Windows 10: Programs disappeared

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    Posts : 615
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (build 10586)
       01 Oct 2015 #1

    Programs disappeared

    I was experimenting with this program I found called Alomware Reset, thankfully on a secondary computer. Basically, this program is supposed to simulate a reboot so you don't have to do an actual one. The website says that it closes all non-system processes, closes all open programs, clears clipboard, wakes up sleeping drives, restarts startup apps, etc. It's not a replacement for a real restart (if you have to install an update, you will have to do an actual restart) but it's useful if your computer begins running sluggishly (especially if you have a Dell PC from 2008 aka a crappy computer). I tried it out with a few programs opened and it closed them, although the unnecessary background processes that were running were still running. I tried it again but this time killing explorer.exe, to see if it actually runs the startup apps like it claims to do. However it didn't restart Explorer, so I re-initialized it, this time with admin rights (I hadn't thought of running it with admin rights before, and it didn't run with them by default so I assumed that it didn't need them) and killed my sound driver, made sure that some unnecessary processes that didn't start with the OS were running in the background, killed a startup app, etc. to see if the sound driver and startup app would be restarted and the processes would be killed. I did the simulated reboot, and during the "reboot", the program stopped responding and I decided to kill it. Upon restarting Explorer, I noticed that the desktop icons to my programs were just the generic icon. I realized that the folders of the programs or most of the files in their folders had been deleted. I checked for drive errors and the test found no problems. I made sure that the files had not been moved. I made sure that my AV had not found and deleted/quarantined any of them. Only programs installed in C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) that didn't come with the OS were deleted. WMP, for example, is still functional and complete and definitely was not running at the time (although it's possible that Windows restored the files if they were deleted or it's because the files could only be edited by TrustedInstaller). I have a few programs installed in my AppData folder and they were not deleted. Also, programs with file protection (like my AV) and programs running in the background at the time were not deleted (like CCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, although files are probably missing from Anti-Exploit and definitely missing from CCleaner). If it was installed in the Program Files folders, was not a system program protected by TrustedInstaller, and/or wasn't running at the time, it was deleted. Nothing else is missing at all. Edge works, MSPaint works, Wordpad works, and so on. I checked the Recycle Bin. Not there. I downloaded Recuva and scanned for deleted files, and guess what, it found them. All of them. I didn't bother to restore them as it didn't restore the files to their original locations and it's not too hard to reinstall the programs, but what could have caused this? It can not be a virus because Kaspersky, the antivirus on the Dell, didn't catch anything and it wouldn't just delete from seemingly random folders if the PC did have one, it can't be Kaspersky, and I highly doubt that Alomware Reset did it (I scanned it with Virustotal - totally clean). I downloaded Alomware Reset from FileHippo, a trustworthy website. Any thoughts?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    01 Oct 2015 #2

    I'd not use it.

    Why do you want to simulate a reboot rather than doing one? Especially if it doesn't work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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