(WinXP,SP3; free version of SAS)
Last Friday, my internet experience became unstable, so I restarted in Safe Mode and ran SuperAntiSpyware. The only serious threat found was "System.BrokenFileAssociation HKCR\.exe." I deleted it and discovered upon restart that Windows could not load some of my Start-up programs, I could not open programs using my desktop shortcuts (their icons had become generic Windows file icons), and I could not get online. I tried to do a System Restore, but Windows could not find that program either.
Apparently, a similar problem has happened to others using SAS. See the thread titled System.BrokenFileAssociation (April 30,2010).
A friend ran a program on my computer that re-associated the files with their programs and was then able to run System Restore.
The next day, I updated and re-ran SuperAntiSpyware. It again found the same "Critical Threat," but I have NOT removed it, and my computer is working just fine.
Some of the posts from 2010 indicate this issue was resolved. Why is it cropping up when I run SAS in August 2011?
P.S. Both Avast and another anti-malware program found no threats.
P.P.S. I still don't know what caused the original instability; System Restore eliminated whatever it was.