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Losing "Category View" in Control Panel RRS feed

  • Question

  •  Hello community and Microsoft employees,

      I have purchased Windows 8 and discovered that it has a setting vulnerability. I downloaded some media applications from CNET that bombard you with silly additional software and homepage changes (so the software creator can make money off of freeware) and one of the software payloads in this freeware "trojan horse" I pulled off of cnet.com changed my control panel settings -- permanently.

     When I go into the Control Panel, it always shows "Large Icons" instead of my desired setting of "Category View".

    I have researched how to permanently establish "Category View" and came up with the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}

    Which has the following data: ControlPanelStartupPage.

    Have I found the setting in Windows to change? -- if so, what now?

    If not, what do I do to have "Category View" always show up in the Control Panel?

    Thank you.

    Bergo


    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Thursday, November 22, 2012 6:42 PM
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 6:40 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Normally, Windows could remember the setting that you are using when you close Control Panel. Please to to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0} and make sure the defaulticon value is %SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-27.


    Juke Chou
    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:19 AM
    Monday, November 26, 2012 9:15 AM
  • Hello community and Microsoft employees,

    I have purchased Windows 8 and discovered that it has a setting vulnerability. I downloaded some media applications from CNET that bombard you

    This is actually what Windows 8's integration with the App Store is supposed to fix.  Things you'll get through the App Store are supposed to be swept by Microsoft before being offered.  In concept it's a good idea.  Whether it will pan out in practice we will see.

    Out of curiosity, did you have to answer any "This could harm your computer" prompts when you downloaded that software?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:20 AM
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:48 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Normally, Windows could remember the setting that you are using when you close Control Panel. Please to to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0} and make sure the defaulticon value is %SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-27.


    Juke Chou
    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:19 AM
    Monday, November 26, 2012 9:15 AM
  • Hello community and Microsoft employees,

    I have purchased Windows 8 and discovered that it has a setting vulnerability. I downloaded some media applications from CNET that bombard you

    This is actually what Windows 8's integration with the App Store is supposed to fix.  Things you'll get through the App Store are supposed to be swept by Microsoft before being offered.  In concept it's a good idea.  Whether it will pan out in practice we will see.

    Out of curiosity, did you have to answer any "This could harm your computer" prompts when you downloaded that software?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:20 AM
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:48 AM
  •  Hey Juke,

      I checked the value of DefaultIcon and  the value was already the same as the string you replied with. What next?

    (It has been 13 days since your last response and the problem still exists)

     Thanks for your help!

    Bergo


    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:34 PM
    Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:33 PM
  •   The software was downloaded from CNET which included a "CNET Installer" which downloads the software package and sets up the software package it downloads, which includes adware which I sure translates into money for CNET and maybe the publisher of the software package the installer delivers to the client's system.

     I'm pretty sensitive to any warning about software potentially "harming my computer" and all I remember seeing in the past month is just the routine message saying "Do you want the following program to make changes to your computer".

     This is unavoidable (for all I know) if you want to install software -- so I just click "Yes".

     I don't download software from CNET anymore as this situation I have posted about is proof of undesirable changes being made to the client's system that are difficult to resolve.

     I said that there was a "setting vulnerability" because evidently software can make changes to some component of Windows, such as the "Control Panel", which are highly difficult to reverse. I'm not a common user (I have a masters in computer science) so I would assume that resolving this issue, and any others that are generated by CNET, would be beyond the scope of the average user's capability. This is puts CNET in a very poor light (especially if CNET is trying to exploit users with a low grasp of computing systems in order to get paid for a particular adware installation [not a very glorifying characteristic of a technology oriented company who prides itself on raising the public's technological awareness]).

    The adware is called "Funmoods" and I specifically checked the input boxes of CNET's software installer to decline its installation, (and followed all of the instructions to ensure that the software I downloaded wouldn't be a trojan horse; which it turned out to be regardless of the client's input), and the adware still appears with homepage changes being made across all installed browsers. This has repeated for two other software downloads from CNET.

    So basically, I haven't seen how Windows has a defense set up for all of this.

    Thanks for your response.

    Bergo



    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Sunday, December 9, 2012 10:04 PM
    Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:58 PM
  • The message "Do you want the following program to make changes to your computer" is an indication from Microsoft User Account Control that the program has requested the privileges to make administrative changes - such as those that were required to screw up your Control Panel view.  Should this software really NEED administrative access to your computer?

    Yes it is true that seeing that message is reasonably common, but it does mean that a user should at least do more research, instead of just assuming everything will be fine and giving it all the permissions available.  Malware comes from somewhere!

    This is unavoidable (for all I know) if you want to install software -- so I just click "Yes".

