Does TDS Wipe out the "HElp and Support" in Windows XP?

Discussion in 'Trojan Defence Suite' started by Straight Shooter, Dec 17, 2002.

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  1. Hello,
    I have a Compaq Presario Laptop..
    I Noticed after installing TDS, when I click on "Start, and then at "Help and Support" I get the the error message I am attaching..

    I restored my computer to a state befroe I installed TDS, using a clone, and the "Help and Support" button work, no problem..

    Then I reinstalled TDS. The Help and Support were again, nonfunctional.. I did a search on Helpctr.exe, and it shows up in Documents and SHowings, and PCHEalth directory, and my TDS directory as a zero file!! That would mean TDS overwrites it! Is this a problem? Granted, I hardly used Help and Support, but if TDS destroys it, that's not good. Do you folks know about this? I use Win XP, service pack 1.

    Thank you..
     

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  2. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hi Straight Shooter,

    Have you tried these solutions: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=5374 ?

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  3. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    To understand you well:
    Is the help in all those places overwritten by a 0-size file or only in the TDS directory?
    Windows has the habit when a file can't be executed or found to create one itself size 0, which can be quite desturbing.
    So i found in several directories size 0 copies of notepad and wordpad, to name some examples. While the original file is unharmed in it's proper place.
    I removed those size 0 files and all worked properly again.
    I'm not familliar with XP, but is it possible to restore one of such files to the former state or only the whole system?
     
  4. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Straight shooter.

    There is a problem, but it DOES NOT overwrite those files. [If you look in the TDS folder you may see several 0 length files as Jooske said] which TDS creates for some reason and they can be deleted.

    Now this 'Help centre' problem only relates to XP and there is a workaround for it that either Gavin or Wayne gave somewhere in this forum.

    That link Pilli gave should cure your 'Help' ailments mate.

    see attached pic to see what I mean about 0 length files. I literally had dozens about 2 weeks ago and deleted the lot with no effect. Some of the 0 length files were from typing mistakes I made using 'Run', others, who knows?

    [After I Ctrl/dragged them into a folder as a backup of course and left them there for about a week and after some reboots to make sure it was not going to effect the system] I now have more, see pic.
     

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  5. Thank you for all your responses.. I simply deleted the zero length files for "Helpctr" and it straightened out.. Wierd XP problem, Huh?

    Thanks,
    Shooter
     
  6. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Might not be that weird. Did you make a special folder for TDS?
    Or did you use the default option during startup?

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  7. :D
    I'm becoming a BIG TDS fan now.. My two small concerns were handled VERY quickly!

    To answer your question, TDS was installed in my own made up directory.. not in the default folder...
     
  8. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    There goes my shot at solving that puzzle ;)
    Glad you like TDS as well. :D

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  9. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    And now you're going to learn a next step for the win2k/NT/XP users:
    You all have the ability to read the NTFS ADS files on your system.
    In your scan options in TDS (startup and other scans) you can check those to be read and even can configure which files you want TDS to check and alert on if there are those hidden streams involved.
    Before deleting those 0-size files, you might like to check them for hidden streams if they are really really empty. If not, TDS will alert and display them for you so you can either decide to delete them anyway or do other things (submitting Gavin if you don't trust).
    On the TDS website you'll see a nice informative page about them (just this morning saw the "click" menu option still there in the TDS page http://tds.diamondcs.com.au on top "hidden streams") and some testing.
    The files size 0 in Tassie's list must be safe after so much scanning and can most probably just be deleted.
    Windows98/SE/ ME /95 users can just delete them as the streams don't work on those systems.

    Hope your Help keeps functioning right as it should.

    We all are most happy to help the family members as we all are big TDS fans and love to share and learn from each other and grow together in this most happy way.
    As your system health is our concern too, of course! (euhm your health too of course :))
     
  10. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Straight Shooter:

    I think you/Pieter/Pilli/Jooske/myself may have come up with the solution for that help center problem, purely by this list of posts re 0 length files.

    I HAVE JUST REALISED what you said in quote. You DELETED the 0 length help centre file from your folder and it 'straightened itself out'.

