Windows Security, can't change settings.

conundrum

Senior Member
#1
Hi, just joined the forum to ask for help with a laptop I'm working on. I've researched the problem in a load of forums but nothing seems to work on it, so I'm hoping someone here knows of a solution I've missed. The laptop is an Acer Aspire 5732Z, the specs are:

cpu - T4400
ram - 3.00 GB
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, no SP1 yet
the hard drive is about 250gb, with most of that space free, and just 1 visible partition.

It has 2 problems

1) it takes a long time to boot up, it used to be excessively slow in windows but removing Norton 360 seems to have solved that part. I can time it if needed.

2) a lot of the programs on the system are blocked by windows security, causing the orange "These files can't be opened" error message to pop up.

These include gfxUI.exe (the UI for the onboard graphics), the installer for Crap Cleaner, the installer for Service Pack 1, the add new user window, and a load of other files I don't have a list of. There's only 1 account on the system, and it's an admin account. I've tried to use the run as admin option where possible.

Here's what I've done so far to solve it, not necessarily in this order,

reinstalled intel graphics drivers,
no effect

ran a startup repair,
after an hour it hadn't loaded.

uninstalled norton 360,
system speed improved by several hundred times, otherwise no effect, and bootup time still seems as long.

gone into windows firewall and reset all settings to default,
no effect.

tried to change the settings in internet security, set everything low except for my computer, which is locked,
no effect

gone into internet security and clicked set all zones to default
no effect

tried to install SP1 (after failing several times before due to the system being too slow to install it),
security blocked it, then apparently deleted the installer.

tried to make a new user account, to copy the registry settings for the security to overwrite the faulty settings on the main account,
the new user account window was blocked by security.

in a cmd window run as admin, used command
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
gave a progress report, completed, no effect.

backed up important data, tried to reinstall windows from scratch,
the installer doesn't load, after clicking install now it just starts loading and doesn't stop.

at this point, I thought it must be a hardware issue, so I tried to run some diagnostics from a bootable CD.
It wouldn't read the CD.

That's it so far, I'm not sure what to try next, so any suggestions are much appreciated.
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#2
Hi

It sounds like you have multiple problems...

You should be able to turn off the UAC by moving the slider to the bottom.


Install Grant Full Admin Control it will get around most of those you aren't allowed to access this messages.

Grant Admin Full Control

Take and Grant Full Control Permissions and Ownership in Windows 7 or Vista Right Click Menu « My Digital Life


Run this command...

From the elevated Prompt Right click on the Prompt Icon and select run as administrator.
Then type…

SFC /scannow

Scans and restores system files.



Download and run CCleaner...

CCleaner

Piriform - Download CCleaner, Defraggler, Recuva, Speccy - Millions of users worldwide!



Download and run Malwarebytes...

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO removes malware including viruses, spyware, worms and trojans, plus it protects your computer


Download Defraggler and defrag your hard drive...

Defraggler


Download Defraggler 2.07.346 - FileHippo.com


When you get done doing these you should have a nice clean computer, defragged and malware free.

Install Microsoft Security Essentials if you aren't already running it.

If your computer still doesn't run well come back and tell us what's happening.

Mike
 


Last edited:

conundrum

Senior Member
#3
thanks for the advice :) I'll try it this morning and post back with the results
 


#4
Mike has taken the words right out of my mouth, LOL :razz:

I'll just add a couple things... the whole time reading your note I kept asking myself, "What security?" (are you meaning, that's interferring?) But, Mike has already told you to be using MSE :thumbs_up::thumbs_up: MSE - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

Anyway, in addition:
> Internet Options - Delete & Delete
> cmd>Run as Admin
Type, cleanmgr sageset:1, hit Enter
window comes, check every box, hit OK
Now type, cleanmgr sagerun:1, hit Enter
> cmd & the CHKDSK /r/f, hit Enter, then Y, reboot.

Oh & what Mike & I are saying is use these cmd things (what both he & I mentioned), MSE, CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com ), Malwarebytes (www.malwarebytes.org ) and no other utilities that claim to be silver bullets for a computer's ills.

I'll, also, be keen to hear your update

Cheers,
Drew
 


Last edited:

conundrum

Senior Member
#5
just trying that procedure now but I can't change the UAC settings. I can move the slider but when I click OK nothing happens. If I close the window and go back the slider is back at the default setting.

CCleaner isn't installing, it just says the installer GUI can't initialize. I'm using version 309 so I'll try downloading version 312.

edit - just saw your post after making this, Drew. I ran through your procedure and it's just started disk checking, no problems so far, thanks.
 


Last edited:
#6
Personally, I don't feel it sounds like hardware... really sounds more like corruption in the OS. Don't try using anything to repair or restore the Reg. & I doubt the OS Repair function will do the trick, doesn't go deep or wide enough. Do you have the OS disc or the Recovery discs for this thing? If not there are workarounds but, do the stuff Mike & I mentioned & see where you stand & we'll cross that bridge when & if necessary.

TT4N,
Drew

PS: Norton (lord love it) will make any machine slower than it can be. So will malware & accumulated 'junk' files. You can always check msconfig to see if any crap is running in the background & or @ start-up. Oh & check the Win7 Event Viewer for any tell-tale errors.
 


