Author Topic: xp cannot find exe  (Read 19209 times)

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pedritothegreat

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xp cannot find exe
« on: September 29, 2003, 11:55:24 PM »
I have installed and scanned with avast4, now I cannot start any programme, the message cannot find ???.exe have you typed the path ect, I cannot find my start-up files or windows help, email, all although the computer runs OK. Please give me a clue as to how I fix this. :-[

techie101

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2003, 12:32:43 AM »
Ok...you are not too clear on what is happening.

When do you get the message referring to ".exe"?

What program/s can't you start?  Are you referring to Avast, or other installed programs?

How do you know that your startup files are missing?

Does your computer boot to the desktop so that you can access START in the lower left corner?

If so, go to Start, Run...and type in MSCONFIG.
When it loads, go to General tab and see if NORMAL startup is selected.  Then go to the START tab and see if programs are listed (if you are set to Normal startup, then ALL should be checked).

Now go back and check System.ini and Win.ini tabs.
You should see a bunch of files listed and checked under each tab.

Let's not go further until you check these areas.

We can then try a System Restore to the day before the problem started in computer.  It's easy to do with XP.

What version of Avast have you installed?
Are you running any other anti-virus software on you system with Avast?

techie
« Last Edit: September 30, 2003, 12:34:51 AM by techie101 »

pedritothegreat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2003, 07:55:53 AM »
Hi, xp screen is normal, all booted up. I tried : run msconfig and, windows cannot find 'msconfig'. This is the type of message I get when trying to start any programme. I have also restored to an earlier time, this hasn't changed anything, it seems as if all executables have been disabled and I cannot find a way to enable them, I even tried to rename a small game executable but found I had changed it to exe.exe and couldn't change it back.

w0mbat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2003, 09:14:57 AM »
I just had a system like this.

All boot went ok, then as apps started loading (office for example) there were can't find c:\path\path\app.exe

Same happened if I tried to run any app on the computer.

Turned out to be the SWEN virus that was causing my problem.

I would suggest (if you do not have the BART disk) to download, if you can, one of the SWEN virus cleaners and run that in SAFE MODE.

Hope that helps :)

Cheers all

w0mbat

Offline igor

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2003, 10:14:59 AM »
There seems to be a problem with the associations, probably something like:
A virus has associated executable extensions to itself; then, the virus has been deleted but the registry entries were not fixed. Now, every time you start an executable, the system is trying to start the virus executable that is still registered to be used - and fails.

Can you start any other (non-exe) file - such as .com, .bat, ...?
If only .exe association has been change, that it is possible to repair the problem by renaming the regedit.exe to regedit.com and fixing the corrensponding registry entry, i.e. setting the default value of
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command
to
"%1" %*

However, if it was Swen, then it has associated even on .com (and others, such as .bat, .scr, ...) extensions, so you will not be able to run anything.
If you have WinNT/2000/XP, you can try renaming the regedit.exe to regedit.cmd and run it. For Win9x, heavy DOS hacks would be required...

Btw, avast can remove Swen using its intergrated Virus Cleaner (that appears in the Virus dialog if Swen is found) - it would not only delete the virus files, but of course also fix the corresponding registry entries - so the problems described above should not happen.

whocares

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2003, 10:59:57 AM »
Hi Igor,

Just out of curiosity (somebody deleted swen without fixing the registry.. oops, bad move..):

I guess you can open neither explorer.exe nor a DOS-Box/command.com if the com/exefile-settings are corrupted; (or can you ? Symantec's claims it work with explorer ??? )

 but:
can you open "my Computer"="Arbeitsplatz" in such a case on NT-Systems ? Cause it says "system Folder" in properties...
 ???

Then TrendMicro's manual instructions would give a solution..


and: can you still do Start->Run in case of deleted Swen ?
 ???


P.S.: Win9x & heavy dos-Hacks
why not copy either the fix-tool or regedit.exe with a bootdisk to the Win-folder under the name of the original worm.exe ?

« Last Edit: September 30, 2003, 11:11:29 AM by whocares »

Offline igor

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2003, 12:17:36 PM »
whocares: I guess some things will work - internally, Windows probably execute (some of) their files without checking the associations and running the asociated (virus) files. The associations are used for "user interraction", not for internal API functions.

