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Opening Browser Always Displays Puzzling Error

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#1 boweasel


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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:26 PM

While I was spending a couple of hours over at a friends's shooting pool and drinking beer, he asked me take a look at his new-at-Xmas Windows 8 computer.  I remember that it's a Dell, that it's 64 bit, and that it's not 8.1, only 8.


His family had already managed to get it screwed up with 24x7 help, search conduit, some Speed Up My PC and Optimize My PC nonsense, and I told him that I could take care of removing that junk easily.  Wrong.... 


The first think I noticed is that Programs and Features off the Control Panel had only 3, 4 programs listed.  I let it populate while it was my turn to shoot and 5 minutes later the 3 or 4 programs was all we got.  I'd never seen that before.  Nothing that was displayed in P&F was any of the junk I wanted to remove.


When I clicked on the IE icon on his desktop I got the following msg box, headed Bad Image

C:\Program Files (x86)\Settings Manager\systemk\x64\systemkbho.dll is either not designed to run on windows or it contains an error

I closed the box and his home page opened.  I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes 2.0.  I think I ran Threat Detection (why they decided to change the name from Quick Scan is a mystery).  It found 2113 infections - all of them PUPs.  I got rid of them all and rebooted.  No change to P&F except that now Malwarebytes was listed as well.  No change to the browser pop up either.


I installed Firefox and got the same browser pop up as above.  I ran Mbar - it found a couple of things which I got rid of.  I ran JRT and AdwCleaner.  When JRT initiated it tried to make a backup of the registry and it said it couldn't find the path.  It said the same thing on the Modules section.  AdwCleaner found nothing.  I then ran ESET Online Scanner and it took over an hour but found ten nasty viruses which it removed.  I then rebooted but nothing had changed.


I downloaded and ran Autoruns, unchecking the item labelled ....\x64\systemkbho.dll.  Made no difference.  Same browser popup. 


I downloaded Revo Uninstaller.  It also found only the handfull of programs displayed in P&F. 


I ran an elevated SFC /SCANNOW.  It found no integrity violations


I turned off the computer after ascertaining that, except for the IE and Firefox msg boxes, the PC was running just fine.  We had a couple more beers and I went home, telling him that I'd write this up into a forum the next day.  I Googled the message and came up with essentially nothing before I posted.


Any advice on what to do next, if anything?  My friend says he's fine having to click OK every time he opens a browser, and it does only happen on the first open.  Any subsequent tabs open correctly without the msg box. 


A restore is out of the question since something wiped out all his points prior to 2 weeks ago, and he started having problems about 3 weeks ago.  He does not want to do a full recovery since he's fine with having to do an extra mouse click on IE or Firefox.  I just don't know if it's symptomatic of a bigger problem that'll crash his entire PC.


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#2 boopme


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Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:08 PM

I think you should also run these as there still may be more..

Please download MiniToolBox, save it to your desktop and run it.
Checkmark the following checkboxes:
  • Flush DNS
  • Report IE Proxy Settings
  • Reset IE Proxy Settings
  • Report FF Proxy Settings
  • Reset FF Proxy Settings
  • List content of Hosts
  • List IP configuration
  • List Winsock Entries
  • List last 10 Event Viewer log
  • List Installed Programs
  • List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
  • Click Go and post the result (Result.txt). A copy of Result.txt will be saved in the same directory the tool is run.
    Note: When using "Reset FF Proxy Settings" option Firefox should be closed.

    Download TDSSKiller and save it to your desktop.
  • Extract (unzip) its contents to your desktop.
  • Open the TDSSKiller folder and doubleclick on TDSSKiller.exe to run the application, then on Start Scan.
  • If an infected file is detected, the default action will be Cure, click on Continue.
  • If a suspicious file is detected, the default action will be Skip, click on Continue.
  • It may ask you to reboot the computer to complete the process. Click on Reboot Now.
  • If no reboot is require, click on Report. A log file should appear. Please copy and paste the contents of that file here.
  • If a reboot is required, the report can also be found in your root directory (usually C:\ folder) in the form of TDSSKiller_xxxx_log.txt. Please copy and paste the contents of that file here.
  • .
    ADW Cleaner

    Please download AdwCleaner by Xplode and save to your Desktop.
  • Double-click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.
    Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator.
  • Click on the Scan button.
  • AdwCleaner will begin...be patient as the scan may take some time to complete.
  • After the scan has finished, click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[R0].txt) will open in Notepad for review.
  • After reviewing the log, click on the Clean button.
  • Press OK when asked to close all programs and follow the onscreen prompts.
  • Press OK again to allow AdwCleaner to restart the computer and complete the removal process.
  • After rebooting, a logfile report (AdwCleaner[S0].txt) will open automatically.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of all logfiles are saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder which was created when running the tool.
  • -- Note: The contents of the AdwCleaner log file may be confusing. Unless you see a program name that you recognize and know should not be removed, don't worry about it. If you see an entry you want to keep, return to AdwCleaner before cleaning...all detected items will be listed (and checked) in each tab. Click on each one and uncheck any items you want to keep (except you cannot uncheck Chrome and Firefox preferences lines).


    thisisujrt.gif Please download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop.
  • Shut down your protection software now to avoid potential conflicts.
  • Run the tool by double-clicking it. If you are using Windows Vista, 7, or 8; instead of double-clicking, right-mouse click JRT.exe and select "Run as Administrator".
  • The tool will open and start scanning your system.
  • Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.
  • On completion, a log (JRT.txt) is saved to your desktop and will automatically open.
  • Post the contents of JRT.txt into your next message.
  • .
  • Last run ESET.
  • Hold down Control and click on this link to open ESET OnlineScan in a new window.
  • Click the esetonlinebtn.png button.
  • For alternate browsers only: (Microsoft Internet Explorer users can skip these steps)
  • Click on esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe to download the ESET Smart Installer. Save it to your desktop.
  • Double click on the esetsmartinstaller_enu.png icon on your desktop.
  • Check "YES, I accept the Terms of Use."
  • Click the Start button.
  • Accept any security warnings from your browser.
  • Under scan settings, check "Scan Archives" and "Remove found threats"
  • Click Advanced settings and select the following:
  • Scan potentially unwanted applications
  • Scan for potentially unsafe applications
  • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
  • ESET will then download updates for itself, install itself, and begin scanning your computer. Please be patient as this can take some time.
  • When the scan completes, click List Threats
  • Click Export, and save the file to your desktop using a unique name, such as ESETScan. Include the contents of this report in your next reply.
  • Click the Back button.
  • Click the Finish button.
  • NOTE:Sometimes if ESET finds no infections it will not create a log.

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