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What the *?!!*/# just hit me?

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2006, 07:33 PM
byRo's Avatar
byRo byRo is offline
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What the *?!!*/# just hit me?

I arrive home and my XP is inviting me to install a new patch (which it seems was the WMF patch - KB912919).
How nice! Don't need to go find it.
Installed, reset and......

Everything goes wonky!
All the links have forgotton what they were there for.
All programs just provoke a message saying that Windows doesn't know what to do with it.
Turns out that Windows suddenly forgot what an .exe file (amongst others) was.
The way to fix it is to do a registry patch, but for that you'll need a working internet connection and the regedit program - but if nothing is working...?


If someday this happens to you, here are some things I learned as I escaped........

- Although you can't directly execute anything, the "Open with..." right-click option still works. So I made a new .txt (Notepad) file and Opened with with my internet link-up program;

- A .htm link on the desktop would still manage to open Firefox;

- Googling around, discovered that I'm not the first person to whom this happened;

- Discovered that from the Task Manager (<Ctrl><Alt><Del>) a <Ctrl> click on the "New Task" button opens up the command window (even though Windows won't open it normally);

- The registry fix that worked was from here http://djlizard.net/tech/repair-perm...-associations/

- Ran the fix as instructed and everything is back to normal now.

Phew!

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  #2  
Old 01-06-2006, 09:03 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Ouch!! I'm sure Bill Gates is working on a patch for that!
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:06 PM
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No! Another patch, no.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:36 PM
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Marthig Marthig is offline
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ByRo !! That's awful !

Was it your automatic update program asking you to install ? When I read about this new patch being available I immediately programmed the automatic update for 9 am and it downloaded and then installed the patch, restarted the PC and it all went fine.

What hit you seem to be a virus ? could you find out what it was ?
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:50 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Yes, it was purely automatic.
Been thinking again...I have Ad-Watch running, maybe some of the registry fixes in the patch got blocked. That might explain a few things.

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Old 01-07-2006, 12:30 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Yipes! That's a terrible way to spend your day. I installed the new patch with no noticeable reactions from my computer, but I am always worried that one of those horror stories I read about might happen. Sorry that you got to be the Star in the latest horror story...

I'm glad you were able to figure out a way to get it started up again, and that you were able to find a registry fix (and knew what to do with it). Hopefully, Chris and/or Gary will have some added info for those who haven't "upgraded" their machines yet.
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Old 01-07-2006, 02:45 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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If you lose access to your GUI (Graphic User Interface), reboot into "Safemode with Command" by hitting the F8 key as you reboot, then selecting from the menu.

This will open a command line interface,now type CD C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 then hit return, now type msconfig.exe to open System Configuration Utility.

From here click the "General" tab, where you can launch "System Restore", and restore to an earlier time.

Should get you round the problem.

Ro, is everything working OK now, no unusual behaviour? If you're worried about having contracted a virus or Malware, post a HJT log here and I'll look it over if you'd like.

EDIT Been thinking on this, rather than changing directory and bothering with System Config Utility, probably easier to type the following when you get the command line.

%SystemRoot%\System32\Restore\rstrui.exe

This will open System Restore directly.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 01-07-2006 at 03:33 PM. Reason: add extra information
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:07 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Everything's fine now.
Observations just for the record.......

No, Gary, didn't lose Windows GUI. That's the funny (now) thing. Some things worked perfectly, most not at all.
No .lnk's (links) worked. No .exe's were clickable. No command line response.
One thing I don't understand at all. I did do "System Restore" (twice) and the problem continued - that's when I got scared!

However, I could call up Explorer by the shortcut (<Windows><E>) fine.
Programs did execute fine if called indirectly, i.e. click on a .psd file and Photshop opens. That's how I came up with the workaround using "open with..."

After this, AVG and Norton came up clean (OK, 1 Trojan byte/verify - but I often get some of those when I wander too close to the shady side of the Web)

Hope this doesn't happen to anyone here, but if it does don't panic.
It can be fixed.

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  #9  
Old 01-07-2006, 08:50 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Ro (and any others that might have this happen),

like gary said, you could con-alt-del twice to reboot then hit F8 to get into safe mode, but instead of going like gary said, you could also use the 'Safe Mode wih Networking' safe mode and get to the internet and get whatever fixes you needed that way as well. just an alternative to what gary said.

also, folks shld know that there are several 'explorers' with windows and careful distinctions shld be made here. you have 'windows explorer' which is the small application on your desktop for exploring your file system and folders. you also have 'i.e. explorer or internet explorer' which is the browser that comes with windows and you have 'explorer.exe' which is the desktop graphical user interface (gui).

explorer.exe runs in your task manager as a 'process'. when you hit con-alt-del and call up the task manager you shld normally see it listed there. and like any other task there it can be killed. and unlike earlier versions of windows, in xp it can be killed without killing the system and crashing. it can also be restored from task manager by using the 'applications' tab and hitting 'new task'. in the command line there. just type in 'explorer.exe' and hit return and your desktop shld return to life.

glad you got it going, Ro, and thank you for that link! you may have just saved me a HUGE hassle. some of my permissions have been screwed up for a LONG time. i'll let you know what happens what i run that .bat file.

craig
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:44 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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YES!!! it worked!!! i've got my system information back!!! and my other system tools are working again and though i havent tried it yet, i'll bet my lan networking is working again too!!! amazing!!! i've been trying (sort of, now and again, well, a bit....ok, i went into apathy on this a long time ago and quit trying ) to get this thing fixed for over a year!!! not even a call to microsoft support could fix this thing!!! i didnt even have to reboot the system after the fix!!! freaking hallelujah!!!

that was amazing! i ran the .bat file and it took a LONG time to run. understand that my registry is BIG! the subsequent log files are BIG also but immediately upon completion i had my broken windows stuff working again! now, THAT'S service! this thing was all about broken permissions and NOBODY could seem to fix it. it may well be why my installation of service pack 2 was running so horribly slow as well. i'll have to try that again now and see.

Ro, thank you! thank you! thank you! i'm glad your machine got screwed up! otherwise i'd probably have never found this hehehe, ok, i didnt really want your machine to get screwed up, but you know what i mean here i'm going to also put a note on that guy's web site. i notice your name is now there also in his message response area.

absolutely amazing!

craig
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