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Restore Missing/hidden Icons Wiped Out By A Virus

#1 User is offline   PCWorld 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:36 AM

Post your comments for Restore Missing/Hidden Icons Wiped Out by a Virus here
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#2 User is offline   CalHolfeld 

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  Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:49 AM

Also, a big thing about this that took me a while to figure out is what the virus does with your start menu icons as they aren't just hidden.

It actually moves your start menu icons to a different folder! On Windows vista/7 it's usually found in c:\users\USERNAME\appdata\local\temp\smtmp and in xp c:\documents and settings\USERNAME\local settings\temp\smtmp .

I had manually created all the start menu shortcuts quite a few times before finding that out...hope it helps someone!
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#3 User is offline   MooreCowbell 

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  Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.
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#4 User is offline   SannaUllah7rov 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:23 AM

View PostMooreCowbell, on 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.

If you are tired of window’s blue screen definitely Linux is solution!
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#5 User is offline   xyberviri 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:47 AM

View PostSannaUllah7rov, on 25 January 2012 - 07:23 AM, said:

View PostMooreCowbell, on 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.

If you are tired of window’s blue screen definitely Linux is solution!


However if you’re an average windows user that just wants their stuff to work Linux is not going to be the answer. If you have applications that are not written for Linux you can say "oh just install Wine" how ever again, the "average" windows user that does not routinely practice safe security is not going to be very technically savvy.

Blue screens are caused by a lack of knowledge on how the inner working of the computer works. It's the same as people going down an unpaved road and wondering why there alignment is all messed up.
these are going to be the type of people that decide to login as root by default.
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#6 User is offline   eMJay 

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  Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:03 AM

Yeah, this happen to my dad's Windows computer about 2 months ago after he opened an infected file that he got from one of his accounting clients. By the time I arrived to assist him with the removal, the initial infection had installed several other bits of nasty malware. The Alureon Bootkit was definitely the most challenging to remove.

Long story short, all desktop icons and start menu icons eventually disappeared by the time we got the infection under control. If it wasn't for the fact that OpenOffice had added its program menu icons to a subfolder inside its program menu folder by default, we would not have been able to open a Windows Explorer window and eventually navigate to System Restore and reverse the registry changes that erased the icons.

I use Linux as my main OS, so I don't need the tool myself, but I'll have to advise my dad that he should probably keep a copy of this tool on standby.
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#7 User is offline   annontechsupport 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:32 PM

View Postxyberviri, on 25 January 2012 - 08:47 AM, said:

View PostSannaUllah7rov, on 25 January 2012 - 07:23 AM, said:

View PostMooreCowbell, on 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.

If you are tired of window’s blue screen definitely Linux is solution!


However if you’re an average windows user that just wants their stuff to work Linux is not going to be the answer. If you have applications that are not written for Linux you can say "oh just install Wine" how ever again, the "average" windows user that does not routinely practice safe security is not going to be very technically savvy.

Blue screens are caused by a lack of knowledge on how the inner working of the computer works. It's the same as people going down an unpaved road and wondering why there alignment is all messed up.
these are going to be the type of people that decide to login as root by default.

I agree with this reprisal.

Just like a Mac, Linux is still susceptible to virus and malware attacks, but as windows still holds the vast majority of market share due to businesses using it almost exclusively for desktops, most attackers will, by default, find more money going after windows users.

An average Linux user will likely know better than to store any personal information on their box. The average windows user will plug in that information when requested and pay the rogue anti-virus to shut up before realizing it was a virus.

An average Linux user also knows how to fix most problems encountered in Linux without the need to go and peruse forums for hours, on top of knowing how to fix windows and possibly mac issues. The average windows user calls their most tech savvy friend when their computer messes up.

The average Mac user is used to having everything they need handed to them through Apple, and doesn't usually need to do much more outside the box.

This is based on current OS market share, of course there are exceptions to the average user. I know there's engineers who use macs and windows users who have never accidentally gotten a virus. To say that one OS is better than others because something hasn't happened is just plain ignorant. Just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it cannot happen, it just means someone hasn't tried hard enough to make it happen.

If the vast majority of the market used Linux, there would be more flaws with Linux cropping up, just like viruses are now getting onto Macs. All the argument has ever been, is preference of the tool to get the job done.

