Windows 10 Task Bar start and search bar not working
After logging on to my Alienware M15 R3, the start button and the search bar become unresponsive. I cannot reach any of the windows settings at all even through the task manager, shortcuts, or command prompt. I was suspecting a virus due to the sheer number of background processes (>100) running and their immediate start after ending the task. I have ran numerous virus detection scans even the support assist and did not find any however the problem persists.
I have used the command prompt to run the command attrib -r -a -s -h *.* and it shows a large number (easily 100) files as access denied, which based what I understand means the files have been corrupted and the permissions have been changed to protect the virus from me deleting it. I believe I have isolated the file that was the virus (ieuinit.inf) but I do not know how to correct all the files it has damaged
I was thinking of backing up all of my files onto an external drive because based on what I can tell the virus has only infected operating system files. After removing my files, I would reset to factory default and then reload my files. I just want to make sure there is not a better way to fix the problem, or if the only way is to remove everything and restart
I can't say I've ever used the attrib command, but I suspect you don't want to use it here. You didn't specify in what folder you ran the command, or whether you were running it with elevated permissions (as an administrator); in addition, it would have only acted on the top-level folder since you didn't specify the /s flag. I really don't think you want to use that command here. (On what folder did you run the command? -- just want to assess what may have been changed.)
Next, you really should back up your personal files to an external drive on a regular basis, if you're not doing so already, for just such a situation as this. If you don't have a backup, create one; if you have an old backup, refresh it or make a new one. Just copying files with Windows' File Explorer should work; alternatively I really like the freeware FreeFileSync.
To repair your Windows installation, the repair install method using a downloaded Windows 10 installation image may be your best bet, if you can manage your damaged Windows interface well enough to accomplish it. It will leave all your files and settings in place, but just in case, you should make your backup first if at all possible. If the damage has left you unable to do the steps, or if the repair install fails to fix the problem, you can "Reset this PC" from the Recovery menu in Settings. You can opt to keep or remove your files, but this method removes your apps and settings, and you may need to reload some drivers etc. with SupportAssist afterward.
To fix the search functionality with the Settings app, use these steps: Open Settings. Click on Update & Security. Click on Troubleshoot. Under the "Find and fix other problems" section, select the search and Indexing option. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.