Bizarre Shortcut Problems.. (win2000)
I apologize if I post this in the wrong forum; as you'll surely understand after reading my dilemma, I'm having some very irritating trouble with my computer.
Let me preface this by saying that this computer has been running fine since my last reformat, approximately a year ago. I have the occasional spyware / virus problem, but I currently have no virus or spyware on my system, at least nothing detected between 5 different 3rd party systems, frequent checking of my task manager, and an occasional checking of the "run" and "runonce" trees in my registry. So when - while logged on and using my computer - this problem started, I was caught by surprise.
Here's what is happening. I cannot launch any programs through their shortcuts. I can't open My Computer, Firefox, Wordpad, Scandisk, anything, either through the start menu, or from my desktop. It seems like all shortcuts have been disabled. I can open files through the integrated command prompt, but not by any other means. I also can access my control panel through the start->settings menu, through which (and that is how I'm posting this) I can enter a web URL or a folder name into the Address bar. If I go to C:/, for instance, I can see all of the files and folders, and even delete them, but I cannot open them, without going back to the address bar and specifying in there what file or folder I'm trying to go in to.
Very worthy of note is that I *CAN* use shortcuts in the first 10-20 seconds after my desktop has loaded, suggesting that there may be a process that loads on start-up that is causing this? I went through the processes list of my task manager and found nothing that isn't running pretty much every day, so maybe one of these processes is infected?
Sometimes, and there isn't any apparent consistency to this, instead of a file or folder simply not opening, I will get an error message that simply reads "Unable to run this command."
Here's what I've done so far: I've run a full ScanDisk session before startup, as well as a disk Defragmentation. I have also done a deep system scan in both Kaspersky Anti-Virus and AVG, as well as spyware scans in Spybot S&D, Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta, and Ad-Aware 8. I also deleted all of the non-essential registry keys from my HKEY*****_Software_Microsoft_Windows_Run / Runonce folders, to disable any infected processes from startup. So far none of this has helped.
Please help me! I have an assignment due tomorrow that I haven't had a chance to start on yet. Also note that simply telling me to reformat is not a solution, as I do not have my Windows installation disks here at college, and could only access them in 2 weeks, which is way too far off.