    Absolutely not.  It most certainly isn't necessary for an installer to require administrative access.  That's not to say that most software does not emit that message during installation - installer writers have traditionally been too lazy to cross all the ts and dot all the is to make their software installations cleanly per-user.  Basically this makes UAC a practically useless layer of protection that only serves to add difficulty and irritation to everyday computing.  You're not the only one who just "clicks through" the prompts.

    IT pros often do test installs on test machines (e.g., Virtual Machines, that can be wiped on a moment's notice) to evaluate unknown/new software for problems.  It's how I deal with new, unknown software, even after I have researched it.

    But above all:  It's up to YOU to choose the software you install and to ensure it doesn't cause you grief.  Chose carefully and wisely.

       

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Sunday, December 9, 2012 11:01 PM typo
    Sunday, December 9, 2012 10:59 PM
  • This [] puts CNET in a very poor light (especially if CNET is trying to exploit users with a low grasp of computing systems in order to get paid for a particular adware installation [not a very glorifying characteristic of a technology oriented company who prides itself on raising the public's technological awareness]).

    I wanted to respond to this comment specifically...

    NEVER assume anyone has good intentions or your well being in mind!  This is not a computer issue or even a technical one.  EVERYONE is out to get your money, or money from someone else at your expense.  Believe it.

       

    -Noel


    • Edited by Jundan Wu Monday, December 17, 2012 12:09 AM remove links in signatrure.
    Sunday, December 9, 2012 11:10 PM
  • >> Absolutely not.

     Well, what other option do I have for installing something that requires administrative permission to install a software package? Is there some "advanced" or customize-able installation process where the "administrator" chooses what files are created/what preferences are changed? My point was that it was unavoidable to click through that installation permission menu (choosing yes) --if-- you want to install software. I follow your point to load the software in a virtual environment to see what files are created/what permissions are changed but it would seem quite cumbersome to check what files are created/what permissions are changed after installing the package in the aforementioned virtual environment. Maybe some "Virtual Machine" software creates a log of all installation activity?





    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:13 PM
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 4:25 PM
  •   >> This is not a computer issue or even a technical one.  EVERYONE is out to get your money, or money from someone else at your expense.  Believe it.

     I don't think everyone is out to make money but I am quite indignant over CNET doing what you described. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    -Bergo 



    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Sunday, December 16, 2012 4:34 PM
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 4:29 PM
  • You have certain protections, and you can do research and take precautions, but at some point you just have to "go for it".

    Ahead of time, you could choose to install software on a throwaway partition (e.g., a virtual machine image).  Then you could test it and see whether it does what you want and nothing bad.  But you likely can't test everything utterly thoroughly, so something could sneak by.  And of course this takes time.  IT folks pondering whether to roll things out to a lot of users often do this, which slows down deployment but can avert problems.

    If you do install software that doesn't work right or does things you don't want, you can of course try to uninstall it.  But there is no guarantee that it will all be gone.  Uninstallation relies on the software itself, and most malware won't uninstall itself obediently.

    You could do a System Restore.  That, plus some manual housekeeping (deleting files, maybe registry entries), can be effective, but since bad software writers know how the volume snapshot system works, you can get malware that doesn't get removed or even reinstalls itself by restoring snapshots.  And manual housekeeping can be error-prone.

    You could, assuming you thought ahead and are making regular system image backups, restore an entire system image.  This can be time consuming, and it does require some resources up front, but you CAN potentially get everything back just the way it was.

    Finally, the option folks who don't have the ability (or knowledge) to recover using the methods above choose is to reinstall their OS from scratch.  This is clearly hugely disruptive and time-consuming, as the OS install itself is usually just a minor part of bringing up a system to the level where you can get actual work done.

    Kind of daunting, in a way it makes a person want to go grow tomatoes or something instead of working in high tech, but it's the world as it is today.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:00 PM
  • By the way, now that you've created this thread warning people to be wary of the "CNET installer" others doing web research can find the info and may be able to avoid the pain you've been through.

    I encourage you to be specific, giving specific links and names of applications to avoid.

    It's always possible you might be the first to try something and get bitten by it, but quite often you're not.  Usually folks go online to complain when stuff breaks their systems.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:04 PM
  • I made some grammatical errors in the post prior to my last -- please re-read it.  Would reverting back to System Restore points that contain representations of the state of the operating system prior to the install prevent applications (installed prior to date the System Restore point was created) from functioning as they are now? My question may be silly, but I concentrated more on computational theory in school than on various software products and am not aware of every single aspect of Windows. I appreciate your comments.
    • Edited by Bergo Bergo Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:07 PM
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:34 PM
  • I honestly can't answer your question at this point - I'm sorry.  You can only try a System Restore and see what happens.  Supposedly you can System Restore back to your system's current status, but I wouldn't be without a good backup when doing this kind of experimentation.

    Good luck.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, December 17, 2012 10:38 PM