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Computer freezes when I log onto Windows Update


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#1 malcuuu

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:14 PM

Hi, I'm running XP on a Mesh PC.

Pc has worked fine for last 3 years without (so far as I know) any virus problems, but a few weeks ago, whilst working with WORD I noticed Internet Explorer had started running itself. At the time I wasn't using the internet. I used Task manager to close it, but a few minutes later it started itself again and logged onto a website in China. I closed it again. It kept doing this every few minutes and I couldn't stop it.

I was using MS Windows Firewall and Virgin anti-virus, so i tried a full scan of the PC, but Virgin wouldn't run. I tried to delete it, but it wouldn't do that either. I tried to resinstall Virgin, to no effect. I noticed I couldn't use Copy and Paste either!
So, I ran an online scan with Panda and it found loads of infections, so I bought that, downloaded it and it appeared to clean the infections.

All was fine for 24 hrs or so, then Internet Explorer started firing up on it's own again! Then Panda wouldn't run either.

I had numerous phone calls with Panda tech support and they tried to log onto my PC but it wouldn't let them. They got me to download and run HackThis and remove several lines of code that shouldn't be there, but still Internet Explorer kept starting itself. I was pretty hacked off (pardon the pun) at this stage.

At this point I knew I needed help so i took the PC to a firm of computer engineers. They tried to find and remove the infection but failed, so in the end they re-formatted the HDD and resinstalled XP and my files. Everything seemd fine until...

They tried to run Windows Update to get the Op system up to date but every time they went to the Microsoft webpages the PC froze. It would go to other pages no problem (google. yahoo, etc) but it doesn't like the Microsoft update pages.

I changed to Firefox, but I get a message saying I need to use Internet Explorer to use Microsoft Updates. Catch 22.

The engineers didn't know why it was doing this but they gave me the PC back (with instructions NOT to visit Microsoft website), and see how if I had any other problems. I don't.

I've been running the PC for about a month now with no problems whatsoever. It runsall my progs OK including Internet Explorer , it's quick and trouble free and it doesn't launch itself any more (EUREKA!). However, last night I tried getting an Update again and it froze immediately. Then, on re-booting, the PC froze after about a minute and I had to re-boot over and over, but it wouldn't run for very long without freezing. It was as if trying to log onto a Microsoft webpage had re-awakened the sleeping monster.
In the end I overcame the re-boot problem by booting in Safe Mode and going back to a previous Restore Point.

It's working fine again now, excpet that I still can't get any Updates from Microsoft. If I try to set up automatic updates it freezes, so I suspect there is still an infection in there somewhere.

A friend told me he had heard of viruses installing themselves into the BIOS, and maybe that's the problem, and he recommended me to this forum to get some serious advice!

Anyone got any ideas?

Cheers, malc :thumbsup:

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:52 PM

A BIOS infection is rare. I'm more inclined to believe that the virus was never totally removed in the first place, and when they reinstalled, it got re-infected. Plus if you saved backed-up documents, they could be infected and when you added them back it got re-infected. Run this scan and we'll see what shows up
---------------------------------------

The process of cleaning your computer may require you to temporarily disable some security programs. If you are using SpyBot Search and Destroy, please refer to Note 2 at the bottom of this page.

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. 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.

Note 2:
-- MBAM may make changes to your registry as part of its disinfection routine. If you're using other security programs that detect registry changes (like Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere with the fix or alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please disable such programs until disinfection is complete or permit them to allow the changes. To disable these programs, please view this topic: How To Temporarily Disable Your Anti-virus, Firewall And Anti-malware Programs
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

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#3 malcuuu

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 10:53 AM

Hi Mark, thanks for replying :thumbsup:

I've run MBAM.

Whilst installing, it gave me two error messages. Firstly it reported "Run time error 0 ", I clicked 'OK' and it resumed the installation. Then it reported "Run time error 440". Once again I clicked OK and it resumed. This time it finished the installation.

