As a general policy, Bleeping Computer does not offer advice
on how to run ComboFix unless we asked someone to run it or if there is a problem with the computer caused by running the tool. Further, using ComboFix is only one part of the disinfection process. Preliminary scans from other tools like DDS
should be used first because they provide comprehensive logs with specific details about files, folders and registry keys which may have been modified by malware infection. Analysis of those logs allows planning an strategy for effective disinfection and a determination if using ComboFix is necessary. ComboFix was never meant to be used
as a general purpose malware scanner like SuperAntispyware or Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware which scan individual drives or different folders on a computer for viruses. Please read the pinned topic ComboFix usage, Questions, Help? - Look here
With that said, there are circumstances ComboFix will hang
or stall at various stages
due to malware interference, failure to disable other real-time protection tools or the presence of CD Emulators
, Alchohol 120%
) so that it does not complete successfully. Also, depending on how badly a system is infected, ComboFix may take longer to complete its routine than it normally does or fail to run properly. While that is not normal behavior, it is not unusual. In such cases, it is helpful to know at what stage CF stalled/crashed and to provide that information to the Helper who is assisting you so they can investigate. This is just another reason why you should only use ComboFix under supervision. If you don't know and it still appears to be struck, frozen or failed to reboot, then try this:
Open Task Manager
and look for the following ComboFix related processes (some have a .3XE extension):
- any file that has the extension *.3XE
One at a time, right-click and select End Process
. If doing that did not free ComboFix and allow it to continue, then you will need to reboot the computer manually.
Afterwards, please do NOT run ComboFix again unless asked to do so by a member of the Malware Removal Team.
If you need assistance with a malware infection, please read the "Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help
- If you cannot complete a step, then skip it and continue with the next.
- In Step 7 there are instructions for downloading and running DDS which will create a Pseudo HJT Report as part of its log.
- When you have done that, post your log in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum, NOT here, for assistance by the Malware Response Team Experts.