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Windows Explorer Or Virus?


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#1 wolfgold

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:40 AM

Hi all. I'm new here - have read the advice on posting to the forum and steps to take before posting a Hijack This! log. Maybe someone could advise me if posting a log is even going to be useful...

I have Windows XP on a 3-year-old Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop - using wireless connection and home network. I have service pack 2, not service pack 3 yet.

Starting yesterday, my bootup time is excruciatingly slow - a full 6 minutes now. I get to the login screen quickly, under 45 seconds. After logging in,I get my desktop wallpaper first, then another 6 minutes before the icons appear. I do have the mouse pointer right away but no hourglass to tell me anything is happening, and no lights flickering until right before the icons appear.

Computer runs fine after it's booted up, not slow at all - it's just the bootup time that is long.
So far I have

1. Run my antivirus (ZoneAlarm)
2. Run my antispyware problems (Zonealarm, Spybot and AdAware - spybot caught wwwcool (something - afraid I didn't write it down. Removed it, ran Spybot again, all seems clean now)
3. Defragged
4. Run disk cleanup
5. Run Eusing Free registry cleaner.
6. Run a couple WinOptimizer 2007 (bunch of utilities to clean up
unnecessary files and tune up system).
7. Run msconfig and deleted programs from running at startup
8 Deleted some programs from startup menu
9. Deleted old programs I no longer use that were eating up space via Add/Remove Programs.
10. Run McAfee Stinger.
11. Downloaded and ran HijackThis - nothing checked in the log...
13. Also checked my virtual memory to RAM ratio and that is about 1.5, so seems okay.

So far, while this has all been good maintenance, and there was the one thing that Spybot caught, my bootup time s still 6 minutes, after login screen and before I get icons. My sytems manager shows 51 Gb and I am only using approximately half, with about 23 Gb free

Again, new problem since Sunday. I did recently download MS updates. Can't find a solution by googling the problem, at least not yet.

Anybody got a an idea?

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#2 rigel

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:07 PM

Hi wolfgold,

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself.
  • Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply and exit MBAM.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Reagardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#3 wolfgold

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:33 PM

Okay, did that. Didn't seem to find anything. Here's the log

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.28
Database version: 1169
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2

9/18/2008 12:23:17 PM
mbam-log-2008-09-18 (12-23-17).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 52505
Time elapsed: 6 minute(s), 15 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#4 rigel

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 04:00 PM

One more scan then we will pursue a different avenue

Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop.
alternate download link DO NOT use yet.

Please download and install SUPERAntiSpyware Free
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSypware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the
    definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter
    any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from
    here and
    unzip into the program's folder.
    )
  • Under the "Configuration and Preferences", click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the "General and Startup" tab, and under
    Start-up Options, make sure "Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows starts" box is unchecked.
  • Click the "Scanning Control" tab, and under Scanner
    Options
    , make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen and exit the program.
  • Do not run a scan just yet.
Reboot your computer in "Safe Mode" using the F8 method. To do this, restart your computer and after hearing your computer beep once during startup (but before the Windows icon appears) press the F8 key repeatedly. A menu will appear with several options. Use the arrow keys to navigate and select the option to run Windows in "Safe Mode".

Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
  • Under Main "Select Files to Delete" choose:
    Select All.
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
  • If you use Firefox browser click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • If you use Opera browser click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
Note: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp"

ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware as follows:
  • Launch the program and back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan and click "Next".
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
  • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes" and reboot normally.
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#5 wolfgold

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:13 AM

Ran into a problem. Downloaded everything, followed all steps. When I booted into Safe Mode, I had a choice of "Administrator" or my user profile (my laptop is password protected, but there is only one profile).

I logged in as Administrator (no password required) - I could not see the icon for ATF Cleaner, though I'd installed it as directed with shortcut to my desktop.

I COULD see SUPERantispyware cleaner.

I restarted back into safe mode and logged in under my user profile with password - saw icon for ATF cleaner and ran it...but then saw that it must be run as Administrator - but I can't do that because the icon does not show.

Was I not supposed to follow default on installation of ATF and install PROGRAM to desktop, rather than shortcut?

Thanks for the help!

#6 wolfgold

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:27 AM

Forgot to mention - I've also been having problems running chkdsk- it freezes at step 2, 7% scanned - by hitting F3 repeatedly, I can get a menu allowing me to boot back to "last normal configuration" (or similar phrase) but sometimes I don't time it right and have to start over by unplugging and taking out battery - it will immediately start trying to run chkdsk again until I hit F3 just right and get that menu.

could this problem be related to my 6 minutes of bootup time?