It then updated itself online and I ran the routine, but it didn't find any infections - see error log below:

-----------------------------------------
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.33
Database version: 1713
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2

01/02/2009 15:17:01
mbam-log-2009-02-01 (15-17-01).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 88576
Time elapsed: 9 minute(s), 54 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)
---------------------------------

I now use the free AVG antivirus prog, rather than Virgin or Panda. The scan automatically ran this morning so I checked it's results. It didn't find any problems today, but it found infections on the 24th and 25th January. I didn't know about those ! I'll try to attach a screenshot of the virus report below.



In case the screen shot above has failed, there were 4 infections on 24th January and 11 infections on 25th january.
They were all described as 'Trojan Horse agent. AVRV' and were all removed to the virus vault.
Here are two typical lines out of the 11 reported on 25 January:

c:\documents and settings\Malc.CFFE34A01ECE401\mydocuments\mike\mydocuments\mypictures\westfield.exe
c:\system volume information\_restore{1589760-0FDA-4FB1-98EE-A56C7CDD9622}\RP45\A0048508.exe

Any ideas?

Malc :flowers:

#4 garmanma

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 02:24 PM

So are they still in the virus vault? That's a good thing
Turn off System Restore for now

Please reboot the computer
Open MBAM and click Update tab, select Check for Updates,when done
click Scanner tab,select FULL scan
After scan click Remove Selected, Post new scan log for review
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook and Twitter

#5 malcuuu

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:50 AM

Hi Mark, no luck with the full scan I'm afreaid.

Here's the report...

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.33
Database version: 1714
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2

02/02/2009 07:43:07
mbam-log-2009-02-02 (07-43-07).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 200672
Time elapsed: 1 hour(s), 18 minute(s), 36 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)


Any suggestions about where we go from here?
Cheers,
Malc :thumbsup:

#6 garmanma

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:19 PM

Are you using XP or Vista?
-------------------------

ATF
Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop.
  • 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".

------------------------------------

Now SAS,may need an hour
Please download and scan with 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. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • In the Main Menu, 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".

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.

Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook and Twitter

#7 malcuuu

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 04:26 PM

Hi Mark, I ran ATF and SuperAntiSpyware, but again nothing was found. It's a mystery.

Now here's a strange thing. Or, at least it seems strange to me!

SAS did produce a scanner report and I saved it to the desktop as a Notepad file immediately after the scan finished and whilst the PC was still in SAFE mode.
When I rebooted to get to normal mode to report back here, the Notepad file I saved on the desktop had disappeared, so I opened the SAS Control Centre to open the log file from there, but it wasn't in the Logs list any more either.

If I go back to SAFE mode I can see the log report in SAS logs area, but in normal mode I can't.
Hence I can't copy and paste the report here.

Another thing I've noticed is that something strange has happened to the appearance of Bleepingcomputer in my browser since i ran SAS. It seems to have more text than before and fewer graphics, even in normal mode.

Anyway, nothing was found by the scans again I'm afraid.

Help still needed - any more suggestions you may have will be gratefully received!

Malc :thumbsup:

#8 malcuuu

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

BUMP!
Hi Mark, do you have any further advice?
Cheers,
malc :thumbsup:

#9 DaChew

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:33 PM

Why don't you run the Kasp online scanner, it's very safe and thorough

http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner

it's slow tho
Chewy

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#10 malcuuu

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 05:30 PM

Thanx Chewy.
I would try Kaspersky but it wants me to turn off my AVG8 before I run the scan.
I've been right through all the options to look for a way of temporarily turning off AVG and I can't find one anywhere. Doh...
I;ll give it a try once I work out to turn off bloody AVG !
Malc :thumbsup:





Why don't you run the Kasp online scanner, it's very safe and thorough

http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner

it's slow tho



#11 DaChew

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 05:41 PM

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/114351/how-to-temporarily-disable-your-anti-virus-firewall-and-anti-malware-programs/
Chewy

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




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