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Multiple IExplorer.exe running in Task Manager and only 1 window is open

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#1 Ray_Ray


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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:39 PM

hello all. I need some assistance. I have windows XP Home edition. I have pctools with antivirus. It is up to date. when i run a scan as it does automatically every nite. it updates, then runs a scan. usually i will have 1 or 2 spyware detected for cookies, but nothing serious. My windows is up to date on security updates, and critical updates. I have a DSL Connection through time warner. so it is a wired connection.

when the computer is running slower than normal, i can click and open task manager, and i have found up to 30 iexplorer.exe processes running, and i will only have 1 window running. when i close them they will come back. sometimes instantly, and sometimes 10 mins later. but they do comeback. when it is happens i also have multiple svchost.exe running.

for example
right now i have 1 window open
task manager shows
7 svchost.exe...........................and 18 iexplorer.exe running :thumbsup:

can someone please help me.

Edited by Orange Blossom, 11 February 2010 - 10:42 PM.
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#2 quietman7


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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:52 AM

Svchost.exe is a generic host process name for a group of services that are run from dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) and can run other services underneath itself. This is a valid system process that belongs to the Windows Operating System which handles processes executed from .dll's. It runs from the registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Svchost where details of the services running under each instance of svchost.exe can be found. At startup, Svchost.exe checks the services portion of the registry to construct a list of services that it needs to load. It is not unusual for multiple instances of Svchost.exe running at the same time in Task Manager in order to optimize the running of the various services.

svchost.exe SYSTEM (there can be more than one listed)
svchost.exe LOCAL SERVICE
svchost.exe NETWORK SERVICE (there can be more than one listed)

Each Svchost.exe session can contain a grouping of services, therefore, separate services can run, depending on how and where Svchost.exe is started. This grouping of services permits better control and easier debugging. The process ID's (PID's) are not static and can change with each logon but generally they stay nearly the same because they are running services all the time. The PID's must be checked in real time to determine what services each instance of svchost.exe is controlling at that particular time.

Determining whether a file is malware or a legitimate process usually depends on the location (path) it is running from. One of the ways that malware tries to hide is to give itself the same name as a critical system file like svchost.exe. However, it then places itself in a different location (folder) than where the legitimate file resides and runs from there. Another techinique is for the process to alter the registry and add itself as a Startup program or service so that it can run automatically each time the computer is booted. Keep in mind that a legitmate file can also be infected by some types of malware. such as Virut which is a dangerous polymorphic file infector. In XP, the legitimate Svchost.exe file is located in your C:\WINDOWS\system32\ folder.

If svchost.exe is running as a startup (shows in msconfig), it can be bad as shown here and here. Make sure the spelling is correct. If it's scvhost.exe, then your dealing with a Trojan.

There are several ways to investigate and see what services a Svchost.exe process is controlling:Note: Process Explorer shows two panes by default: the upper pane is always a process list and the bottom pane either shows the list of DLLs loaded into the process selected in the upper pane, or the list of operating system resource handles (files, Registry keys, synchronization objects) the process has open. In the menu at the top select View > Lower Pane View to change between DLLs and Handles.

Tools to investigate running processes and gather additional information to identify them and resolve problems:These tools will provide information about each process, CPU usage, file description and its path location.

If you do a Google search for multiple instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager, you will find numerous complaints with various causes and possible solutions. This problem could be malware or non-malware related. There are worms like W32/Lovgate-AD that will cause the same problem. The legitimate iexplore.exe is located in the C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer folder. Make sure of the spelling. If it is iexplor.exe or iexplorer.exe, then it's malware. Also check to make sure iexplore.exe is not loading at startup as that too can be malware.

NOTE: If using Internet Explorer 8, the browser will run an extra instance of iexplorer.exe as part of the Automatic Crash Recovery feature. Internet Explorer 8 will open a new process for the main window and another process with any opened tab. This feature allows Internet explorer to prevent itself from closing when a web site in one tab crashes. As such, it is not unusual to find multiple instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager. However, one drawback of this new feature is that it has been reported to utilize high memory resources.

As an added check, I recommend you do the following:

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (v1.44) and save it to your desktop.alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • 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 definition 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. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
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