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I think I might be infected with wuauclt.exe virus


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#1 atwittsend315

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

I'm not sure but I beleive I might be infected with the wuauclt.exe virus. My pc is running real slow and I never saw the this process ever before in the task mgr but now it's there (sometimes mulipy time). How can I confirm if I do have this virus and how do i get rid of it.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

wuauclt.exe is Windows Automatic Updates application which checks the Microsoft Windows Update website for updates to be installed. This file is known to cause high CPU usage when performing its updating task.

...Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month. We publish security bulletins to announce and describe the update.

Security update bulletins

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. However, it then places itself in a different location (folder) than where the legitimate file resides and runs from there. The legitimate wuauclt.exe file is located in the C:\Windows\system32 but you may find copies in C:\Windows\system32\dllcache, C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles, C:\I386 folders and sometimes in C:\Windows\Prefetch with a random set of alpha-numeric characters followed by the .pf extension. If found running from a different location it is probably malware. Keep in mind that a legitimate file can also be infected by some types of malware such as Virut which is a dangerous polymorphic file infector.

Anytime you come across a suspicious file for which you cannot find any information about, the file has a legitimate name but is not located where it is supposed to be, or you want a second opinion, submit it to one of the following online services that analyzes suspicious files:In the "File to upload & scan" box, browse to the location of the suspicious file and submit (upload) it for scanning/analysis.

Are you experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection like strange audio ads, unwanted pop-ups, security alerts, or browser redirects?

Edited by quietman7, 13 January 2011 - 11:19 AM.

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#3 atwittsend315

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:48 AM

Quietman, thanks for your respone. I have noticed that my pc runs extremely slow for any process, sometimes shuts down IE browser and just last nite I was doing an online scan and after about 50% completion the system shut itself down. I have 8 MS updates that keep failing when I try to install them. I don't know what you mean by "strange audio ads" but the sound on this drive comes through distorted. Now just a little insight, this is my old drive which I put back in because my other drive wouldn't load windows as of last week. So I put my old hdd back in as master & the new one as slave so I can continue to work on the other problem. My only other question is could it be possible that the online scan shut down the pc because it started to can my slave drive (which also has a problem which I don't know yet)? Please let me know what course of action I should take to clear up this problem.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:04 PM

The speed and ability to complete an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends on a variety of factors.
  • The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning or a combination of both.
  • Options to scan for spyware, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPS).
  • Options to scan memory, boot sectors, registry and alternate data streams (ADS).
  • Type of scan performed: Deep, Quick or Custom scanning.
  • What action has to be performed when malware is detected.
  • A computer's hard drive size.
  • Disk used capacity (number of files to include temporary files) that have to be scanned.
  • Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, email, etc) that are scanned.
  • Whether external drives are included in the scan.
  • Competition for and utilization of system resources by the scanner.
  • Other running processes and programs in the background.
  • Interference from malware.
  • Interference from the user.
-- Using two security scanning engines at the same time can cause each to interfere with the other, cause systems hangs, false detections, unreliable results and other unpredictable behavior. Some online scanners will detect existing anti-virus software and refuse to cooperate so may have to disable the real-time protection components of your existing anti-virus and try running the scan again.

To speed up your scans, uninstall unnecessary programs, clean out the temporary files or use ATF Cleaner first, temporarily disable any other real-time protection tools, close all open programs and do not use the computer during the scan.


Slowness and performance issues as you describe are not uncommon, especially with older computers. If you're not finding any malware, please refer to Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware. There are reasons for slowness and poor performance besides malware - i.e. disk fragmentation, disk errors, corrupt system files, too many startup programs, unnecessary services running, too many browser Add-ons/toolbars, failure to clear browser cache, not enough RAM, dirty hardware components, etc. As you use your system it becomes filled with more files/programs and has a natural tendency to slow down so cleaning and regular maintenance is essential. Incompatible browser extensions and add-ons can impact system performance and cause compatibility issues such as application hangs (freezing).
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#5 atwittsend315

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:31 PM

I read your points and just an fyi I do disable my AV program and realtime protections applications while performing an online scan. I also use ATF cleaner on a regular basis and even run a .bat file to kill cookies. I do keep up with all this stuff, but I guess you're never really fully protected.

#6 quietman7

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:38 PM

There are many Online Virus Scans available. If you have issues with getting one to work, then try another.
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