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. This is because people should not be using ComboFix without being advised to do so by a trained expert (see here
) who is assisting them deal with a malware problem. When issues arise due to complex malware infections, possible false detections, problems running ComboFix (i.e. stalling, hanging, crashing) or with other security tools causing conflicts, experts are usually aware of them and can advise what should or should not be done while providing individual assistance. When false detections are identified, experts have access to the developer and can report them so he can investigate, confirm and make corrections. Those attempting to use ComboFix on their own do not have such information and are at risk when running the tool in an unsupervised environment.
Also be aware that 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.
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
(Daemon Tools, Alchohol 120%, Astroburn, AnyDVD) 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. This is just another reason why you should only use ComboFix under supervision.
If ComboFix 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, 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 follow the instructions in the "Preparation Guide
" starting at Step 6.
- 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 two logs.
- When you have done that, post your logs in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum, NOT here, for assistance by the Malware Response Team Experts.