A problem is preventing the troubleshooter from starting- Windows 7

I cannot connect to the internet with my laptop while I can connect with an identical laptop. I get "A problem is preventing the troublshooter from starting" error when I try to run diagnose connection problems.

You are seeing the effects of a hijackware infection and/or a W32/Alureon-variant rootkit infection. Since you waited about a week before activating Norton 306, chances are the application has NEVER worked/protected your computer properly (especially since KB977165 [Mar-10] is not installed). See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of Win7: See the "Using the Custom installation option and formatting the hard disk" (or the "Reinstalling Windows 7") section of http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Installing-and-reinstalling-Windows-7

NOTE: If your computer didn't come with a set of disks, there will be a hidden Recovery partition (not to be confused with System Restore) you would use to do the clean install (AKA a "destructive recovery").

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of EVERYTHING on the following page BEFORE otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) AND BEFORE connecting a flash drive, SDCard, or any other external drive to the computer:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online

VERY IMPORTANT!! =>  The Norton free-trial will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial AND download/run the Norton Removal Tool BEFORE installing any updates AND BEFORE installing your new anti-virus application (e.g., Microsoft Security Essentials - free).

Also see:

Risks & Benefits of P2P file sharing
  • http://www.microsoft.com/protect/data/downloadfileshare/filesharing.aspx
  • http://blogs.technet.com/mmpc/archive/2008/10/06/the-cost-of-free-software.aspx
  • http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST05-007.html

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware

Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms

Avoid Rogue Security Software!

If you need additional assistance with the clean install, please begin a new thread in this forum:  http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7repair/threads

If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.

Wish I'd had better news for you, especially at Christmas.  Good luck!

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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Last updated May 18, 2020 Views 22,545 Applies to:

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