    Maybe that's the SIMPLE answer for all that along. [Unless I have missed previous posts regarding this XP problem]

    there have been numerous 'workarounds', registry tinkering, etc. to get Help Centre working again for XP/TDS users.

    A simple deletion of that 0 length file in TDS folder may "cure" the problem simply. [Once again I state I may have missed this in other posts for this problem]

    What do you think Pieter/Pilli/Jooske?

    Something as simple as that if it works could be a great saving of time and trouble for future users until TDS4 is released. Just a thought.
     
  11. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    Deleting the extra 0 size files might work in many more occasions, as long as you make sure the original file is in it's own proper place.
    See windows as lazy or logical:
    it looks for the file you are asking for from the directory you're in now at the moment, it seems too lazy to start at the root looking for it.
    So for some unclear reason for instance in TDS it starts looking for say notepad, can't find it and just creates one notepad.exe size 0 there to make you happy it's there, but can't run it as it's empty and so it does with more files. Don't ask me why many times it's just getting the default place for it and sometimes not, and so with all the other 0-size files you see there.
    And i wonder why there are so very many of them in TDS and only few in other locations.
    As i found it annoying my wordpad and notepad not functioning from TDS because of those size 0 files i just put a copy of those originals in the TDS directory and have no real problem with those since, but i refuse to put copies of about half my system files there too because of the same.
    But keeping an eye on them and regularly deleting them could solve lots of problems in the first place.
     
  12. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hi Tassie_Devils,

    My main system is kind of on life-support anyway right now ;)
    So I will try installing TDS into different directories and see if a prevention of these problems could be achieved that way.
    This will have to wait till next week though.
    I'll keep you posted.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  13. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    For me it's not in the default directory either, and many users have it in other places and still the same 0 size files, so spare the trouble, windows......... is windows....
    just looking in winme which i hardly use and it's full with 0 size files in many places, excutables most of them and only two in TDS, so....... as stated in the "workaround" thread you posted, it's not a TDS problem specific.
     
  14. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Hi Pieter:

    Yes, please do, interested to see if results vary, but I don't think so.

    I already have TDS in a non-default directory in a folder called something different than the default and look at my 0 files still. As Jooske says, it seems to be common regardless.

    I may be off track here, but I think a majority of those 0 files are the results of me doing something wrong with the other programs and TDS, because it checks file executions, sees it as something wrong and makes a 0 entry as it does not recognise the actions.

    For instance, Notepad, I tried opening it once holding the Ctrl key down at same time [don't ask, have no idea why, maybe it was because I had just been dragging files from folders and wanted to copy not move and still left finger on ctrl as I opened and Notepad 'generated errors' and closed but opened up again fine.

    Reaching maybe, but who knows?
     
  15. Pilli

    Pilli Registered Member

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    Interesting, I have just deleted all of the 0 byte files from the TDS directory - Closed TDS down ran CMD - Restarted TDS3 & I now have a CMD & SFC 0 byte file.
    Everything appears to be working Ok - I am wondering what causes this "strangeness". o_O
    Maybe Wayne/Gavin will be able to throw some more light on it. Although I would rather they concentrated on TDS4 & WG4 :D
     
  16. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Well, there goes my theory about TDS grabbing the executable. I run CMD a bit also pilli and I also get 0 length files for that. [although I typed in one wrong see top of pic]
     
  17. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    OK, test result number one. Mind you I don't understand what happens, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can make us learn something out of this.
    I installed TDS-3 into the Program Files directory (no separate folder) and I get an invalid shortcut to explorer.exe on my desktop.
    This is made every time TDS-3 reloads except when it's already present.
    I don't know how many tests this setup will survive before it crashes permanently :eek:

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  18. o_O

    The problem is back..

    Everytime I delete the zero length "helpctr" files, from documents and settings, and the TDS directory, they get recreated when I try to open help and support..

    Help!!

    How about if DiamondCS make a little program to fix this XP problem.. I think they should create the "workaround".. I tried everything, including what Pieter said. I cannot reinstall Win xp, I don't have the xp cd's. That's how the computer came like..