Windows is like your standard power drill, very compatible and everyone likes it. Macs are like a chrome plated drill with it's own unique bit set, a joy and pleasure to use, but a bit pricey. Linux is like a drill that's put together using community standards and the working pieces are sent to you from all over the world, and anyone with a good understanding of the mechanics and a good set of man pages can put it together.

As to the story, thanks for the tool, I've been fighting these viruses for months and cleanup was usually a 4 hour job if I had this particular virus on 7/vista. The manual way of recovering everything takes slightly less time if you know what needs to be unhidden, but a tool makes things infinitely easier. As a note, most of your start menu shortcuts are in the pre-hidden user folder "default user" on windows 7/vista. Click into that and unhide the regular unhidden folders, then boom!, everything is back.
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#8 User is offline   eMJay 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:18 PM

View Postannontechsupport, on 25 January 2012 - 12:32 PM, said:

View Postxyberviri, on 25 January 2012 - 08:47 AM, said:

View PostSannaUllah7rov, on 25 January 2012 - 07:23 AM, said:

View PostMooreCowbell, on 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.

If you are tired of window’s blue screen definitely Linux is solution!


However if you’re an average windows user that just wants their stuff to work Linux is not going to be the answer. If you have applications that are not written for Linux you can say "oh just install Wine" how ever again, the "average" windows user that does not routinely practice safe security is not going to be very technically savvy.

Blue screens are caused by a lack of knowledge on how the inner working of the computer works. It's the same as people going down an unpaved road and wondering why there alignment is all messed up.
these are going to be the type of people that decide to login as root by default.

I agree with this reprisal.

Just like a Mac, Linux is still susceptible to virus and malware attacks, but as windows still holds the vast majority of market share due to businesses using it almost exclusively for desktops, most attackers will, by default, find more money going after windows users.

An average Linux user will likely know better than to store any personal information on their box. The average windows user will plug in that information when requested and pay the rogue anti-virus to shut up before realizing it was a virus.

An average Linux user also knows how to fix most problems encountered in Linux without the need to go and peruse forums for hours, on top of knowing how to fix windows and possibly mac issues. The average windows user calls their most tech savvy friend when their computer messes up.

The average Mac user is used to having everything they need handed to them through Apple, and doesn't usually need to do much more outside the box.

This is based on current OS market share, of course there are exceptions to the average user. I know there's engineers who use macs and windows users who have never accidentally gotten a virus. To say that one OS is better than others because something hasn't happened is just plain ignorant. Just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it cannot happen, it just means someone hasn't tried hard enough to make it happen.

If the vast majority of the market used Linux, there would be more flaws with Linux cropping up, just like viruses are now getting onto Macs. All the argument has ever been, is preference of the tool to get the job done.

Windows is like your standard power drill, very compatible and everyone likes it. Macs are like a chrome plated drill with it's own unique bit set, a joy and pleasure to use, but a bit pricey. Linux is like a drill that's put together using community standards and the working pieces are sent to you from all over the world, and anyone with a good understanding of the mechanics and a good set of man pages can put it together.

As to the story, thanks for the tool, I've been fighting these viruses for months and cleanup was usually a 4 hour job if I had this particular virus on 7/vista. The manual way of recovering everything takes slightly less time if you know what needs to be unhidden, but a tool makes things infinitely easier. As a note, most of your start menu shortcuts are in the pre-hidden user folder "default user" on windows 7/vista. Click into that and unhide the regular unhidden folders, then boom!, everything is back.


That's all basically true on the surface, but that's not the whole story. Sure, anyone can write malware for anything designed to run third party software. And yes, market share is a significant determinant of who ultimately gets targeted with malware. But what separates Windows, Linux and Mac ecosystems is the overall ease at which malware can be delivered within each ecosystem.

Most Windows infections today are actually caused by users after they've downloaded and installed them of their own free will. And that's the fundamental weakness of the Windows ecosystem that inevitably makes it a sweeter target for malware than the rest. The Windows software ecosystem today is now built on having total novices wandering about the Internet for the purpose of downloading installation files directly from distributors who may or may not be honest. Compare that to Linux, where the vast majority get their installation software and subsequent updates from official software centers or repositories without the need to use a browser. This provides a mechanism for third party intervention between the malicious software authors and the end users and prevents the novices from needing to wander all over the Internet in search of software. With Windows, only the tiny minority of more knowledgeable users actually know where the safe zones for downloading software are located.

