Windows Legacy OS forum


missing program menu, right click "start" explorer hosed

by explorer2012 / February 4, 2013 2:27 AM PST

ESET anti-virus found 4 infected files which were deleted. Examination of the machine shows a few problems.

In the root of C drive, there are several directories that are composed of strings of characters. Some of these strings are 30 characters long. I'm assuming these directories were created by windows updates over time. One of these directories is:


and it contains a subdirectory called "Start Menu". This Start Menu gives "access denied" error if I attempt to enter it. The permissions "read only" and "hidden" are unchecked.

Now -- To the point -- If I right-click the "Start" button and select "explore", XP complains:


C:\980b8ba83e25aa813c\StartMenu is not accessible

Access is denied.


So .... something has taken the explorer pointer from C:\windows and has set it to C:\980b8ba83e25aa813c\StartMenu.

Also, all the menu items in my Start --> Programs menu are gone. Clicking on the "programs" entry shows: (Empty)

Any ideas on how to rebuild this beast?

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All Answers

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You can fix a lot of things but
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 4, 2013 2:33 AM PST

Some folk get upset as they have to dive in and fix it item by item. That is, the scanners and such will remove most malware but will not undo the damage.

-> The folder you are noting does not appear to be useful. Did you try a new user account? I might treat this like a XP CORRUPT PROFILE (see google) and hope for the best.

But if the OS gets dinged up this bad you know the real solution.

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I'd back up any data you want to keep & restore
by wpgwpg / February 4, 2013 2:37 AM PST

After backing up your data (to an external hard drive or flash drive), I'd restore to factory settings. If you don't have the discs to do that, you might be able to get them from your manufacturer. Should you have to reinstall, be sure to get the drivers you'll need before reinstalling, especially the one for the network adapter. Also be sure you have your antivirus handy.

Good luck.

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