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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:52 pm 
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The PC in question (Running XP Professional) starts up perfectly, but I cannot run Windows Explorer or any other file browser. It instantly says "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close", then the desktop reloads. I have tried rebooting, but this problem won't go away. What might be causing it?

It seems I can access it through the network, browse all folders, and copy stuff onto/off of it... but if I go to that PC and try to access it, it gives this error.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:15 am 
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It also does it if I boot into safe mode. When I open up "My Computer" and double click on a folder it immediately gives the above error message.

The computer has four hard drives installed, but I disconnected three for this test, leaving only the primary master. I can still browse the computer from other systems, but not on the affected system.

AVG also fails to connect to the update server, although Internet Explorer is configured to connect to the Internet through a proxy server. I see no connection settings in AVG so I assume it connects as Internet Explorer.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:22 am 
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Running only one firewall or two? If two similar programs are running, they buck for prominence. Can slow a system down, and cause access problems to LAN or Web sites. If using another firewall program, disable the Windows firewall.
The resident Web browser in Win XP (IE8) is being rejected by many sites.. not secure enough. Cannot be upgraded. Only a third-party Web browser still honors Win XP. But for how long?
If AVG is your primary firewall, check its security settings. Ensure the connections are "fully trusted".
Same too the proxy machine, "fully trust" the connection. You may have to edit the AVG 'black list' and 'white list' to assure the connections are trusted.
There have been some notes about the resident XP Explorer being hacked with a corrupt version that looks almost identical.. but creates access and use problems.
Are files and folders properly shared on this machine, and also to others?
Reset all IE security to default, then to 'medium high' for best overall response.

http://support.microsoft.com/fixit/
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/f ... =~pagenum~

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:38 am 
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Only the Windows Firewall is running. It's a computer I recently acquired from someone who no longer needed it, so I am still finding all the settings on it. AVG isn't up to date and won't connect to the server, I don't know why. Also, AVG wasn't scheduled to scan every day, so I am now running a scan, for the first time in I don't know how long. So far it's reached 55% and found 13 threats...

Also today I bought a Windows repair kit CD on ebay... I have no idea what it can do, but it must be worth a try.

I went into safe mode and tried to run SFC.EXE /SCANNOW from a cmd prompt, but it refused to run. I cannot remember the error message.

It seems such a small error, but it completely locks me out of the computer as far as browsing folders in concerned.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:05 pm 
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I have returned from work to find that AVG found 24 threats, most of which were healed. However AVG has also picked up a large number of threats in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Disk.sys, which AVG says cannot be removed. Can this file be overwritten with a replacement Disk.sys file from another computer? Or is this file particular and peculiar to each invidual computer?

Windows Explorer is still giving the same error and still crashing every time I try to use it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Be cautious about any "repair" program other than from the OS provider! You may find a worse scenario than before.
Also be cautious about any other systems being connected to this system, until sanitized.. or you might have an epidemic!
The only proper way to scan a system and sanitize it is by first disabling the 'restore' option for Windows. Then restart in 'safe' mode, where most viral types and Trojans are inactive or easier to root out.
Only after a few restarts and scanning again to ensure all threats are removed, then enable the 'restore' feature. Microsoft® has a 'malicious software removal tool' known as KB890830. You can download the version for your OS type and run it either quickly or thoroughly. Might help. Certain system files can only be repaired or replaced from the original OS install disk.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download ... tails.aspx

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:14 am 
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NB I have edited this post due to ongoing experimentation.

I obtained a Windows XP Professional installation CD, and booted to it in order to try and repair the Windows system files. I saw no repair option listed so I selected "Set up Windows" hoping that the setup section would then present me with a repair option... but it went into full install mode.

I rebooted, removed the CD, pressed F8, and selected "Last Known Good Configuration", hoping to roll back to the way it was. However it booted back to the installation screen. I clicked cancel, but it did not roll back the system to the way it was before I ran the Windows CD.

I then went to System Restore, and selected a previous day to roll back tthe system, but it was unable to roll back or make any changes. Is there a way I can undo the botched reinstallation of Windows?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:50 am 
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This link that may be of interest.. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788
This link looks ominous in results.. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... 82c30d2efe
When booting to the OS install disk, it will load into memory many files. Once done, several prompt options will appear. Should be an "R" for repair option. It is best to use the original OS install disk.. or at least have the COA (product key) info to verify the reinstall/repair. A different COA than what was originally logged will cause failure.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:57 am 
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Hi Karlsweldt, thank you for your advice again!

I have obtained a boot DVD called "Hiren's Boot Disc", which contains (among other wonders) a live Linux system and a mini Windows XP OS! I haven't had time to discover all the other magical tools it has, but I'm hoping I can get Windows Explorer to stop "exncountering problems".

The Mini XP was useful for gaining access to the C: drive's contents. From there I was able to delete the "WINDOWS.0" directory where the incomplete reinstallation files were. I then edited my Boot.ini to delete the reference to this, so I have now manually rolled the computer back to a "this morning" state. I want to try Hiren's Boot Disc again to see what cleanup abilities it has. I am wondering if the "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem" error is registry related or virus related. If the latter, it may explain why AVG will not connect to the update server although IE will go on line without any problems.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:06 pm 
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NB I have edited this post due to ongoing experimentation.

I went to this page: http://www.ehow.com/how_6604217_fix-enc ... lose_.html and I followed the instructions by running SFC.EXE /SCANNOW. It went through a long file-checking process, then when it reached the end... nothing. It was supposed to ask me to put the Windows CD in, but it didn't. It ran to the end of the check, then just stopped.

I then decided to boot to the Windows XP CD. It listed a recovery option, but when I selected that option it asked me to put a Windows recovery disc into the floppy drive! No such disc or drive exists, I am sorry to say.

The Windows system looks fine and boots into a desktop without problem... but it will not allow me to run "My Computer" or even right-click on the desktop for desktop properties. Everything is there... I just cannot access it. It looks like something has interfered with the system at the time I connected the computer to the Internet. AVG has finally connected to the update server (after much fiddling with settings), and is updating, apparently for the first time in twelve months.

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