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I'm helping a friend out with this laptop. It had some malware on it, and I just ran the kaspersky rescue cd. I don't get any pop ups on startup of windows anymore, but I don't have anything after I click the start button. I've had this problem before where the search shows up blank. But search seems to work just fine.

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This also is happening. There are libraries, but not being shown in explorer.

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Have you tried explicitly pinning a link to the menu? Does it stay pinned? If so, it's likely the malware replaced all the old pinned shortcuts with shortcuts that launched the malware, and the antivirus software was able to remove the bad shortcut but able to restore the original. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 5 '12 at 17:07
Pinning works. But is there a way to reset the default... or to at least automatically repopulate the list again? Also, make note of the missing "Documents, Pictures, Music, Games, Computer" – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 17:10
Alright, so it seems like this might become a manual solution, but there must be some auto solution to this right? Like some kind of Microsoft fix – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 17:16
have you tried right clicking on the taskbar to access the start menu properties and add all the stuff back ? It should also have an option to restore to default – Shekhar Nov 5 '12 at 19:45
Hmm... I did a couple of things just now (including restore defaults) and I got Documents, Pictures, Music, Games, Computer back. But the start menu links I haven't figured out yet. – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 19:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

go and download that program and it will fix your problem. then run malwarebytes through the safemode and it should fix any other malware problems that is associated with this.

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Can you give a little more detail about this product and possibly how to use it? – KronoS Nov 5 '12 at 20:08
Perfect! It worked. I even got documents back. Highly recommended! – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 20:39

Those items (Documents, Pictures etc.) can be restored via Taskbar properties / Start Menu tab / Customize.

If you want the default shortcuts back, you can create a new user account. If the existing one needs to be retained, you can create a new one, copy all the default shortcuts to the existing account, then delete the new one.

An easier option would be to simply use the fixes (archives of all default shortcuts) mentioned in this article: How to Restore Missing Default Shortcuts in the Windows 7 Start Menu.

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Thanks, will follow this. But check my update please. – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 17:37

I think what your friend is going to have to do is create a new user, copy over files/settings, and then delete (or disable) the old user.

In theory if they create a new user there shouldn't be any cruft from the old user unless the malware is still there. And things like the start menu should look like the default.

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In any other case this would probably work, but I can't do that in this particular case. Thanks though. – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 17:29
The new user method is the easiest to create a new default profile, but it can still be done without switching to a new user completely if not possible. Login with an alternate admin account, rename or delete the user's profile folder in c:\users and delete the corresponding GUID regkey for the user in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Microsoft>Windows NT>CurrentVersion>ProfileList. The user account will remain on the system, and without that info will create a new profile for the user when they login next. – edusysadmin Nov 5 '12 at 17:45
This computer is on a workgroup, and I've never dealt with that before, and I don't want to mess anything up. You think I'll be fine if I do what you said @edusysadmin – EGHDK Nov 5 '12 at 17:47
Always back up first! The items removed are restored if missing by the system. We use this process, although with domain accounts regularly...I don't see why it wouldn't work for a local account. you could test by creating another local account first. – edusysadmin Nov 5 '12 at 17:49
Why can't you do this? Does your friend not have administrative access to his own system? – Nathan Adams Nov 5 '12 at 21:03

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