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What the hell?!

General discussion about using Restorator.

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Woogie
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What the hell?!

Post by Woogie » Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:53 pm

I've just uninstalled Restorator as I feel it doesn't fit my needs. Once uninstalled, I find that I can no longer execute EXE's, COM's, CPL's, etc.

After partially repairing my registry so I can run regedit, I find loads of file extensions have been changed to "BomeRst.<extension>". Eg. BomeRst.exe, BomeRst.com, and since the system can't find Bome Restorator anymore, it can't launch the files.

So a few questions...

Why do the program overwrite these settings?

and

Why doesn't it put them back when the app is uninstalled?

and finally,

is there anything available so I can get my system back to normal? There are still lots of extensions that are marked as belonging to "Bome restorator".

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florian
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Post by florian » Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:28 am

Hi Woogie,

I'm very sorry for what has happened to you. Let me start with saying that this is neither intended behavior nor has it been reported by any of the 1000s of users before. We tested registry handling handling to the max to ensure that Restorator doesn't leave traces and that it does not leave anything in a corrupt state when uninstalled. Frankly, I have no idea how your problem could have happened because Restorator doesn't even have a function to associate .exe or .com files!

Maybe something else corrupted the registry and the existence of the BomeRst.<ext> keys seemed a likely explanation?

Anyway, let me explain what Restorator is doing, and why.

When you install Restorator, it does the following:

1) it associates itself to a number of extensions that are not associated to any other program. For good measure, it creates BomeRst.<ext> keys to clearly separate Restorator's keys from others.

2) it installs a context menu handler for all known extensions. This process does not create BomeRst.* keys, if there is already a key for this extension. The context menu handler entry is unique and cannot overwrite any other context menu handlers, since it's a unique GUID.

When you run Restorator, you're asked if you want to associate the .res extension to Restorator. You can also run the "Edit File Associations" tool in Restorator where you have complete control over Restorator's extension handling.

Once you instruct Restorator to associate an already used extension, e.g. the .res extension, a backup key is created in the extension's key with the old value so that it can be reconstructed if you choose to disassociate Restorator later, or if you uninstall Restorator.

Restorator never associates itself to .com or .exe extensions. The only thing you can do is to activate the context menu for these 2 extensions.

When you uninstall Restorator, it goes through all extensions and
- removes its entries from .<ext>
- re-establish the contents of the backup key (if exists)
- removes the entire BomeRst.<ext> key

We at bome.com believe that this is the best extension handling possible. We're open for suggestions for improvement though!
Why do the program overwrite these settings?
Restorator offers associations and context menu entry as a convenience to the user.
And as explained above, Restorator does not overwrite anything without backup. On our test systems, uninstalling Restorator leaves the registry in the same state as it was before installing Restorator.
Why doesn't it put them back when the app is uninstalled?
It does... I just tried very hard to mess with Restorator, mess with the registry and so on. But I could not get Restorator to leave any trace in the registry after uninstalling it.
is there anything available so I can get my system back to normal? There are still lots of extensions that are marked as belonging to "Bome restorator".
The best thing I can recommend is to install Restorator and uninstall it again. If that doesn't work, please write again.

Good luck, and again I'm very sorry!
Florian

PS: One last general hint: I know that many people use Restorator without having payed for it with a modified version so that it won't stop after the trial period. Now those versions are modified and will almost certainly show uncontrollable behavior -- I've even heard of cases where such a modified version deleted files on your hard disk. So just for the case that you "tried" a modified version, that may be the answer.

Woogie
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Post by Woogie » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:58 pm

Ok, I will reinstall and see if the same thing happens. The version I downloaded was from Simtel and the filename was Restorator2005_Trial_1442.exe. I can send you the file if you think it could have been modified? It's sitting in my recycle bin, so I'll just restore it and reinstall it.

Maybe you could also place an MD5 hash (or equivalent) of the the latest version on your site, so people know they have an unaltered copy of the program?

Woogie
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Post by Woogie » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:58 pm

Ok, more information.

Reinstalled Restorator, but this time the readme window worked. When I installed it yesterday, it said it couldn't open the readme file? It's definitely the same file I installed as I did yesterday. I uninstalled, and it's fine, no screw up this time.

