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"Bad Image" - Corrupted file? Malware? Help!!


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#1 Stephanie13

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:28 PM

My computer just developed a worrying problem this afternoon. I don't understand why--I had not installed any new programs or visited any unusual sites. The only recent change is that I've brought my computer with me on vacation with family and am running it in a different physical location. This problem started this afternoon when I moved the computer from downstairs to upstairs and brought Windows out of sleep mode to check my e-mail.

What is happening is that any time I try to start running a program, or when I reboot my computer and it automatically starts booting up programs, a "Bad Image" error appears that reads "The application or DLL C:\WINDOWS\System32\mswnlwkl.dll is not a valid Windows image. Please check this against your installation diskette."

Programs will still run even though this error will show up repeatedly and I will have to click "OK" to exit out of the error box, sometimes repeatedly during the entire time a program is running. The only program that will not run at all is Firefox.

The research I've done using Google seems to suggest this is a Malware / Vundo / rootkit, rather than an actual problem with the DLL file, though I am not sure. I have a Windows installation disc, but not with me (if I need it, I'll have to wait a week and a half until I'm back at my apartment where the disk is).

I've run Malware Bytes' Anti-Malware both in regular and Safe mode. The first time I did a full scan, it picked up and removed 4 items, but none seem to be what is causing it, as this didn't fix the problem. Running MBAB in safe mode didn't detect anything else. I also uninstalled Firefox and cleaned my registry using CCleaner.exe, then re-installed Firefox, which also didn't fix the problem. I am running Windows XP, up to date with Windows updates as far as I know.

At this point, I have no idea what else to do. Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:43 PM

The filename you posted...Google shows no references at all.

I suggest you check your spelling.

Louis

#3 Stephanie13

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:46 PM

I know--one of the first things I did was Google the file name and didn't find anything either--but it exists on my computer as a DLL file in the Windows\System32 folder and I'm afraid to delete it.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:51 PM

Well...it's generally assumed that malware is present...when a strange file appears on a system and that filename has no referent (using Google).

If such happened to me, I would assume that my system was infected...until proven otherwise.

Louis

#5 garmanma

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:51 PM

Start a new topic in the Am I Infected forum
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

Update Mbam and run a FULL scan and copy/paste the log in your first post
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