    Thank You
    Shooter
     
  19. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    We all know by now Windows should be rewritten.
    Imperative parts of WG have been rewritten and replaced by non-windows/ms elements, as will be in TDS where possible.
    he creating 0-size files is a windows way of trying to be of service in a very wrong way.
    One can configure a scanfile finding all 0 size files on the system, test them for NTFS streams, if clean delete files.
    That is in TDS already.


    Pieter, thought i had a "testcase" for a computer, but TDS creating shortcuts i've never heard of, and most certainly not to other windows programs.
    Sounds like your IE is on the loose, in which windows\explorer is so nicely integrated.
    Does a repair-install of IE via the add/remove help? those two minutes are worth the trouble of trying and i'm sure you'll put down all av/at during doing so.
    There is more very wrong or blocking on your system, as you still can't run scripts even if you want to.
    WG for instance would tell you it does and asks your permission what to do with it or you can exclude certain files from being blocked (i don't, these days we don't know what trojan / worms writers might invent as their new targets)
    Are you using some registry blocker? I had to remove them from my system long ago and all those little blocking / protecting tools from the nsclean (boclean) site.
    Are you very sure your system is clean, no explore.exe infection (see TDS site)?
     
  20. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hi Jooske,

    I am still trying to figure out what´s going on here.
    By creating a DCS folder and putting separate folders in there for TDS-3, Port Explorer and Wormguard I got rid of the invalid shortcuts on my desktop.
    So far I found one 0 bytes file (in that folder), called rundll32.exe
    As soon as I´ve figured out what is interfering with TDS-3, I will certainly let you know.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  21. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    Sounds really very very interesting this advancement, but i'm not totally convinced as long as you still can't play our scripts! :D
    I wonder if a c:\TDS-3 install would cause the same problems and if this is TDS related or Windows somewhere.....
     
  22. Well, I just did something...

    I formatted my hard drive...

    1. Reinstalled my computer to the state it was when I bought it...
    Help and Support (H&S) worked fine

    2. Cleaned up the registry with Registry First Aid, uninstalled some stuff I did not want (AOL, MONEY, ETC..) H&S Okay...

    3. Installed Wormguard.. H&S Now doesn't work! So, it isn't just a problem with TDS, Wormguard caused Help and support to screw up, too!

    I think DiamondCS should fix this problem asap.. Yeah, I know Windows should be rewritten, but I know their products (DiamondCS) are the ones mesing up WinXP's functions.. Most other companies come up with fixes...I've beat my brains in trying to fix this.. It's their turn now...

    I wonder if Port Explorer casues this problem too.. I am not going to reformat my computer again to find out..

    Thanks
    Shooter...
    o_O
     
  23. :eek:
    It's definately Wormguard...

    The minute I disabled protection, Help and support is now working again..
    Leaving Wormguard without active protection, I am now going to install TDS.. Let's see what happens...
     
  24. TDS is NOT the CULPRIT..!!!

    I have protection disabled for Wormguard, and I have TDS FULLY operational! No Problem with Help and Support.. It's a problem with Wormguard.. Now, what do I do? Start another thread at Wormguard?
     
  25. Jooske

    Jooske Registered Member

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    1) See the thread given early in this thread, about XP and installing other software, causing the H&S to disappear. So that is not a TDS/WG/PE solo problem.
    You've been given a workabout.
    Windows itself is the culpit there, they have to take care of a solution for their users, worldwide forced in using their products.

    2) People not using TDS nor WG nor PE have the same problem as described, as well as the size 0 files in their systems, so this is not a DCS products solo either.

    3) People without WG have those size 0 files too, as well as people not using XP.

    4) As you know DCS has their new products around the corner, in which WG is completely rebuild from own files without using any MS file, working fine on the lab people's systems without the errors mentioned. In a few weeks time the beta testers teams will try it all out.
    With this also the problem described as far as related to TDS/WG/PE will be fixed.

    5) There is not any need to reformat the HDD and reinstalling, just deleting the size 0 files or using the workabout from the other thread will do. I hardly ever delete those 0 files, as long as everything functions.

    6) Thanks for the test results. It's up to the developers to go deeper into this.

    7) Enjoy your christmas break! Merry Christmas !
     
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