I started up my mother in law's Windows XP computer, and she has no Start Menu, no Start button, no icons -- nothing. I can access Task Manager and Command Prompt. She thinks she has gotten a virus where it has hidden everything as when you click create a new task under file you can see the file names. However, if you click any of them it says, "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options Control Panel." However, I do not know how to access the control panel. How can I fix this?


Microsoft KB article(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950505)

  1. Click Start, then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type explorer and then click OK.
  3. Navigate to the Windows directory (e.g. a typical path may be C:\Windows) and locate regedit.exe.
  4. Right-click on regedit.exe and select Run as. Uncheck "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity" and click OK.
  5. Using Regedit, locate and then click on the following registry key: HKEYCurrentUser\Software\Classes
  6. On the left panel, right-click on the following registry subkey: '.exe'
  7. Select Delete and then click OK.
  8. On the left panel, right-click on the following registry subkey: 'secfile'
  9. Select Delete and then click OK.
  10. Close Registry Editor.

Also get an antivirus and scan and clean the PC.
MalwareBytes and ComboFix are good and free ones.

  • She does not have a start button to click. I can open Regedit from the command prompt. Also on the Regedit, under HKEYCurrentUser\Software\Classes the following subkeys are not there '.exe' and 'secfile' – kristen72888 Jan 13 '14 at 22:28
  • Run can be opened up selecting new task from task manager as well. And if you can open regedit, just of follow step 5 onwards – tumchaaditya Jan 13 '14 at 22:29
  • I do not know if it matters but on the right side of the screen under name it says default under type it says REG_SZ and under data is has nothing and if I double click default it opens the box edit string and it is asking for the value data because there is nothing there? – kristen72888 Jan 13 '14 at 22:36
  • You are supposed to delete it from left pane as the KB article states. Nothing to do in right pane – tumchaaditya Jan 13 '14 at 22:37
  • I understand I was just stating. However it was not there for me to delete on the left side. – kristen72888 Jan 13 '14 at 22:39

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