Your Win9x suggestion sounds rather good! Why didn't I thought of it... renaming the regedit to the missing virus name... nice  :D
If explorer works, you wouldn't need the bootdisk even...

Well, it may not be completely easy, since swen disables the registry editor by setting a special value in registry (registry editor can't be started; it can be done using a commandline argument, but I'm not sure how to pass it there this way). Our Virus Cleaner doesn't fix the registry by itself - only when a virus is found and removed... but it would be easy to write such a tool. Good idea!

Edit: One more thing: you'd have to know the name of the (deleted) virus... in Win9x, it's displayed in the error box;  is it also in WinNT/2000/XP?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2003, 12:21:03 PM by igor »

whocares

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2003, 01:11:46 PM »
swen disables the registry editor by setting a special value in registry (registry editor can't be started; it can be done using a commandline argument, but I'm not sure how to pass it there this way).


Hi Igor,

according to Trend, you can do it by:

"Modifying the Association for Registry Entries (.REG)" via the association/filetypes panel in either "your PC" or explorer (says Symantec) and then using a self-written regfile to repair the damage (see Trend's Swen page)



Quote
you'd have to know the name of the (deleted) virus... in Win9x, it's displayed in the error box;  is it also in WinNT/2000/XP?

Well, how should I know..?!?   ;D ;D ;)
Never had an active virus yet ....

And I wouldn't like to test this on Swen in case I'm wrong..  :o

maybe a not-so-destructive Yaha would be better  for this.. ?
 ;) ;) :)

Offline igor

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2003, 02:36:21 PM »
Ah, true... I didn't realize you can change the associations from Explorer options, without starting regedit. Then it shouldn't be hard.

w0mbat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2003, 04:33:49 AM »
Igor wrote:
Quote
Btw, avast can remove Swen using its intergrated Virus Cleaner (that appears in the Virus dialog if Swen is found) - it would not only delete the virus files, but of course also fix the corresponding registry entries - so the problems described above should not happen

Can BART do this also?
or just the instaled versions.

Cheers

w0mbat

Offline Lisandro

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2003, 04:43:13 AM »
I have installed and scanned with avast4, now I cannot start any programme, the message cannot find ???.exe have you typed the path ect, I cannot find my start-up files or windows help, email, all although the computer runs OK. Please give me a clue as to how I fix this. :-[

Just a curiosity: have you installed Norton SystemWorks (or NAV) anytime - even in the past - in your computer?
It mess your registry (http://www.avast.com/forum/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=259;start=0) but I cannot imagine it could do this kind of mess... I prefer to believe it was another virus  ;D
The best things in life are free.

pedritothegreat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2003, 07:30:52 AM »
I don't have any Norton progs although I think 'ghost' might have been shipped with my mother board. Found how to run msconfig by 'run as' but all associations are 'checked', also tried swenfix from the microsoft support page with out success that is to say the problem was not fixed although the file worked using 'run as'. It still seems to be that the 'exe' has been disabled in some way.
Will try other fixes from MS support and let you all know.
Thanks.
Just thinking Norton came as a bundle didn't it? so yes Norton must have been installed at some time.
P

pedritothegreat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2003, 07:43:02 AM »
I have followed your link and printed it off as it's a little long, I'll study that and try to follow those actions.
P

w0mbat

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2003, 07:44:05 AM »
if you can, try downloading this file
Code: [Select]
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/FixSwen.exe
boot the machine in dos mode (safe mode - command prompt)
and run the swenfix.exe

fingers crossed that will do it.

w0mbat

whocares

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Re:xp cannot find exe
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2003, 12:44:12 PM »
Hi,

now.. did you have/delete any virus/worm recently ?

and if so, which was it and were was it located ?

what about Igor's hint:
rename the fixtool to fixtool.CMD (maybe on another PC) and run it on the faulty one ?

dou you get a filename with the error-message when trying to open EXE-files ?

Did you work with the manual removal instructiosn fo Trendmicro, Symantec, F-Secure ?



@W0mbat: I don't think SafeMode will help, if the Exe/COM etc. settings are corrupted..

 ;)

P.S.: Of course, Technical's Link to the
Cleanrun.reg
should work IF IT WAS NOT Swen ;)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2003, 12:48:34 PM by whocares »