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Cannot change desktop background

by masoncc / January 23, 2006 6:54 PM PST

I'm being driven insane by this. An office laptop running XP Home was riddled with malware - spyfighter, pcadprotector, CSW.HomeSearch etc. I've managed to remove them all after a full day of hassle but I'm still left with a frustrating issue in that I cannot adjust the desktop background. The properties box is greyed out for backgrounds. We have a simple peer to peer network (workgroup in fact) and no internal security or policies. What can I do before I throw the thing out of the window?

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Where is that ?
by Papa Echo / January 23, 2006 7:27 PM PST
The properties box is greyed out for backgrounds.

Was that Display Properties>Desktop Tab ? (right click desktop.) The list of backgrounds is missing, or greyed out ? Or is the whole window greyed out ?
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background issue
by masoncc / January 23, 2006 7:58 PM PST
In reply to: Where is that ?

It's the list of backgrounds only. If I go in as an administrator in safe mode I can change the adminstrator's desktop background, and there is another user profile in which I can make the change as well.

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Re: Cannot change desktop background
by Tufenuf / January 23, 2006 7:31 PM PST

masoncc, Go into "Display Properties" and under the "Desktop" tab click the "Customize Desktop" button, under the "Web" tab delete everything EXCEPT "My Current Homepage" which should be unchecked, click OK/Apply/OK and restart your computer. Now see if your can change your Desktop background.


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Re: Cannot change desktop background
by masoncc / January 23, 2006 7:50 PM PST

Have tried as you suggested but still the desktop tab under display properties has the background options greyed out. Am wondering if the malware has been fully removed or maybe I've overlooked something simple.

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Re: Cannot change desktop background
by Tufenuf / January 23, 2006 8:02 PM PST

masoncc, Go to the link below and scroll down to Line 142 (right column) and click on "Allow Wallpaper/Background Changes" to download a reg file fix. Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt.


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Problem persists
by masoncc / January 23, 2006 8:43 PM PST

I've tried your suggestion and it still won't behave. The irritating thing is I can see the image that was previously there as log off.

Did an activescan on the machine and Spyfighter was still there so I've removed it again.

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You didn't tell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 23, 2006 9:18 PM PST
In reply to: Problem persists

If the change background item is no longer greyed out. It matters.

If you fixed that and the old image flashes by, then you are witnessing a small bug. Workaround? Change the wallpaper one more time.

No permanent fix is available or planned by Microsoft. If you research this, it pops up as a "Windows Annoyance."


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Problem fixed (sort of)
by masoncc / January 23, 2006 10:34 PM PST
In reply to: You didn't tell.

It was still greyed and there was no way of changing the image or doing anything to alter the background. As it was a relatively new machine without any important user documents I chose to delete the user profile and create a new one. This has fixed the problem. It all started because of adware and some hacking tools. Have exhaustively removed all remaining threats now.

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To masoncc and Tufenef: Google Searched, found this thread
by hirthem / April 5, 2011 7:30 AM PDT

Thank you so much for your information mosoncc. I had the same problem as Tufenuf, and after following your advice, was able to rectify the problem. Although I have been using cnet since the late 1990's, I created an account just to thank you for your help.

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I see you have solved the problem,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 24, 2006 6:32 AM PST

but I was concerned about something you said, "We have a simple peer to peer network (workgroup in fact) and no internal security or policies. What can I do before I throw the thing out of the window".

What do you mean by this? Is the laptop on a network and you have no security policy, like no firewall, no anti-virus and no anti-spyware?

Or is this just a stand-alone laptop, (not connected to a network), and you have no fiewall, av or anti-spyware?

Or did you mean something else?

If either of the first two, then you need to re-think your security policy and get a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware, and if on a network install them on each machine. Such malware as your laptop has already had may well have crossed the gap to the other computers.


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