Last edited:

conundrum

Senior Member
#7
this just in, 2 bad clusters detected so far.
I have a copy of windows 7 64 bit but though it runs on that laptop it hangs when I try to do a repair or reinstall.
 


#8
Hangs? @ what point? Is it a burnt copy from an ISO or something else? Are you formaying before going further w/ the clean ("Custom") install?
 


conundrum

Senior Member
#9
It's a burnt copy (not cracked or anything, it's purely for reinstalling or repairing with legitamate licence stickers if the origonal disks aren't available) I think it was a direct copy from an origonal disk. It hangs after selecting language options and clicking install now, before getting the option to format. If I click repair instead it gets to the list of installations detected, then won't go any further.

Update on disk checking, it started to go slow around 25%, that was shortly after my last post here, currently it's at 31% If there hadn't been a progress report, I'd most likely think that was hanging as well.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#10
Did you run any special uninstallers to get rid of Norton? I have been looking for one, but haven't seen one I could recommend.
 


#11
Norton themselves (Symantec) has the best UN-Installer for all Norton products.

The "Norton Removal Tool" is one of the most used programs in my software toolkit.
https://www-secure.symantec.com/nor...10133834EN&product=home&version=1&pvid=f-home

It's also available from other sites as well.

At least four out of five service calls I get from new customers, at some point include "it's running Sooooooo Slow"!
So what changed since the PC was new? JUNK, that's what's happened. Get all the junk out of your PC and it will run like new.
Then tweak it and tune it to get rid of many of the SAFE Defaults and it will run even BETTER than new.
That's what I do for a living.
My entire tune-up package for Win-7 is in one RAR file on my web site.

:cool:
 


Last edited:

MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#12
Hi

If you haven't run Malwarebytes yet do that too.
Run and install it in Safe Mode.

This should tell you whether or not there is any malware on your computer, and remove it.

I've never seen problems installing either Malwarebytes or CCleaner unless there was malware involved.
Some viruses are designed to block the installation of software that will detect them.

Try and install both programs in Safe Mode.

Mike
 


#13
@Saltgrass
I just used the uninstaller supplied, it seems to have done the job although I think there were a few registry entries left over that CCleaner got rid of.

@MikeHawthorne
You're right, just after my last post I got malwarebytes installed, the database was way out of date but it still picked up 16 files including fake alert. With them gone I updated and did a full scan finding a registry entry for a proxy. Now the 'can't access this file' messages seem to have stopped popping up so it looks like the malware was causing it.

CCleaner started working as well then so I ran that as well. The bootup is still slow but there's not much else that seems to be wrong with it now, the bad clusters got sorted by checkdisk.

Thanks loads :)
 


#14
Go here for Norton Removal - https://www-secure.symantec.com/nor...10133834EN&product=home&version=1&pvid=f-home

Disc Check can seem to hang, especially if not done before. It goes through stages & the 1st is fairly quick & the latter stages can take a long time.

Have you used that burnt copy successfully previously? Sometimes, if the burn speed was too fast, this can happen. I would suggest trying w/ a original Win7 disc. When it asks for the Key, use the one on the label affixed to the machine.

Cheers,
Drew
 


#15
Thinking about it, this may have been the first time I used that disk, it was a while ago that I got it and I may have used a different method to solve the problem I was going to use it for.
 


#16
Yes, Malwarebytes must be Updated prior to each use (scan). Glad CCleaner & Malwarebytes helped; they are both excellent products. I, also, hope pointing you to the Norton Removal Tool helped.

Hmmm, ok, well, it's just that sometimes burnt Win7 discs can be problematic.

This whole scenario does jibe w/ the fact that 'junk' & malware, virii or otherwise, can interfer & impede. Unfortunately, sometimes finding & removing 'infections', doesn't necessarily rectify the damage they did. But, often, it may get rid of the blockages.

Sounds like you are making some headway. Glad if we offered anything helpful.

By the way, even though Win7 defrags wkly, by default, when you have all the stuff discussed done, defrag.

Regards,
Drew
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#17
Hi

For the future you might like to download and install Revo Uninstaller.

It does a much better job of uninstalling things then Windows does and I like the interface that shows you what you have install in one window without scrolling.


Revo Uninstaller

Download Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Free and Full Download - Uninstall software, remove programs, solve uninstall problems

Mike
 


helpifIcan

Fantastic Member
#18
Try this and see if it helps with your startup problem.

Soluto
 


#19
Thanks again everyone for the advice, here's an update so far...
The system seems to be malware free now, the security warnings have stopped, it doesn't crash when the scrollbar is touched (it used to before), but it's still very slow on bootup.

I've disabled most of the programs running at startup, run Malwarebytes, CCleaner, defragged the hard drive, run a memory diagnostic (no errors) and installed service pack 1. For some reason other updates just seem to hang while creating a restore point.

While defragging I noticed that the hard drive has 3 partitions, only 1 of them (C:) shows in My Computer, another (SYSTEM RESERVED) shows in the defrag window as 13% fragmented, but can't be defraged (it's only a few Mb in size anyway, so not sure what it's for), the 3rd is labeled as restore and visible only in the drive manager. I'm not sure if any of this is relevant though, or what else can be done to speed up booting, but it's mostly working fine now, so hopefully the next person to have this problem will find this thread.
 


#20
Glad things have improved & glad we were able to help.

Drew
 


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