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Welch
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Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:39 am

It seems a new flavor of Windows 7 viruses are out there. This one has caused Windows even in safe mode to not be able to run many of the utilities that can get a hold of a disabled system. I'm unable to run many of the usuals like ADWCleaner, ComboFix, TDSSKiller ect. I'm also attempting to run Tweaking All-In-One which gives me access to many script fixes, via a GUI.

The issue seems to like with anything requesting permissions to write many folders. I've taken ownership of the entire C:\ and am even running portable versions of these softwares. I was hoping for some of the scripts that can be triggered by All-In-One Repair utility from Tweaking.com to be able to run them as a simple VBS/CMD script so as to avoid the interface that seems to be an issue for the system.

Any ideas? I've had the drive out and scanned externally, removed a good number of Malware/Viruses. Seems to be the aftermath of said nasty programs. I think I just need a fresh perspective on this one.
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Redocbew
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:43 am

Yeah I've had that happen before. I cleaned up one from my folks' machine a while ago which would close task manager as soon as I opened it. Offhand, there's a few web based scanners around which it probably wouldn't know to look for. That's probably what I would try next.
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Welch
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:54 am

Yeah it doesn't close any of the windows. Just seems like any programs that require certain plugins won't run. Thought it to be an ACL permissions issue, may still be.

The Tweaking All-in-One program usually does great to set things back to default and repair this sort of problem, but it's one of the programs that can't run. Hmmm, man this is an annoying one.
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Flying Fox
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:37 am

Force elevate to Admin when running the programs/cmd, or disable UAC altogther and see if it helps? (forgot offhand if Safe Mode still does UAC prompts)
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bfg-9000
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:10 am

Try the bootable rescue CDs from the big AV manufacturers--if you run enough of them maybe you can find one that can fix it. These all have online updaters so you'll need internet access to avoid outdated definitions:

AVG

Avira

BitDefender

F-Secure

Kaspersky
 
Welch
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:19 pm

I am able to run as administrator already. I even attempted to make a new admin user, which Windows let me. When I log in to the new user I constantly get an errornaboutbthe AppData directory not available and none of the default icons or start menu programs exist. This is what makes me think ACL permissions as it doesn't seem to have permissions to write a new profile.

I couldn't use Microsofts subinacl program because it relies on a .MSI to install... Which Microsoft of course doesn't allow to run in Safe mode. I never understood why that was, very annoying as you can't fix anything with 1/2 of their tools in the mode where you would need to use them.

Already removed the drive from the system and scanned in mine via USB cradle. Found plenty of junk that was removed with Avast and Malwarebytes. I believe I got rid of all of the active threats, this just appears to be damage from their wake.
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ludi
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:50 pm

This is well past the point where I would nuke from orbit. Is there anything on the machine that cannot be salvaged and/or reinstalled?
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:55 pm

Yeah, time for the full Hicks/Ripley (R.I.P. Pvt. Hudson).
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Acidicheartburn
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:00 pm

ludi wrote:
This is well past the point where I would nuke from orbit. Is there anything on the machine that cannot be salvaged and/or reinstalled?

Yep. Who knows what holes have been left behind now.
 
Welch
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Re: Windows 7 - Safe Mode can't run utilities!

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:39 pm

Yep, figured I'd check to see if I left any stones unturned. I've brought back machines that appeared in much worse shape, heck not even bootable. Other than this issue it appears to run great.

Will nuke it tomorrow. Customers HATE to start fresh like that /shrug.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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