my windows 7 laptop is having an issue, namley, it will not start any file with the .exe extention after a few seconds booted up. i ran spybot search and destroy in safe mode, and cleared out whatever viruses it found. it does run .exe's in the first 30 seconds to 1 minute, so i can get task manager up. it shows that the file is running in the processes tab, but i can run multiple copies of any file without having anything pop up. there are no errors messages, and occasionally it freezes, i don't know why.
this sounds to me like a virus, but i don't know what or how to remove it.
Without being able to have a proper look at the computer, there's not really a lot I can suggest.
However, a some things to be aware of:
1) A lot of the time when somone thinks there's a virus causing a problem, it's actually just a glitch in the system somewhere. Weird things happen, and as long as you've got up to date and good quality anti-virus software, the odds are much higher that it's going to be a bug rather than a virus. Try searching google for information on the problem you're having, you might just find that it's a common occurrence that has been mentioned on help forums. It might take a bit of searching, so be persistent - Honestly, this is the first thing I do when I come across an issue I'm unfamiliar with at work, and it's saved me a lot of time.
2) Try a repair install of Windows, that may resolve your issue. Not something I've ever had to do personally, but my father also works with computers and has had quite a bit of success with it on client's computers.
3) Spybot Search & Destroy is most definitely NOT an antivirus. It is designed to remove Spyware and Adware, which can overlap with viruses. You still need a proper anti-virus. If you want something free, try AVG. If you want to pay for something more comprehensive, I personally use Bit Defender. I use their internet security package, which includes some extra features, and it's bloody agressive.
4) Make sure to run scans regularly. On my home computer I run Spybot Search & Destroy once a fortnight, along with Malware Bytes. Bit Defender runs a scheduled scan every week, and is set to scan webpages I'm accessing and files I download on the fly.
5) System restore points are your friend. If you have a system restore point, and something like this occurs, then if all else fails you can at least roll your computer back to when it was functional.
6) Make sure to make regular backups of your important data (photos, documents, anything you couldn't stand to lose). This comes in handy if you come to the absolute final option (see below).
Hopefully you find some of that info useful, and good luck resolving the issue. If you can't find a resolution, you're kind of stuck with a clean reinstall of windows. Just blow the whole operating system away and start from scratch.
A final bit of advice, if you're not using a laptop and can therefore install extra drives. Try to have your OS installed on a separate drive to your data, so that if you have to do a clean install, you don't necessary lose all your data when you format the drive.
If you can't run exe's aka PROGRAMS its time for you to find your reformat CD and use it. If you don't have one and your laptop doesn't offer that feature through their website then you're SOL
Not necessarily. It's possible there's a system restore point available. Depends on how the computer was setup in the first place. The repair install function could be another option. All depends on what the actual problem is caused by.
I'd never recommend a complete rebuild unless you've exhausted all other options, at least for home computers. I hear that a computer is playing up at work and I have to spend more than an hour or so looking at it, then it's reimage time. But that's because the whole process is automated and needs bugger all input from me apart from kicking off the process.
Maybe its just me but I put my files in certain spots and every few months I back them up and reformat. It really doesn't take much and I just have to have like 2 hours where I come back and forth to go on to the next step
Oh I back up my files regularly, but that's not my reasoning for my not wanting to do a fresh build of Windows every few months. The build process itself is simple, it's just a matter of then having to install all of my applications etc again, and setup my media sharing and so on. All simple tasks, but it all adds up. So if I don't have to do it, I don't want to.
Last time I had this happen to a machine, it was Malwarebytes that managed to get things un-stuck. Mind you, it was necessary to download it with the copy of Safari that my sister's kids had unwittingly installed with iTunes. (Whatever had infected my sister's system installed a proxy that affected the other browsers.)
As for preventative measures, I'd recommend a good off-site backup program. The one I use is CrashPlan and it's all of $4/mo for unlimited storage, and file versioning (great for when your players accidentally save over your new-character template).