HELP!!! Cannot open ANY exe files. Been Hijacked

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by bimfi, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. bimfi

    bimfi New Member

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    I recently was perusing some unsavory websites (I'm sure you can guess) today and all of a sudden I got these messages which I started to ignore. Then it said that my flash player could not be run, or something like that. The main thing was that something has hijacked my computer, preventing me from running ANY exe file, including my Trend Micro Maximum Security; HijackThis; System Restore; etc. I called Trend Micro and they could not help me either. I think I had glimpsed something that looked like it said "worm32" which leads me to believe that it is a worm that is infecting my computer. I keep getting the same message whenever I open any exe file: "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the default programs panel." I went into the default programs panel and found about 108 extensions that the current default is "unknown application". Some of these extensions include .386, .asp, .bat, .chk, and .cmd to name a few.
    I cannot download a program to scan the computer because I will still get the same message. What can I do, short of reinstalling windows, to fix this problem?
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Give this a try Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta | Microsoft Connect
    You may need a Microsoft Connect account not sure.
    Anyway it will give you the opportunity to burn a boot CD from the ISO which will allow you to scan your system for infections from the Microsoft PE, independent of the Operating System.
    Then you can get the EXE fix from here File Association Fixes for Windows 7 - The Winhelponline Blog read the instructions.
    Make sure that you clean your system first otherwise the problem will likely just re-occur.
     
  3. bimfi

    bimfi New Member

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    Thanks! I will try that now. Will let you know what happens!
     
  4. bimfi

    bimfi New Member

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    Downloaded the Standalone System Sweeper, burned the image file and ran it on my PC. Found a LOT of Trojans and worms. Repaired PC with this program! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I went to the other site you recommended and let it do a scan of my system. It didn't really tell me anything new, other than my system is not stable.
    I did run a program called "registry clean expert" that I've had for quite a while. It detected a lot of broken links and fixed them also.
    My big concern was that the time that I was "infected" may have opened a way for someone to access my PC then or in the future. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, again, for all the help!
     
  5. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    I would also download and run MalwareBytes Antimalware. Run a full system scan. Generally it's a good idea to attach these things from Safe Mode rather than full Windows boot as well.

    By the way, we ALL hope you have learned from your experience. These sites are inherently unsafe. I might also install an app called Web of Trust.
     
    #5 Medico, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  6. bimfi

    bimfi New Member

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    Yes, I believe I did learn a lesson. Thanks. I ran MalwareBytes in safe mode. Everything looks good. I am also running CCleaner to remove any files that should not be there. I looked at Web Of Trust and it looks like a good app to have. Thanks, again!
     
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    You're welcome and we're glad to hear that you were able to resolve your issue.
    My first suggestion would be to rid yourself of whatever security suite(s) you are currently using and download and install Microsoft Security Essentials (run another full system scan) as it would seem that whatever you are currently using was somewhat less than adequate in protecting you from infections. Be advised you may need to run the vendor specific proprietary removal tool in order to get rid of any and all remnants of the previous suite a partial list can be found here http://windows7forums.com/blue-screen-death-bsod/50402-removal-tools-antivirus-software-drivers.html if yours is not present try Google and see if you can find one.
    I would agree with Ted's recommendation for Malwarebytes and probably add
    SUPERAntiSpyware.com - Downloads
    and
    The home of Spybot-S&D!
    All free for personal non-commercial use. Download, install, update to latest signatures. Reboot computer into safe mode and run all three simultaneously.
    I would do that until all three reported a clean bill of health.
    The bottom line is, after an infection, no one and no programs can guarantee that your computer is absolutely 100% free of all remnants of any such infection. The only way I know of to be absolutely positive that nothing remains is to use a program like Erase hard drive by Active@ KillDisk. Low Level Format. which will complete erase the contents of your hard drive by over writing the drive from end to end (single pass only with free version).
    So I would suppose it would depend on your relative paranoia level (we all have different thresholds) and how safe you actually want or need to be.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  8. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    As Trouble has alluded to, a multi-layered approach is best for system security, but nothing will stop the worst offender, the person tapping the keyboard.

    I run MSE as well, along with Online Armor++ firewall and a hardware firewall in my router. I periodically run manual scans with MalwareBytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. I also ensure all updates (especially security updates) are installed for Windows and ALL apps installed. I use the latest and most secure versions of apps, including IE 9 and Google Chrome 16. As I said, a multi-layered approach.

    I use both Filehippo.com Update Tracker and Secunia PSI to help identify out of date apps and offer solutions.

    But again all these steps will not stop you from going where you will, so I'm glad you have learned the hazzards of "exploring" these bad sites

    You might also check out the many posts and sites on Imaging and start creating up to date Images of your system so when all else fails you can format and restore your system to working order in about 10 minutes.
     
  9. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    If you want to browse those unmentionable sites use Google Chrome, it has a function to open a incognito window that blocks a lot of stuff being saved to your computer, and stops your computer from sending any data about you the other way.
     

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