Cannot open C Drive or view hidden files

By lakehaze · 18 replies
Dec 11, 2008
  1. There are a lot of posts online about the C-Drive not opening correctly, usually resulting in 'open with...' window, but my situation seems rare. Double clicking any drive does nothing. Right-clicking reveals that 'open' and 'explore' are displayed with what seems to be random strange characters that I don't know how to type (see screenshot).

    While searching around for an autorun.inf file, I realized that I could not view hidden files. The setting is always set to 'hide'.

    I've formatted my USB drive,and it now operates properly. I guess I picked it up from there because I have just reinstalled windows. The odd thing is that i didn't have this problem before.

    I'm ready to re-reinstall windows again, but I worry that my external drive (E: ) is also infected. This is a 200 gig drive that's years old and contains a lot of difficult to replace material.

    Is there a way to clean my E: drive before I reinstall windows again?

    HJT log: View attachment 39207

    Gibberish Screenshot: View attachment CwontOpen.bmp
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    It ain't that simple, or you would have found the fix on the WWW!

    Now from the 8 Steps post the logs from MBAM and SAS and a new HJT log after they were run.

    In mbam click logs attach all logs back.

    In sas click Preferences-Statistics/Logs attach these back.

  4. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    8 stepping away

    Thanks for the link to the eight steps, I'm working on it right now. I'm on step 4, MBAM is doing it's full scan. I wanted to clarify step 3, disabling 'real time monitoring programs' (like Spybot SD). I assume that means I should also disable the Avira and Comodo apps from step 1 that I just installed. Should I leave them off until after you've approved my final HJT log, as step 3 implies? That could take days, am I reading that correctly?

    I chose Comodo because I don't trust Zone Alarm. In fact, I don't trust much in the anti-malware industry. Any time I encounter a firewall/guard equipped machine, it seems riddled with baddies sneaking under it's skin. It beeps and ticks away, but they remain. In fact, I've begun to believe that anti-spyware apps might actually install spyware to validate their existence.

    I've been forced to abandon my conspiracy habit now because Spybot, AdAware , HJT and the until-recently-unfailing Reformat are obviously not helping me anymore.

    Maybe this is a famous kind of conspiracy, one with a thread topic addressing protection-phobia that you could point me to. In the meantime, I am following your instructions to the T. I can't really get any worse. :)

  5. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655


    No leave them off only as long as it takes to do the scans.

    I am glad you are doing this step as it seems most skip it.

    Additionally you can save yourself some time if when you run MBAM and SAS that you look at the logs. If it found and removed anything post that log to us and run it again,

    These things are in layers and the 2nd run may find items that were hidden and are now exposed!

    Post a log for every run.

    IMHO Comodo is the best FW and AntiVirus also free or paid. But do not go installing and uninstalling anything else until we are clean.

    I am disregarding the old HJT log get the new from the 8 Steps as Kim advised.
  6. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

  7. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Great job!

    Looks good!

    OK watch this post as I am preparing a post for the next steps off line.

    Perhaps 15 minutes.

    Reboot and Check the C: drive display issue.


    Forgot to edit last post!

    OK some of the below are for additional Malware cleanup and a couple for your C: Drive issue.

    Open SAS Click preferences then Repair do the following counting from top:

    #5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, 20, 21 and 22.


    Report back status.

  8. xxdanielxx

    xxdanielxx TS Booster Posts: 1,069

    Your logs look clean you dont have any infections unzip and run the batch files attached then reboot and try, post back resualts.

    Attached Files:

  9. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16


    Thanks. You guys should know you are amazing, awesome, and amazingly awesome.

    I've run the SAS repair stuff and Windows seems to be running in top notch form. Now for the finalizing steps.

    1. I don't really understand what the 'restore' 'batch' files are. Can you give them some explanation before I run them?

    2. Also, I'm nervous about plugging in my external hard drive. I imagine I need to run the scans on it before I copy or run anything from it, but should I prepare anything before I plug it in? Will the firewall monitor traffic from it?

    3. In my taskbar, there are 3 spyware apps running: Avira, Comodo, and SAS. Is that okay? I thought multiple monitoring apps would conflict and often cause major problems. I know that a firewall is different from a monitor, but Comodo says it even monitors too, so that's three monitoring apps running on top of eachother... Is this redundant layering necessary or wise?

