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Explorer freezes and crashes at boot up


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#1 Timelord

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:24 PM

For unknown reasons, my laptop started freezing at boot for about 3,4 minutes resulting in an explorer crash at boot up. Then it's up seemingly running fine. The first error in the administrate log file is "The Pure Networks Device Discovery Driver service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified." . This is apparently a non-removable piece of garbage from when I had a cisco/linksys router over a year ago. But I can't find "Pure Networks" anywhere. I deleted all folders to Cisco. MSE finds nothing and it seems not to be a hack but who knows.
If I disable these 2 services, it boots up w/o hanging (but there are other problems)
Net.Pipe Listener Adapter
Net.TCP Listener Adapter

I have hijackthis and event logs.

Thanks

Edited by Orange Blossom, 15 October 2010 - 03:00 PM.
Moved to AII from Am I Hacked. ~ OB


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:53 PM

Perform the following tasks and post the logs of each if you can.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.Download Link 1
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.
    For instructions with screenshots, please refer to the How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Guide.
  • 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 Full 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.


SUPERAntiSpyware:

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 it will not start, go to Start > All Prgrams > SUPERAntiSpyware and click on Alternate Start.
  • 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.
If you have a problem downloading, installing or getting SAS to run, try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.

Instructions:

Download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSpyware.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 Scanning Control tab.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Click "Next" to start the scan. Please be patient while it scans your computer.
  • 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".
  • 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.
If you have a problem downloading, installing or getting SAS to run, try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.


Now GMER

Please download GMER from one of the following locations and save it to your desktop:

  • Main Mirror
    This version will download a randomly named file (Recommended)
  • Zipped Mirror
    This version will download a zip file you will need to extract first. If you use this mirror, please extract the zip file to your desktop.
  • Disconnect from the Internet and close all running programs.
  • Temporarily disable any real-time active protection so your security programs will not conflict with gmer's driver.
  • Double-click on the randomly named GMER file (i.e. n7gmo46c.exe) and allow the gmer.sys driver to load if asked.
  • Note: If you downloaded the zipped version, extract the file to its own folder such as C:\gmer and then double-click on gmer.exe.

    Posted Image
  • GMER will open to the Rootkit/Malware tab and perform an automatic Full Scan when first run. (do not use the computer while the scan is in progress)
  • If you receive a WARNING!!! about rootkit activity and are asked to fully scan your system...click NO.
  • Now click the Scan button. If you see a rootkit warning window, click OK.
  • When the scan is finished, click the Save... button to save the scan results to your Desktop. Save the file as gmer.log.
  • Click the Copy button and paste the results into your next reply.
  • Exit GMER and be sure to re-enable your anti-virus, Firewall and any other security programs you had disabled.
-- If you encounter any problems, try running GMER in safe mode.
-- If GMER crashes or keeps resulting in a BSODs, uncheck Devices on the right side before scanning
.


Edited by Orange Blossom, 15 October 2010 - 02:59 PM.
Move to AII. ~ OB


#3 Timelord

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 01:20 PM

I ran Malwarebyte and got this log.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.46
www.malwarebytes.org

Database version: 4795

Windows 6.1.7600
Internet Explorer 8.0.7600.16385

10/11/2010 11:07:07 AM
mbam-log-2010-10-11 (11-07-07).txt

Scan type: Full scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 354439
Time elapsed: 1 hour(s), 15 minute(s), 51 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: 2

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)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
C:\Users\Andre\Documents\Games\Tomb Raider\Lara_Croft_Tomb_Raider_Legend\TombRaiderLegend_eu001.exe (Adware.TryMedia) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Users\Andre\Documents\Games\Tomb Raider\Lara_Croft_Tomb_Raider_Legend\TombRaiderLegend_eu002.exe (Adware.TryMedia) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Same boot problem,

Thanks

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 03:47 PM

Can you do the other scans as well?

#5 Timelord

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:38 PM

I had trouble with SUPERantispyware. But I ran GMER with nothing in the log file. I am convinced there is no infection. Cisco/Linksys is known for not cleaning up after themselfs when you uninstall there software. This left the networks services in a bad state because registry keys are refering to nonexistant files. I have a feeling windows 7 is going into a search mode. For some reason registry cleaners like CCeaner that I use don't look at the network services. I am going through all the registery keys myself till I get no more events at boot.

Thanks

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:44 PM

What issues did you have with SAS?

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

XP Fixes Myth #1: Registry Cleaners



Something you did with your registry cleaners could have caused this issue well.

#7 Timelord

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:55 PM

Well I did it. No errors in the event log now (hope I didn't mess something else up). I have concluded my freezing was due to the wireless connection I have and my impatience in logging on. Some task at power up needs additional time before logon. If I wait several minutes after boot (leave the logon screen up for serveral minutes), then logon. I have no freezing and am logon on in secs. If i logon at first oppertunity, then the networking isn't there yet and freezes. I really can't nail down which service is lagging, the event logs are clean of problems. Something with the wireless just needs several minutes to get settled.

Thanks for the advice and I'll consider this "solved" as I know how to live with it.




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