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After some virus had infected my Windows 7, I did a complete format and re-installed the OS. I was just installing applications and copying back some data when I noticed some shortcuts changing their icons to something I couldnt recognize (Yellow icons in the image below).

Yellow icons

Also, a few exe files which previously did not ask for User permission, are now asking for it. Wondering if this is an icon cache problem, I cleared the cache by deleting the IconCache.db in AppData/Local but the problem still persists.
Although I did a full system scan with MS Security Essentials, I'm not sure if this is another virus or some other problem. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have.

Edit: Now even Firefox needs permissions to launch. It's icon hasnt changed, but it's got the 'shield' overlay on it like the other yellow icons.
Edit 2: Now some applications are not launching anymore. Picasa, Foxit are not only causing problems in launching, but arent getting uninstalled properly even. I guess its surely a virus now.

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When you were copying back the data, are you confident the virus was not in one of those files? – Dave Aug 30 '12 at 9:19
I scanned the external drive before doing anything. Couldnt find anything. – Urban Aug 30 '12 at 9:22
At the risk of making an opinion, I never had good results with Essentials - I would recommend a more powerful AV like Sophos or Kaspersky. – Dave Aug 30 '12 at 10:15
Can you also check if your services are running - I had something not totally dissimilar where the malicious scrip disabled most of my services. – Dave Aug 30 '12 at 10:16
I did have my doubts with Essentials, so I had scanned everything with Kaspersky before formatting. Kaspersky found a a few trojans and deleted them, but the major virus was still present, since it was keeping my CPU at 100% always. This is when I formatted everything, installed windows and scanned with essentials. I'm guessing my Ubuntu partition is causing some problems, so I guess I'll be trying a full wipe of all drives and partitions :( – Urban Aug 30 '12 at 14:15

Try to rebuild the cache (note, the last command restarts your PC):

  • taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
  • CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
  • DEL IconCache.db /a
  • shutdown /r /f /t 00


Based upon your edit, it does sound like something else is going on. Others with similar problems have reported that running Super Anti Spyware helps.

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Isnt this doing the same as what I've already mentioned in the question? – Urban Aug 30 '12 at 9:23
No, because the above stops explorer, thereby unlocking all files in use. – Dave Aug 30 '12 at 9:24
Tried this. Didnt work. – Urban Aug 30 '12 at 9:42
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I can confirm that this behavior was due to a virus. Name and type of this virus is unknown, but several other users in my local area network are facing similar, if not exact, problems with their Windows.

Apparently its some virus that infects system drivers and, sadly, formatting your machine is the only option :(

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