OS is WinXP Service Pack 3, I try to keep the machine stripped down because she's an old mule. Main antivirus is McAfee AntiVirus Plus (not by choice) and I have Mbam installed and updated; try to run it once a week, but it never seems to catch anything at all anymore.
So I'm using a Firefox clone for WinXP called PaleMoon browsing places I've browsed before, safely, doing my normal thing, when all of a sudden I get the "program has encountered an error and needs to close" shtick. So okay, fine.
Close, reopen, and per its Firefox ancestry, the browser has saved my tabs and reopens them. Less than a minute of normal functionality later, error returns. Hmm.
Close, reopen, and this time I've got a choice of what tabs to restore. I only had two open. I try one, try the other, but the problem keeps repeating. Each time, I get 30 seconds to 1 minute of use, then a sudden error.
So I close, reopen, "start new browsing session"... and she still errs up the same way. Doesn't matter what I click or what page I'm on. One time was just the Google search front, another was the local library sign-in page.
Suspecting trouble, I go open Process Explorer... only to get the same error (which I have never had on ProcessExp before): "program has encountered an error and needs to close" send error report, debug yes/no, etc. Once again, it was about 30 seconds after opening the program.
Opened Mbam (which did not error up), updated and ran a quickscan (took less than 30 min), and got absolutely nothing. McAfee also shows nothing. Happened to have Rkill saved on a stick nearby (thanks, Grinler) and decided to give it a run... interestingly, it killed msPMSPSv.exe (PID: 1360) which I don't think I've seen it do before. Also found some unfamiliar things in the Windows Service Integrity check.
(I know I'm not supposed to post logs, but maybe this counts for description.)
Program started at: 10/08/2012 09:13:16 PM in x86 mode.
Windows Version: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3
Checking for Windows services to stop.
* No malware services found to stop.
Checking for processes to terminate.
* C:\WINDOWS\System32\MsPMSPSv.exe (PID: 1360) [WD-HEUR]
1 proccess terminated!
Checking Registry for malware related settings.
* No issues found in the Registry.
Resetting .EXE, .COM, & .BAT associations in the Windows Registry.
Performing miscellaneous checks.
* No issues found.
Checking Windows Service Integrity:
* BITS [Missing Service]
* wscsvc [Missing Service]
* wuauserv [Missing Service]
* SharedAccess [Missing ImagePath]
* RpcSs => %SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k rpcss [Incorrect ImagePath]
Searching for Missing Digital Signatures:
* No issues found.
Program finished at: 10/08/2012 09:17:25 PM
Execution time: 0 hours(s), 4 minute(s), and 9 seconds(s)
Try PaleMoon again, still get the error. Process Explorer, same story. OTHER programs seem to open and operate just fine (notepad, an image editor, etc). Now I'm paranoid, so I disable my wireless card for the time being.
I also have the Symantec TDSS killer on the same stick with Rkill, so I give THAT a shot, too (worked last time). No dice. Didn't find anything.
The TDSS killer restarted the machine, so I give things a try once more. In the course of poking around, I Ctrl-Alt-Del my way into Task Manager and look for anything suspicious. That MsPMSPSv.exe thing is running - I kill it with the Manager and it doesn't come back (visually, anyway). Also happen to click on the Windows Firewall, and strangely, get the message that due to an error, Windows cannot display my firewall settings. I think this MIGHT be because the McAfee firewall has precedence (and the Windows one, then, should be off), but I don't recall ever being unable to even view the settings.
ANYWAY, back to the original problem children. Process Explorer still opens, gives me 30 seconds, then errs up and "needs to close". PaleMoon, however, has now opened and is (thus far) operating normally, although the wireless is still shut off. I turn it on, get online, and... no errors yet!
Which brings me to the present; I once again come running to you fine folks to beg for help. Please.
And one final oddity... for months now, when the desktop loads, the Recycle Bin is always in the bottom right corner. Nobody set it that way. During normal use of the machine, when all activity is away from the Desktop, it will suddenly decide to hop to the top left corner and line up with the other icons. WTH is that about? If it's symptomatic, it's an odd symptom... ._.??
Edited by Quex, 09 October 2012 - 12:58 AM.