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Many problems, seemingly related to icwconn1.exe

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#1 HawkingJr


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Posted 10 December 2008 - 03:14 PM

While researching my issue, I found the following post on this site:


That describes almost exactly my problem, but none of the solutions listed worked. But let me start from the beginning.

I have a slow several-years-old IBM clone, Windows 2000, IE Explorer 6, the current Firefox (I use both about equally), web-based email, 56k dial-up connection (no broadband available where I live). Just a couple months ago I got a new primary hard drive and fresh installation of Windows 2000 after some previous registry issues eventually caused my computer to mostly crash.

Figuring it was mostly because of spyware or a virus, I downloaded the current free versions of Spybot and AVG but didn't use them right away. Odd thing is, everything worked good until I actually started using Spybot and AVG this past weekend (I had noticed some random IE popups showing up even when I wasn't even using IE Explorer 6, which has a Google Popup Blocker anyway, so I figured that was some Spyware issue and it was time to use Spybot and AVG). I used them Saturday night. I used the computer perfectly fine on Sunday (I reboot every day), only visited well-known commercial websites like Yahoo and my email provider (had no email worth opening). Monday, it was another story. Weird minor flickering during final Windows boot-up, then tried to go to internet and discovered my dial-up connections had been wiped out, including "Make a new connection." Tried to establish a new connection using indirect route, and got "icwconn1.exe has generated errors and will be shut down by Windows" on the page where the access number/country info is -- have gotten this continuously since, so I can't connect to the internet through Windows with that computer anymore, not even in safe mode with networking.

Also, all my program files are hidden from me and I can't unhide them (it says there are 30-something objects in the folder but shows nothing). There's also nothing listed in the add/remove programs area. And I can't copy/paste anything using Windows anymore -- I can copy/paste in the command prompt, though my DOS is very rusty and I can't remember how to copy entire directories, but I have been able to copy supposed fixes from removable disks to the hard drive. For more exact description of my problems, read that other BC post through link above -- like I said before, that's almost a perfect description of my problem.

So far none of the registry cleaners I've used have fixed the problems and I tried updated Spybot, Adaware and AVG in safe mode to no avail (they do function and remove some stuff, but the main problems persist). People suggested the other guy do a "last good config" but that failed for me because I apparently got the problem on Saturday or earlier, and the computer ran perfectly fine on Sunday, so it was likely already infected or damaged and just biding its time, so by Monday when the problem became evident, the true last good config was gone, and unlike some other versions of Windows, apparently it only saves one configuration.

Some sites have claimed that "icwconn1.exe" can be a virus with a legitimate name -- after all this research I'm certain that it is normally a legitimate Windows file involved in network connections, but now it is either corrupted or perhaps fully viral. It's also possible this is not actually directly a malware issue -- on Saturday AVG supposedly found a virus, and I told it to quarantine it, and Spybot removed a lot of stuff, so I suppose it's possible one or the other accidentally removed or corrupted something I need?

Please help me so I don't have to take my computer back to the shop for another $150 only a couple months after the last trip! Also, are Spybot and/or AVG known to cause such issues or can you get bad copies (although I downloaded both from their makers' sites)? (Which would be ironic, of course.) I had the computer for years with good results using Adaware, but they stopped updating Adaware for that version of Windows, so I tried Spybot, and right after the first use is when a bunch of registry issues showed up that ultimately led to the crash requiring a new hard drive, fresh OS installation (with an upgrade to 2000, which does work with the current version of Adaware) and a trip to the computer shop, where they told me they didn't think it was a virus or malware that caused my problems but somehow my registry got messed up beyond repair by improper removals!


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#2 garmanma


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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:53 PM

so I tried Spybot, and right after the first use is when a bunch of registry issues showed up

If you have Spybot's Teatimer enabled, disable it until you have a better understanding of what it does. It needs to be off for now, anyways

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
  • 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. Regardless 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. MBAM may make changes to your registry as part of its disinfection routine. If you're using other security programs that detect registry changes, they may alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please permit the program to allow the changes.
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#3 HawkingJr

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:21 PM

As I can't connect to the internet through Windows (which as noted is the primary issue), what's the easiest way you would suggest for me to connect to the internet through the command prompt (assuming the malware or corruption lets me do that)? I know it's possible to connect to the net through the command prompt but I'm not really sure the procedure to do that. I did download the file you suggested to this working computer and saved it to a disk that I can later copy to the problem computer so hopefully I will be able to install the Malwarebytes even without an internet connection, but I can't download the updates to the installation on the problem computer without it having a functioning dial-up connection.

I will check on the Teatimer question then, too -- I remember Spybot asking me if I wanted to download the TT updates, but I have no idea whether it was in general enabled or not.



#4 TSalarek


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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:48 PM

Just a suggestion...

MS Error Message: Failed to Load the Internet Connection Wizard Helper Component from Jan 2007

Includes issues with following IE component files:


If you upgraded to IE 6 it could be an incomplete upgrade thus corrupting the base IE 5 components.

see also: MS interactive IE help

hope it helps!!

#5 HawkingJr

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:01 AM

TS, that sounds more like what happened the previous time it crashed and I had to take it to the shop, although I don't remember seeing that specific error, but there were definitely issues caused by W98 and IE5/6 reinstallations. This time around, I have had one installation only of both W2K and IE6, both done at the shop by a supposed professional, so I doubt that's the problem. Thanks, though.

As for the problem, last night when I tried to install the anti-malware suggested above, I kept getting installation errors and couldn't make the program run after installation -- so I tried installing some other bug-fixers, and got most of the same errors -- at which point, I came to the conclusion that the damage had grown since the last time I used the computer to the point that I can no longer even install new programs. And obviously, if it's not letting me do that, well, there's probably nothing I can do to fix it aside from blanking the hard drive, reinstalling W2K and starting over again. So I guess that's that, unfortunately, unless someone has any idea how I can install fixes if the OS isn't letting me install anything.

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