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Browser crashes - virus?

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#1 BSH Clonakilty

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:15 PM

About 2 weeks ago, I found that Internet Explorer and Firefox were always crashing on opening. IE gave me a debug option which appeared to show that GDIPLUS.dll had an access error. After all sorts of diagnostic procedures (no viruses found by AVG or ZoneAlarm) I
  • re-installed Firefox 3.0.10 from scratch,
  • upgraded IE to v8
  • upgraded XP from Home SP2 to Pro SP3.
After doing this, I found that both browsers are still not working in normal operating mode BUT do work in Safe Mode! Other internet-accesses (e.g. Skype) are and were operating normally in both modes.

I am reluctant to take the drastic step of reinstalling Windows completely as I have a large investment in installed programs and do not always have the installation software. What else should I be trying?

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#2 Guest_The weatherman_*

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

Hello there BSH Clonakilty, welcome to Bleeping Computer.

Please try a couple of these free online scanners to see if anything has slipped by your protection:
(Be advised that some of these scanners will pickup things in "quarantine" from other anti-virus programs - so review the results carefully)


http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner Scan Only - no removal

If you find that you're infected (or the scan doesn't complete or closes unexpectedly), post in the Am I Infected forum located here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

The weatherman

#3 BSH Clonakilty

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:08 PM

Thanks, I'll try that.

Meanwhile just another bit of new information:

When I was in Firefox (in Safe Mode) I saved a couple of HTML pages for later printing as my printer was not available in Safe Mode. Of course when I was back in normal mode I could not use Firefox either. So I tried to use Word instead and it crashed in both modes! However it allowed me into the debugger, and I found that the error message was identical to what I had previously got from IE8 - except that the error was reported as occurring in MSO.DLL rather than in GDIPLUS.DLL

#4 BSH Clonakilty

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:12 PM

Thanks, Weatherman, for your help. I followed all your suggestions and ended up after about 20 hours of anti-virus scanning using four different scanners assured that I had no viruses (only tracking cookies).

As the problem did not occur in Safe Windows mode, I decided to start the long business of adding back those processes that did not automatically run in Safe Mode. But before that I tried to check if my Safe Mode browsing was secure enough to do the high-security stuff. So the first check was to start a program called Trusteer Rapport that I had installed just a few weeks ago as recommended by my UK bank.

Bingo! With Rapport on in Safe Mode, the browsers that were working ceased working. With Rapport off, they started working again. I have reported to Rapport and am now awaiting their diagnosis and prescription.

I am left - after my change of XP, IE, and Firefox versions - with some very slow scrolling in both browsers and Standby/Hibernation not available in Windows. any ideas about those?

#5 Budapest


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:27 PM

A lot of standby/hibernation problems are caused by corrupt video drivers. You might want to try reinstalling your video driver.

How to update a Windows hardware driver
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

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