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Big Problem: Folders for Apps/Users now EMPTY

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Yesterday, I fixed Windows XP Fix virus. I got it corrected but I have a serious problem that limits my ability to use my computer now.

I accidentally (on bad advice) changed the folder/file names in the user Application Programs folder for any that had a random string of numbers or letters (I was told these were virus files and name change would stop auto-run.) I should have ONLY changed the .exe files.

Now my list of programs under START (or even if I click on a folder I can find) shows EMPTY. Also, several regularly used programs (Word, Excel, Firefox, Quickcam) are not even listed as programs under the start menu. If I do a search for applications, only the main folder returns and the folder is empty. The only way I can get these programs to open is to go to a desktop icon, right click and then choose a program to open from there (and most are still currently listed there and they do open when I choose from there.)

Anyone have suggestions how I can get the folders I changed back to their original file name or have this problem solved?


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Hello and welcome, soccerbuzz:

Sorry to hear about your computer issues.

It looks as though you already have 2 open threads at the HJT forum?



Are all three of these threads for the same computer?

If so, then it would be a good idea to allow the malware experts at the HJT forum to help you clean your system in only 1 place at a time & in 1 thread.

Otherwise, it's likely to get confusing for everyone.

The expert who assists you will help to get you back up and running.

After your system is clean, they may refer you back here to work on any non-malware-related issues, if needed.

Please be patient -- many of the authorized experts at the HJT forum are volunteers.

It can sometimes take 24-48 hours before one becomes available to help you.

Thanks for your patience,


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