However, it's still left a large amount of keys in the registry. Eg:

Image
http://ibiblio.org/paulc/Clip_5.bmp

(This screengrab was taken when Restorator was fully uninstalled, or at least stated as being fully uninstalled)

Judging by the fact that when I tried the program yesterday I could install Restorator, so the file extensions were clearly ok at that time, but not having the readme to show worries me a little. Maybe the installer did something weird? I thought the readme was simply missing from the downloaded archive until I tried just with the exact same file.

Where are the "BomeRst.<extension>" keys created, in the installer or in the program itself?

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florian
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Post by florian » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:16 pm

Hi Woody,

Thanks, a good idea to publish md5 checksums. the simtel file should be fine, it was uploaded by bome staff to simtel. Here is the checksum for Restorator2005_Trial_1442.exe:
52BF87C9CE4D061E59F3ACF5B31301B4

Strange that the readme was not shown yesterday, but nothing to really worry about, I guess.

The registry keys, however, worry me more. You can try one thing:
1) install Restorator
2) run it.
If you still have trial period left, open "Tools|Edit File Associations". There, first click on "associate all" and close the window by pressing OK. Then do it again and click "associate none" and "context none". Now after OK you shouldn't see the BomeRst.* keys in the registry.
If you don't have trial perid left, close the reminder, and run regedit. Try to remove the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Bomers\Restorator 2005\Extensions
3) uninstall Restorator

Btw, you should have admin rights both for installation and uninstallation.

The registry keys are created and removed by Restorator itself. During uninstallation, Restorator is called with the parameter "/uninstall" in order to remove the registry keys. You can also try to run "Restorator.exe /uninstall" and see if that removes the keys...

And just to check back, do you still have problems? I can't imagine why the .ax, .acm etc. extensions would make a difference. What exactly are the symptoms, what is not working anymore?

Thanks,
Florian

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florian
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Post by florian » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:51 pm

one more question: which version of Windows do you use?

Woogie
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Post by Woogie » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:32 pm

I'm using WinXP/SP2. Everything seems to be working fine now (found a page with the usual system file associations on in .reg format, which worked a treat).

I'm wondering whether the readme didn't show as it was the starting place of the screwup - ie, Windows didn't know what to associate ".txt" files with anymore.

I've tried what you suggested in 2, but the keys still remain. The entries are pretty much dormant, as nothing references them anymore (ie, the ".ax" entries no longer reference "BomeRst.ax", but the "BomeRst.ax" entry itself still exists).

Uninstalling made no difference. The keys are still there. I'll remove them with Regedit, although it would have been better to have them removed automatically.

Ah, I notice that some keys do reference, but I assume it's an undeleted context menu or something - in the sub keys of some entries, I see "OpenWithProgIDs" and "BomeRst.exe" is in there.

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florian
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Post by florian » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:59 pm

Ah, I see. Actually I just notice that the failure to show the readme file is significant!

The installer just asks Windows to display the readme.txt file. Windows will then look up which program is associated to the .txt extension. Apparently, your registry was already messed up, and the association for .txt was missing. That's why the readme.txt file could not be shown.

As to the orphaned BomeRst.* keys: indeed, if they are not referenced by any extension, Restorator will not remove them. Probably some program deleted the <.ext> keys in the registry, including the ones that pointed to the BomeRst.* keys. Of course then Restorator could not find them anymore. Though I think it's a good idea to improve Restorator to always delete any BomeRst.* keys upon uninstallation. The references by "OpenWithProgIDs" are created by other programs like Windows Explorer, etc. You can safely remove all BomeRst.* keys manually.

So in summary, it's a relief for me to state that Restorator did not mess up your system: it was already malfunctioning before installation of Restorator, and the orphaned keys in the registry are a result of the messed up registry.

I *strongly* suggest to run a recent virus checker. Something's wrong with your computer.

Good luck!
Florian

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Post by totoymola » Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:01 am

PS: One last general hint: I know that many people use Restorator without having payed for it with a modified version so that it won't stop after the trial period. Now those versions are modified and will almost certainly show uncontrollable behavior -- I've even heard of cases where such a modified version deleted files on your hard disk. So just for the case that you "tried" a modified version, that may be the answer.
Yes, I have seen a lot of modified/patched/cracked version of Restorator 3 days after it's public release (release of build 1442). And note that they are not even patching the trial, but the full version! I felt really bad because of that. For one, because they didn't respect the very wonderful software and it's author who worked hard for it. And second, because it is so unfair for people who payed for it, especially for the students like me!

