Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related...?)

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Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related...?)

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:10 pm

I'm working on a system that is so entrenched with crap that I'm half tempted to just reinstall Windows all together. I'd hate to do that because I have hours into fixing the various issues. Some of these include supposedly not being able to go to random websites, specific links fail (I've yet to recreate this issue), Firefox would not be able to access the bookmark/profile as it claims something else is using the file. Randomly it will come up but then a quick refresh and its unable to locate the file. Can't install certain software like SlimDrivers as it fails with a generic "Unable to locate directory", not saying which exactly, assuming its the AppData folder for the user. I also had some OCX registry items that were not able to register themselves. I've removed all sorts of malware/browser hi-jacks. Used RKill, Malwarebytes, Avast, ADWCleaner, ComboFix and TDSSKiller multiple times and appears to be as clean as it will ever be. Used CCleaner on registry multiple stages along the way and also PerfectRegistry which both found tons of issues at each stage along the way.

So in the end I figured it was a botched windows profile and built a new one, careful to not pull over anything other than just files. Having the same/similar issues. So I'm not sure what the heck is going on. Sounds to me like a lot of registries referring to specific install directory locations and AppData information for the profiles is completely screwed. Anyone have a suggestion or know of a batch script to reset a lot of these to the default? I'm absolutely at a loss on this annoying machine.

Also.... ran an SFC and nothing came back.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:02 pm

Abandon all hope.

If HKEY_Classes and HKLM have been extensively tampered with and damaged by Malware you're in a losing battle.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:16 pm

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:33 pm

I agree, I wouldn't waste another second of brainpower on it.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:58 pm

Back up their data and nuke. You'll waste a lot less of your time and get a better result.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:12 am

I would recommend reinstalling Windows as it is a surefire way to get the system in the best condition it will be in, however if you are adamant about fixing it, try the sfc /scannow command in command prompt.

In the event that you don't know what it does, it basically scans all of the essential and default Windows files and if it finds something wrong, it will replace it with the original file.

Good luck to you.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:40 am

Nuking in T-Minus

*5*
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*4*
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*3*
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*2*
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*1*


FIRE!

Thanks for the affirmation guys, its what I new I had to do but was holding out for one last bit of hope. Machine imaged and on its way to greener pastures.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:55 am

TL;DR? :P

Techgoudy wrote:I would recommend reinstalling Windows as it is a surefire way to get the system in the best condition it will be in, however if you are adamant about fixing it, try the sfc /scannow command in command prompt.

In the event that you don't know what it does, it basically scans all of the essential and default Windows files and if it finds something wrong, it will replace it with the original file.

Good luck to you.

Welch wrote:Also.... ran an SFC and nothing came back.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:48 pm

Already fired the torpedos FF :P. The system works flawless now. Never seen a system so registry screwed. Put it this way, the customer got his machine back and within 2 days had it infected again. One of those guys who loves his "PC Fixer Faster Speedy" programs lol. The worst kind. The guy is in his 70's and has over 600gb worth of data/installs.... I didn't realize someone of his age could be so reliant on his computer. Its why I was a bit reluctant to nuke and boot up a fresh copy.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:52 pm

Welch wrote:Already fired the torpedos FF :P. The system works flawless now. Never seen a system so registry screwed. Put it this way, the customer got his machine back and within 2 days had it infected again. One of those guys who loves his "PC Fixer Faster Speedy" programs lol. The worst kind. The guy is in his 70's and has over 600gb worth of data/installs.... I didn't realize someone of his age could be so reliant on his computer. Its why I was a bit reluctant to nuke and boot up a fresh copy.

Are you charging per incident? You should be making quite a bit of money off him. :) Once he pays enough he should learn his lesson, or you just get rich off of him. If his data stash does not change so drastically, may be back it up on tape/bigHD yourself and just nuke his system every time, and then charge him a bundle muhahahahaha. /evil
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:05 pm

Tell him he needs to get a Mac.

/trollface
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:21 pm

bthylafh wrote:Tell him he needs to get a Mac.

/trollface

No, that will be bad for the OP's business! :lol:
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:09 pm

bthylafh wrote:Tell him he needs to get a Mac.

/trollface


Sorry, but there is nothing magical about a Mac that is going to protect against this sort of user. The owner likes to install crap-ware off the internet... well guess what, there is plenty of crap-ware out there for Macs.

One of my wife's relatives has a Mac and he's constantly screwing it up. The last time we went to visit I spent a few hours fixing exactly the same kinds of issues that the OP was talking about; links not working, pages not loading, etc; one of the problems was Mac Defender which is a fairly common scare-ware program that pretends to "fix" issues while actually installing other malware. Fortunately his situation didn't require any sort of nuclear option.

The point is, if the user is actively installing crap on the machine, they really aren't any safer running a Mac. Sorry all you Mac fanatics, but now that people actually use your OS, there are other people writing malware for it ;)
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:01 pm

I would have suggested Chrome OS, but this user sounds like he wants something more than a web terminal.
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Re: Win 7 - Directory + Registering Issues (AppData Related.

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:34 pm

Yeah, there is no fixing this guys habits. He is well entrenched into his ways ahaha. No, but I'm too nice of a guy and I'm going to be having to right off a **** ton of time :P. Before when we did work for the guy, I put about 7-8 hours worth of time into getting him up and running right, back and forth on-site. All he paid to the other tech company........ $75, which he just recently wrote a check for almost 1 year later lol. I was doing contract work for that other small business and the guy running it goes (after the fact) "Hey, this time... you can bill him directly".................... Great, because that's what I want to do.

So considering I spent almost 12 hours this time, back and forth lol. I'm going to break it down to this. $75 for virus removal (although I usually charge $125 if its hardcore like his was), then $125 for Windows 7 reinstall with drivers and $45 for data migration, all 500-600 gb of it.............

In reality there was so much more going on there than ever before because I had to do a lot of those things multiple times, walk him through steps because it was insisted that he drive not me lol. I removed viruses/scare-ware off of his machine TWICE even after that fresh install. I mean I'm completely at a loss on this one.

$245.... and I know he will complain about it. The last time he received the bill which was cut in half, he asked the owner of the other company how much time did the tech (me) actually spend on it, and he said "Well, maybe an hour and a half", yeah somehow 8 hours is only worth 1 1/2 hours. lol.

Most customers are an in and out sort of deal. I don't know how this guy does it but its impossible to break even with him. Next time he goes to call, I may just have to tell him I'm 3 weeks out.
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