No programs listed in add/remove programs (XP SP3)

  1. Hi

    I have a problem. There are no programs listed in add/remove programs. Even the message that usually pops up and says that the list is generating does not appear. I have scanned my laptop (HP Probook 4510s with Windows XP SP3) with ZonaAlarm Extreme security, ad-aware, and malwarebytes and I believe that the PC is clean, I also ran RegCure to see if there are any registry errors but found none.

    I had some problems with wuauclt.exe and msmsgs.exe recently. I had 10 wuauclt processes running at the same time and the msmsgs.exe was constantly initialized at start up even though I remove it from start up with msconfig.

    The only thing I did about it was renaming wuauclt.exe in WINDOWS\system32.

    I don't know if this is the reason why there are no programs listed in add/remove programs but if i didn't do that I was unable to shutdown the laptop because of all the wuauclt processes.

    Just in case here is the log of Hijackthis from this morning.

    Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.4
    Scan saved at 10:07:33, on 10.25.2010
    Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP3 (6.00.2900.5512)
    Boot mode: Normal

    Running processes:
    C:\Program Files\CheckPoint\ZAForceField\IswSvc.exe
    C:\Program Files\LSI SoftModem\agrsmsvc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VS7DEBUG\MDM.EXE
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\MSSQL\Binn\msftesql.exe
    c:\Program Files\Common Files\Protexis\License Service\PsiService_2.exe
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlwriter.exe
    C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software\bin\btwdins.exe
    C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP Quick Launch Buttons\QlbCtrl.exe
    C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe
    C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools Lite\DTLite.exe
    C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\Shared\hpqwmiex.exe
    C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP Quick Launch Buttons\Com4QLBEx.exe
    C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\MOM.exe
    C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\ccc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe
    C:\Program Files\Skype\Plugin Manager\skypePM.exe
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Dreamweaver CS5\Dreamweaver.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\CS5ServiceManager\CS5ServiceManager.exe
    C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
    C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Shared\SkypeNames2.exe
    C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-container.exe
    C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HiJackThis\HiJackThis.exe

    O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: RealPlayer Download and Record Plugin for Internet Explorer - {3049C3E9-B461-4BC5-8870-4C09146192CA} - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Real\RealPlayer\BrowserRecordPlugin\IE\rpbrowserrecordplugin.dll
    O2 - BHO: ForceField Toolbar Registrar - {8A4A36C2-0535-4D2C-BD3D-496CB7EED6E3} - C:\Program Files\CheckPoint\ZAForceField\TrustChecker\bin\TrustCheckerIEPlugin.dll
    O2 - BHO: Windows Live Sign-in Helper - {9030D464-4C02-4ABF-8ECC-5164760863C6} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WindowsLiveLogin.dll
    O2 - BHO: SkypeIEPluginBHO - {AE805869-2E5C-4ED4-8F7B-F1F7851A4497} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\skypeieplugin.dll
    O2 - BHO: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll
    O2 - BHO: JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll
    O3 - Toolbar: ForceField Toolbar - {EE2AC4E5-B0B0-4EC6-88A9-BCA1A32AB107} - C:\Program Files\CheckPoint\ZAForceField\TrustChecker\bin\TrustCheckerIEPlugin.dll
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMAX] C:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMAX\Smax4.exe /tray
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QlbCtrl.exe] C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP Quick Launch Buttons\QlbCtrl.exe /Start
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ZoneAlarm Client] "C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [StartCCC] "C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\CLIStart.exe" MSRun
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [DAEMON Tools Lite] "C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools Lite\DTLite.exe" -autorun
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [Tbucebaxit] rundll32.exe "C:\WINDOWS\vtXpin.dll",Startup (User 'SYSTEM')
    O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [Tbucebaxit] rundll32.exe "C:\WINDOWS\vtXpin.dll",Startup (User 'Default user')
    O9 - Extra button: Skype add-on for Internet Explorer - {898EA8C8-E7FF-479B-8935-AEC46303B9E5} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\skypeieplugin.dll
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Skype add-on for Internet Explorer - {898EA8C8-E7FF-479B-8935-AEC46303B9E5} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\skypeieplugin.dll
    O9 - Extra button: @btrez.dll,-4015 - {CCA281CA-C863-46ef-9331-5C8D4460577F} - C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software\btsendto_ie.htm
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @btrez.dll,-12650 - {CCA281CA-C863-46ef-9331-5C8D4460577F} - C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software\btsendto_ie.htm
    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
    O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{1A3264E8-8A7A-4AD3-82C9-0E0207B796AA}: NameServer =
    O17 - HKLM\System\CS1\Services\Tcpip\..\{1A3264E8-8A7A-4AD3-82C9-0E0207B796AA}: NameServer =
    O18 - Protocol: skype-ie-addon-data - {91774881-D725-4E58-B298-07617B9B86A8} - C:\Program Files\Skype\Toolbars\Internet Explorer\skypeieplugin.dll
    O18 - Protocol: skype4com - {FFC8B962-9B40-4DFF-9458-1830C7DD7F5D} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Skype\SKYPE4~1.DLL
    O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Browseui preloader - {438755C2-A8BA-11D1-B96B-00A0C90312E1} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
    O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Component Categories cache daemon - {8C7461EF-2B13-11d2-BE35-3078302C2030} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
    O23 - Service: Agere Modem Call Progress Audio (AgereModemAudio) - Agere Systems - C:\Program Files\LSI SoftModem\agrsmsvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Ati HotKey Poller - ATI Technologies Inc. - C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
    O23 - Service: Bluetooth Service (btwdins) - Broadcom Corporation. - C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software\bin\btwdins.exe
    O23 - Service: Com4QLBEx - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. - C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP Quick Launch Buttons\Com4QLBEx.exe
    O23 - Service: hpqwmiex - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. - C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\Shared\hpqwmiex.exe
    O23 - Service: ForceField IswSvc (IswSvc) - Check Point Software Technologies - C:\Program Files\CheckPoint\ZAForceField\IswSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Java Quick Starter (JavaQuickStarterService) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    O23 - Service: Protexis Licensing V2 (PSI_SVC_2) - Protexis Inc. - c:\Program Files\Common Files\Protexis\License Service\PsiService_2.exe
    O23 - Service: Radmin Server V3 (RServer3) - Famatech International Corp. - C:\WINDOWS\system32\rserver30\RServer3.exe
    O23 - Service: SwitchBoard - Adobe Systems Incorporated - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\SwitchBoard\SwitchBoard.exe
    O23 - Service: TrueVector Internet Monitor (vsmon) - Check Point Software Technologies LTD - C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\vsmon.exe
    O23 - Service: wampapache - Apache Software Foundation - c:\wamp\bin\apache\apache2.2.11\bin\httpd.exe
    O23 - Service: wampmysqld - Unknown owner - c:\wamp\bin\mysql\mysql5.1.36\bin\mysqld.exe