Mr. Bomers, I did a little "experiment" just to see how they did it. I can show you my findings through email just in case you are interested.


Anyway, that is a really odd registry problem Woogie. Because if I'm not mistaken, the installer only makes this registry entry, and it has the "uninsdeletekey" flag which removes that entry during uninstallation.

Code: Select all

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Bomers
Other than this, the program adds entries here:

Code: Select all

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls
and here:

Code: Select all

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{762F86D0-B3EA-11d2-84D3-0080AD160D07}\InProcServer32
Those are the only registry entries I have in my system. (unless I missed the others.... :D )


- Carlo -

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florian
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Post by florian » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:23 am

Hi Carlo,

I do follow the cracking activities to some degree, and of course I spend some time to harden Restorator to be immune against the known attacks.

However, I've long ago stopped worrying about cracks. I used to spend about 30% of development time for anti-cracks measures. But I decided that it's not worth it. The invested time was far more loss for me than (potentially) a couple of fewer purchases.

I have realized that some people believe that there is no reason why software should cost anything and they believe they're saving the world when they distribute commercial software for free. What many people don't see is that thanks to cracks and these people's attitude, today we have to live with dongles, or ingenious things like online software activation (which, of course, can only be afforded by the big companies). Some software manufacturers even had to close down because their software was only copied and not bought. Last but not least, also I am living (or trying to live) from the sales of bome.com, and I depend on people's earnesty and that they know right from wrong, especially when it comes to small software companies like bome.com.

Also a great "idea" is to use stolen credit card numbers to buy Restorator. Much simpler than cracking... People probably don't even realize that with such activity they've already got a foot in prison.

In any case, I'm curious about your experiment! Please send me your results.

Thanks!
Florian

Andy1990zx
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Post by Andy1990zx » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:31 pm

the first time i run my Restorator i come to this problem too.
here is my solve way:
copy c:\windows\notepad.exe to c:\windows\notepad1.exe
copy c:\windows\regedit.exe to c:\windows\notepad.exe

create a .txt file and double-click it
the regedit.exe will be running
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.EXE default:BomeRst.exe to exefile
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.com default:BomeRst.exe to comfile
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.scr default:BomeRst.exe to scrfile
don't forget change your notepad.exe back!
:lol:
http://hi.baidu.com/andy1990zx/blog/ite ... 2eba5.html

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florian
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Post by florian » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:53 pm

Hi Andy,

thanks for letting us know. Was this with the official version 2007? This is really strange, because I have double checked the code many times and it cannot access the .EXE, and .com entries...

Thanks,
Florian

thorazine74
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Post by thorazine74 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:31 pm

Hello:

I had the same problem with file extensions being taken over without warning (on Vista).
I followed the instructions on the other thread on Bug reports subforum to restore default associations but it didnt work for me, as Restorator didnt undo the extensions association for some reason.
I manage to undo the main most recognizable file extensions by hand with the registry (just reassigning them to exefile comfile and so on manually) but I notice there is many other extensions being associated with Bome keys, this list:

Code: Select all

acm
ax
bpl
cnv
com -> comfile
cpl -> cplfile
dcr
dll -> dllfile
dpl
drv -> drvfile
exe -> exefile
flt
ocx -> ocxfile
rc
rs
scr -> scrfile
sys -> sysfile
tlb
tsp
wpc
Can someone help me restore this extensions from "BomeRst.***" class to whatever is their default class association in Vista?
The list above shows the file extension and next the default association, in vista, the ones I manage to guess, can someone help me complete that list to restore the damage cause by Restorator?

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florian
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Post by florian » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:44 pm

Hi,

I'm sorry for this problem. Have you installed the original trial version from bome.com? Or was it version from somewhere else? we know that cracked versions of Restorator exhibit malfunctions.

Anyway, regarding your problem:
Restorator takes over associations if they aren't assigned when Restorator starts for the first time. It should never assign .com or .exe. You can view and edit the file associations that Restorator assigns to using the menu Tools|Edit File Associations.

Regarding the extensions that you don't know their association, it's likely that they are not assigned. They are special files usually not associated with a program (e.g. acm:audio code, bpl:Borland Package, dcr:Delphi Resource, etc.).

Sorry again. We've rechecked the relevant code in Restorator and we've run many many tests on normal computers and in virtual machines, but we could never reproduce this problem, so we don't know where it comes from. If you have any other information, please let us know.

Regards,
Florian

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