  10. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Hi Tui

    What about your issue with the drives?

    If the drive is fixed you do not need to run the batch.

    Bring us up to date as to what works and what don't!

  11. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Drive C has no problems. It opens just as it should and displays the correct text in the pop-up menu. Problem solved.

    EDIT: But I've just discovered that I still cannot set folders to Show Hidden Files.

    (I still am not sure how to proceed with my external Drive E. Can simply plugging it in cause exposure issues?)
    EDIT: I've gone ahead and plugged it in. Avira seems to do a great job; she cleaned out 17 baddies, and after retrieving some files, I still appear clean.
    I'm scanning often, alternating scanners, to keep an eye on everything as I restore my applications.
  12. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Hi Tui


    For your issue Show Hidden files.

    Open SAS Click Preferences-Repairs.

    Do 5-9 and14. Again.
    The below is for a general System check and fix.

    Download Dial-A-Fix (DAF)

    Have XP CD available in case DAF needs a file.

    Check all boxes on the screen (clear any restrictions if it shows any)
    Then click GO!

    Watch for any File not found or other errors and make note as this may lead to the fix!


  13. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Still Hidden

    Thanks for the help, but no luck.

    I ran SAS repairs again, and I ran Dial-A-Fix. DAF shows an error in the log.

    DAF Log: View attachment 39592
    excerpt- "8:14:09 AM | Error during registration of C:\WINDOWS\system32\shdocvw.dll - version: 6.00.2900.3462. The error returned is: Error accessing the OLE registry.

    Looking around google, I found a forum talking about some VB scripts that fix the 'show hidden file' problem, but I had to restart and lost the forum.

    It still feels so odd that I didn't have any of these issues until after I reformatted...

    Thanks again :)
  14. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Did you already foget the malware we cleaned in post #6???

    OK reboot and do the DAF again as indicated in the log it did fail on the issue you posted. But then at the end of the log it actually had to install and register missing OLE entries that was sucessfull. With those entried corrected that file may now go.

    But this time click the Hammerhead to go to DAF 2nd page and do the following first.

    Repair permissions
    Reset WMI/WBEM (not Reinstall)

    Then back to first page and run it again.

  15. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Address Error

    I repaired the permissions ( View attachment 39649 ), but resetting WMI/WBEM failed at the onset, with what appears to my uneducated eyes to be a memory problem...

    View attachment 39648

    Does this mean I have bad memory hardware?
    (I recently had the screen serviced... hope they didn't swap in some cranky stuff)

    I haven't run all of DAF a second time, as I haven't completed the tasks, and the DAF documentation says it should handled delicately if faulty hardware is a possibility.

    I can't recall ever having memory issues before.

    Thanks again for the help...
  16. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    No this is not a RAM / MEMORY issue I have seen it before!

    So no worry about that.

    Run DAF again click Hammerhead and run the Reinstall WMI/WBEM instead of the Reset.
    You may need to put Windows XP CD in cd Drive.

  17. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I've reinstalled WMEB and run all of DAF again,but I still can't reset WMEB without producing that memory address error...

    I also still cannot view hidden files.

    Thanks again, Tui
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hey try this -> precisely (ie -> precisely)

    1. Click Start -> Run
    2. Type regedit and click Ok.
    3. Find the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    4. Look at the “CheckedValue” key… This should be a DWORD key. If it isn’t, delete the key.
    5. Create a new key called “CheckedValue” as a DWORD (hexadecimal) with a value of 1.
    6. The “Show hidden files & folders” check box should now work normally
    7. Also change in NOHIDDEN change value to 1
    8. In SHOWALL change value to 0
    9. Re-check the folder options
    10. now change the values to the same
    NOHIDDEN to 2
    SHOWALL to 1

    Strange, but has worked.
  19. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Do post #7 again.


    Then do the below
    Run CCleaner both Temp and Registry twice or more until clean.

    D/L install and run ATF-Cleaner clear all except passwords in all browsers you have. Run repeatedly until no more found.


    NOTE: If you have had ComboFix more than a few days old delete and re-download.

    Get it here:
    Or here:

    Double click combofix.exe follow the prompts.

    When finished, it will open a log.
    Attach the log and a new HJT log in your next reply.

    Note: Do not click combofix's window while its running. That may cause it to stall

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