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M3plugin.dll Error After Booting

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#1 izzrock


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:52 AM

I was recently infected by Spyware and/or a Virus. I used Spybot Search and Destroy which made my system somewhat usable, but still had a lot of problems. I also have Symantec AntiVirus. I then used ComboFix which cleared up alot more issues such as:
1) My hard disk missing in My Computer.
2) Virus ALert message in my Task Bar near time.
3) Automatic Updates not being able to be turned on.
4) Could not download files from Internet
5) Ctrl-Alt-Del function disabled.
6) Internet Explorer pop ups.

I later found out that i should not have ran this on my own!! Sorry, but it seems to have helped quite a bit.

I still have a problem that I'm trying to clear up. I get the following message after booting up my XP Home Edition machine:

"Error loading C:\Progra~1\MYWEBS~1\1.bin\M3PLUGIN.DLL The specified module could not be found". I'm not sure if I'm totally clean or not. Do I need to run any other process to ensure I'm cleaned?? Any help is appreciated!!

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#2 quietman7


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 11:12 AM

M3PLUGIN.DLL is related to MyWebSearch.

MyWebSearch and MyWay are Internet Explorer toolbars often bundled with "free software" offered by third party software vendors. You can read more about it here. MyWebSearch and MyWay were pre-installed on new Dell computers starting in November 2004. Read here and here.

Dell had a link to "What is the Dell MyWay Home Page?" but it is now redirected to this page which has a link to The "Dell My Way" Home Page. Dell now uses the "Dell Search Assistant" where they address many of the same concerns previously addressed in the redirected link.

Some anti-virus and security programs detect/remove the toolbar and some if its related files as malware. When that occurs, it's not unusual to receive a "Cannot find...", "Error loading... or "specific module could not be found" message. Windows is trying to load the MSWBAR.DLL file but cannot locate it since the file was mostly likely removed during an anti-virus or anti-malware scan. However, an associated orphaned registry entry remains and is telling Windows to load the file when you boot up. Since the file no longer exists, Windows will display an error message. You need to remove this registry entry so Windows stops searching for the file when it loads.

To resolve this, download Autoruns, search for the related entry and then delete it.
  • Create a new folder on your hard drive called AutoRuns (C:\AutoRuns) and extract (unzip) the file there. (click here if you're not sure how to do this.)
  • Open the folder and double-click on autoruns.exe to launch it.
  • Please be patient as it scans and populates the entries.
  • When done scanning, it will say Ready at the bottom.
  • Scroll through the list and look for a startup entry related to the file(s) in the error message.
  • Right-click on the entry and choose delete.
  • Reboot your computer and see if the startup error returns.
However, you may just want to uninstall the toolbar. If so and you are using a Dell Computer, please follow Dell's "My Way Search Assistant removal instructions".

If you don't have a Dell computer please do this:
Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel, double-click on Add/Remove Programs. From within Add/Remove Programs highlight "MyWebSearch" and select Remove.
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