bar, etc. These items CAN be altered temporarily, but the previous settings always revert on rebooting.)
*Context menu items such as new folder, new text document are not present.
*Deleted files do not show up in the recycle bin.
*No matter which browser (FF or MSIE) is set as default, when the default browser is reopened it always states to this effect: "This is not the default browser. Would you like to make it the default browser?"

These did not return to normal after doing a system restore to 3 weeks before the time the malware became apparent.
The system restore was done before eliminating the malware. The following were tried afterwards:
I ran Unhide (from Bleepingcomputer) several times; no effect.
I ran System File Checker several times; the ~4 items that it couldn't repair don't seem related to these issues.
I've tried restoring the context menu items using the fixes shown here, but to no effect.
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/154554-new-context-menu-restore-default-menu-items.html

I was advised to merge this (as a file called fixme.reg) with the registry to unhide hidden files:
__
REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"Hidden"=dword:00000001
"SuperHidden"=dword:00000001
"ShowSuperHidden"=dword:00000001
"HideFileExt"=dword:00000000
__
but I get "Cannot import fixme.reg: error accessing the registry." (All antivirus programs were disabled at the time)

There was only one account on this computer. I created a new Admin account, and the New context menu items DO show up in the new account. Likewise, in the newly created account but not the original one, deleted items do show up in the recycle bin.

I'm ignorant about the registry, also this is my 1st experience with Vista.

Any suggestions?
 

My Computer

t-4-2

Banned
Re: Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu it

If a new admin account you have created posts no issues at all, then it strongly indicates that the "old" admin account has been corrupted.

Removal of the old admin is the order of the day.

How to deal with corrupted user profile :
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows-vista/Fix-a-corrupted-user-profile

Note : You must have at least three user accounts on the computer to complete these steps, including the new account you just created.
 

My Computer

kesume

Vista Guru

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Hewlett-Packard SR5019UK
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 processor 3800 + 2.40GHz
    Motherboard
    M2N68-LA (Narra)
    Memory
    2.50GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce
    Sound Card
    Realtec ALC888 Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" LCD Monitor
    Hard Drives
    160 Gb Usable Hard Drive
    Other Info
    HP G56 Laptop Win 7 64bit. 4Gb Ram DDR2's. Hitachi 450Gb Hard Drive. Pentium(R) Duel-Core CPU.

rtxx

New Member
Re: Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu it

Kesume, thank you for the suggestion. The problems persist for this account in safe mode, so I'm not confident that a clean boot will have much effect.

t-4-2, I think, as you suggested, transferring everything to a new profile /account will probably do it. In the process, access was denied to the new target account's
profile folders (Application data, cookies, local settings, my documents, nethood, printhood, recent, sendto, start menu, & templates). Is that going to cause problems?
 

My Computer

t-4-2

Banned
Re: Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu it

Kesume, thank you for the suggestion. The problems persist for this account in safe mode, so I'm not confident that a clean boot will have much effect.

t-4-2, I think, as you suggested, transferring everything to a new profile /account will probably do it. In the process, access was denied to the new target account's
profile folders (Application data, cookies, local settings, my documents, nethood, printhood, recent, sendto, start menu, & templates). Is that going to cause problems?
Did you follow the tutorial steps under To Copy Files To The New User profile ?
Note : step #1 is to log on to the 3rd user account.... not the new admin account, and not the old admin account.
Also read the instructions regarding Windows Mail messages and contacts below step #10.
It is important to follow to the letter.

P.S. An alternative ...... PUBLIC folders are accessible by all users.
Logon to your old admin account > copy your personal folders to crresponding PUBLIC folders.
Logon to your new admin account > navigate to the PUBLIC folders > transfer those folders to your new admin personal folders by using Copy To or Move To option.
 

My Computer

rtxx

New Member
Re: Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu it

Yes I did use the 3rd admin user account to do the copy /paste. AND I made very sure not to copy the ntuser*.* files.

It turns out that apparently all the documents were copied to their proper places in the new admin account, despite notification at the end of pasting that access was denied to those special profile folders.

Now the new admin account has the same issues as the old admin account - taskbar won't unlock, I can't unhide hidden files, etc in the new admin account. But CAN do it in the 3rd admin account.
 

My Computer

t-4-2

Banned
Re: Taskbar won't unlock, can't show hidden files/extensions, missing context menu it

Yes I did use the 3rd admin user account to do the copy /paste. AND I made very sure not to copy the ntuser*.* files.

It turns out that apparently all the documents were copied to their proper places in the new admin account, despite notification at the end of pasting that access was denied to those special profile folders.

Now the new admin account has the same issues as the old admin account - taskbar won't unlock, I can't unhide hidden files, etc in the new admin account. But CAN do it in the 3rd admin account.
I am sorry to hear that.

I don't have a solution for you, but I'll keep looking.
 

My Computer

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