XP - have I been attacked?

  RoA 17:33 27 Jun 2004

Can anyone advise whether I have been hit by a virus or something despite use of NAV, Zone Alarm, Spybot and Adaware 6. My standalone PC running XP Home has developed a range of problems including: very slow to open programs via icons; change in appearance of desktop icons (some have changed to grey colour, other have different icon). When I try to access Tools/Internet Options through Internet Exporer I get the following message:
'This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator'.
I have checked and I am the system administrator. There may be other problems which have not yet surfaced. Can anyone advise? Any suggestions gratefully received.

  VoG II 17:38 27 Jun 2004

If you are running Spybot click here may explain why internet options is disabled.

  Night Ryder 19:57 27 Jun 2004

I had a similar problem some weeks ago.
Icons on the desktop not looking quite right, when opening something as simple as windows explorer or my computer, ther would be a 5 or 6 second delay before the window opened. The window would then open gradully, bit at a time.
I spent considerable time trying to resolve the situation by re installing graphics card drivers, checking for latest versions etc., but nothing would work. Regret to say there are some occasions when you just have to start from scratch and re install the Op system. I did this and now everything is working perfectly.
Yours sound like a similar problem. One thing you could try before you do anything else is to use the system restore to restore your system to a past state. Do you remeber when your system was working correctly? use this restore point.

  RoA 20:10 27 Jun 2004

Cheers - that article has sorted that part of the problem.

Night Ryder
Again cheers. I will have to think carefully about the reinstall as I only have a recovery CD (Mesh) rather than an XP one. I'm afraid I have the old System Restore problem of 'unable to restore as no changes have been made to the system (or equivalent wording)'. I have not seen an answer to this problem on this or any other forum.
Anyway thanks again to you both.

  gudgulf 21:18 27 Jun 2004

Try this to get system restore working click here. and http:// support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;302796

Are you the only user of the pc? If not check if anyone has installed anything that might have changed the appearance of the desktop and have a look in Task Manager to see what processes are running.

  Night Ryder 22:31 27 Jun 2004

This is all very well but what you in fact will be doing is creating a restore point complete with all the current problems. Restoring the PC to this point again will achieve nothing.

  gudgulf 22:42 27 Jun 2004

I am not suggesting anything other than a possible solution to a problem that RoA mentioned at the end of his post of 20:10.

Since he does not have a functional system restore them IMHO it is not unreasonable to help with this point!

I agree however that it does not sort the initial problem--which is why I asked for a bit more information.

  RoA 09:36 28 Jun 2004


Many thanks for your response. Yes, I am the only user. I will try the disable/enable tip but it will be an academic exercise. I am still contemplating the full reinstall but can I do this from the Mesh recovery CD and what will I lose? The Pc was bought in 2001 and has worked very well. I have installed many windows updates and bits and pieces of utility software and would be loth to lose them.

  gudgulf 21:16 28 Jun 2004

If you use the system recovery discs your pc will revert to the factory settings from when the machine was new---You will lose all your data and all windows updates,not to mention having to reinstall all your software again.

However there are a number of things to try before you do that.

Have a good clear out of all temporary files and cookies etc.--CleanUp click here is a good free tool to do this.Also check for the latest updates to your Adaware and Spybot and scan again.Consider alternative scanners such as A2 click here or microworld click here

This should make sure you are clear of any spyware etc.

If you have not done this for a while run CHKDSK---from my computer right click on the c drive and select properties/tools/error checking.Click check now and then tick the boxes for fixing any errors and scanning the disc surface then click on start. You will need to reboot to start the scan.

See what that lot does.

  Mango Grummit 22:27 28 Jun 2004

I know this is no help just now RoA but as you must be a new user then you will not be aware of Drive Image. When you do get sorted I strongly suggest buy DI, make a copy of your C drive and never have this problem again.

  Mango Grummit 22:29 28 Jun 2004

PS.. never have to format or reinstall etc either.... never!

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