    End of file - 7547 bytes

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    This happened to me once long time back. In my case, I was able to pin-point the source of the problem as i happened to have created a disk image backup before the problem so i could do a disk restore and repeat the problem at will! : In my case, all the Add/Remove program entries disappeared when i uninstalled Yahoo Browser services

    just fyi: The Add/Remove program info is kept in your registry under
    Fixing the problem is another matter. Couple possible things you can try that may help
    1) Try doing a System Restore to a date prior to the problem. (should at least restore the missing REG entries, i think)
    2) Try reinstalling the software you want. Many apps will install over themselves if they're already installed and repoplulate the missing registry data for uninstalling it at some later date
    3) Look in both the Application' Menus and the folder under Program Files to see if there's an uninstaller listed there as well you might run before reinstalling it

    You may also find it worthwhile to create disk image backup before you try fixing things as there's also no guaranteee all the above fixes will work. Doing the backup at least guarantees a fall back to backups if you find you need to do a full clean reinstall.

    G;luck. Let us know how it comes out / if you should learn anything else along the way..

    /* EDIT */
    I don't know if malware might have been your problem. Couldn't hurt for you to get that chck out as well in our malware forum. Follow directions here for instruction for Virus/Malware removal assistance. Create a new thread in the Malware removal forum. Copy/paste all your logs as instructed
  3. dimitarsazdovsk

    dimitarsazdovsk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Still nothing

    I'm still unable to resolve my issue.

    I used a free tool Myuninstaller and that tool lists all the programs that are currently installed, so the information in the registry about the installed programs is intact. I don't know why add/remove programs doesn't list anything.

    I think that my PC is clean now.

    P.S. I can't make a system restore. Every time i try it, it says that the restore was unsuccessful

    Waiting for a solution or an idea


  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Ahhhh, OK. I use (and like!) Myuninstaller tool as well :approve:

    In which case, let's try a different approach. Note: MyUninstaller will show all entries under registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

    However, as i understand it, when you're using Add/Remove Programs there are 2 methods a program under the Uninstall key in the registry can tell windows to hide it from the Add/Remove display. So.. not sure if/why these options may have been set, but you should check

    See How to hide an entry in the Add/Remove Programs applet?
    > So check on both DisplayName and SystemComponent values for a "missing" entry in Add/Remove programs

    Do either of those values explain why the entry is hidden in Add/Remove?
  5. dimitarsazdovsk

    dimitarsazdovsk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Still nothing

    I didn't check them all but those I've checked were all right. They all had their DisplayName and those that are system components have the SystemComponent entry with value 1.

    Good thinking thou



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