Take this very article as an example. The Windows user is expected to follow a link to an unfamiliar site, download the software there and hope that the author has not lead them to a tool that is actually malware in disguise. The solution to the problem you are trying to fix is delivered by reinforcing behavior that caused the problem in the first place. Eventually, we'll see the malware authors creating fake software that pretends to restore icons. And the cycle just goes round and round.
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#9 User is offline   annontechsupport 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:07 AM

View PosteMJay, on 25 January 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

View Postannontechsupport, on 25 January 2012 - 12:32 PM, said:

View Postxyberviri, on 25 January 2012 - 08:47 AM, said:

View PostSannaUllah7rov, on 25 January 2012 - 07:23 AM, said:

View PostMooreCowbell, on 25 January 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have a way to keep your icons and files from going missing--install Linux.

If you are tired of window’s blue screen definitely Linux is solution!


However if you’re an average windows user that just wants their stuff to work Linux is not going to be the answer. If you have applications that are not written for Linux you can say "oh just install Wine" how ever again, the "average" windows user that does not routinely practice safe security is not going to be very technically savvy.

Blue screens are caused by a lack of knowledge on how the inner working of the computer works. It's the same as people going down an unpaved road and wondering why there alignment is all messed up.
these are going to be the type of people that decide to login as root by default.

I agree with this reprisal.

tl;dr:
It's preference.

As to the story, thanks for the tool, I've been fighting these viruses for months and cleanup was usually a 4 hour job if I had this particular virus on 7/vista. The manual way of recovering everything takes slightly less time if you know what needs to be unhidden, but a tool makes things infinitely easier. As a note, most of your start menu shortcuts are in the pre-hidden user folder "default user" on windows 7/vista. Click into that and unhide the regular unhidden folders, then boom!, everything is back.


That's all basically true on the surface, but that's not the whole story. Sure, anyone can write malware for anything designed to run third party software. And yes, market share is a significant determinant of who ultimately gets targeted with malware. But what separates Windows, Linux and Mac ecosystems is the overall ease at which malware can be delivered within each ecosystem.

Most Windows infections today are actually caused by users after they've downloaded and installed them of their own free will. And that's the fundamental weakness of the Windows ecosystem that inevitably makes it a sweeter target for malware than the rest. The Windows software ecosystem today is now built on having total novices wandering about the Internet for the purpose of downloading installation files directly from distributors who may or may not be honest. Compare that to Linux, where the vast majority get their installation software and subsequent updates from official software centers or repositories without the need to use a browser. This provides a mechanism for third party intervention between the malicious software authors and the end users and prevents the novices from needing to wander all over the Internet in search of software. With Windows, only the tiny minority of more knowledgeable users actually know where the safe zones for downloading software are located.

Take this very article as an example. The Windows user is expected to follow a link to an unfamiliar site, download the software there and hope that the author has not lead them to a tool that is actually malware in disguise. The solution to the problem you are trying to fix is delivered by reinforcing behavior that caused the problem in the first place. Eventually, we'll see the malware authors creating fake software that pretends to restore icons. And the cycle just goes round and round.


So, you meant to tell me that if that same person who is, was and always will be, the weakest link in security, installing a tool they need to do something that is infected by a virus written to run on OS platform X, wouldn't work if they ran it on mac or linux?

I can hold any of those "drills" the wrong way and still hurt myself. Some people shouldn't be using a drill at all, same goes for computers.

Mac Defender virus? If I recall, you had to give permission for it to infect you. Could be wrong, I never got a mac virus.
Linux virus, they do happen, but when you have tools that are completely community built, someone's bound to slip in an oddly worded line of code that leaves a backdoor. Or develop a way to circumvent the system entirely and have a backdoor built into your network itself, leaving anything sent to you coming in as trusted packets.

It all comes down to trust, really. Do you trust what this or that person says or recommends. Really, people as a whole, should be less trusting of things we trust completely. Government for one, food manufacturers for 2, pharmacuticals 3... need I go on?

Real point should be to test everything, trust nothing, and learn to do it yourself. If not, take it to someone you trust to do it right, and don't expect them to do it for free either.
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