#7 rigel

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:08 AM

The slow run may be signs of your hard drive dying. It may be looking for a file(s) that are corrupted, or on bad sectors of your drive. If you can find the maker of the drive, most have free diagnostics to test it. There may be also imbedded diagnostics on your laptop. I think you have to press F2 during startup to enter your setup. Then look for the area that discusses drive boot/management. It may be found in there.

When you are in safe mode, browse to Documents and settings, and then look for your user name. You will see a desktop folder under the name - click that and the icon should be there to run ATF.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#8 wolfgold

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:53 PM

Okay, can't see it because when I boot into safe mode, click on administrator profile (no password) and then try to access my user profile, access is denied. Shouldn't I be able to get there from the administration profile? I removed the password from my user profile - though I don't think that should matter. Still can't access it in safe mode.

BTW - I tried to use Add/Remove programs to find ATF Cleaner to remove it and install again, thinking that might be the problem, but I can't see it listed in Add/REmove programs either. When I downloaded it said "publisher unknown" and I downloaded it anyway...

Advice?

#9 rigel

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:14 PM

What browser are you using? Have you tried using SuperAntiSpyware yet?

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#10 wolfgold

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:42 PM

I'm using Firefox, though I haven't downloaded the latest version yet.

Yes, though when following directions I ran ATF Cleaner via my user profile and not logged into Safe Mode as administrator, I then went ahead and ran SuperAntiSpyware - it found nothing.

Thanks!

#11 rigel

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:14 PM

Process Explorer v11.21By Mark Russinovich

Process explorer is a great tool that runs much like Task Manager does.

The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.


I recommend running process explorer to see what is taking up your CPU time. Run it after you start your system and see what is says.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#12 DaChew

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:31 PM

I restarted back into safe mode and logged in under my user profile with password - saw icon for ATF cleaner and ran it...but then saw that it must be run as Administrator - but I can't do that because the icon does not show.


with xp and only 1 normal login, it will be one with administrative priviledges, you would not have been able to install SAS otherwise

ATF is not an installed program, it's a standalone executable, my desktop is such a mess, I keep ATF cleaner in My Documents so I can see it in safe mode
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#13 wolfgold

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 10:27 AM

Okay, ran Process Explorer - however, it is only my bootup time that is slow - computer works fine after bootup. I'm afraid I don't know enough to properly interpret what Process Explorer is telling me.

On Event View I see that there are about 5 minutes worth of error messages involving a missing KLIF file, which is part of ZoneAlarm/Kapersky. I do not have Kapersky, but do have ZoneAlarm.

My husband posted under my username on another forum about this - we are tag-teaming trying to solve the problem :>). KLIF seems to be a part of ZoneAlarm - so I am wondering if my earlier infection of CoolWWW has damaged ZoneAlarm, causing it to continually search for the KLIF and then eventually time out and allow the rest of bootup to take place...? Just a thought...

Here is part of his post on the Antivirus Forum

"Event viewer showed continuous errors that would correspond in time to when the problem started (about a week ago).

Error message: "The KLIF service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified."

I understand KLIF is related to Kaspersky/Zone alam. There are 2 instances of KLIF both in system32.
I'm guessing some corruption happened at some point. Can't find an answer on the Zone alarm site."

#14 rigel

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 11:56 AM

Try uninstalling ZoneAlarm. Reboot your system and see if it is faster. Then reinstalling ZA.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#15 Orange Blossom

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 08:09 PM

Hello Wolfgold,

I see that you have an HJT log posted here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/170592/last-resort/

We do not allow more than one topic for the same computer and the same issue as this causes confusion, and in this case may make the disinfection process more difficult.

This leaves you with a choice:

1) Have this thread reopened and the HiJack This log topic deleted

OR

2) Keep this thread closed and wait for assistance in the HiJack This log forum. Please note that that forum is VERY busy.

My husband posted under my username on another forum about this - we are tag-teaming trying to solve the problem


This can further confuse things, if you are following two sets of instructions to resolve your issue. Please stick to one topic. Having multiple topics on the same issue is akin to having several cooks making the same pot of soup without consulting each other. Imagine how the soup could turn out. Bleh.

Please send a Private Message indicating your choice of which topic you which to continue receiving assistance in.
-----------
-----------
Assuming you wish assistance in the HiJack This forum, you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a HJT Team member, nor should you continue to ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show in the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the helper assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the HJT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the HJT Team members are EXTREMELY busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the HJT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.

If after 5 days you still have received no response, then post a link to your HJT log in the thread titled "Haven't Had A Reply In Five Days?".

To avoid confusion, I am closing this topic. Good luck with your log.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

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