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Win7 boots up fine with Failed to load .DLL error dialog box

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#1 jimmimcsandy


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Posted 13 August 2015 - 05:32 PM

Help! :(


Helping a friend with their Windows 7 system.. they DON'T Remember what they were installing or uninstalling.. or if they had a power outtage during a microsoft update?.. they can't remember..

That said.. when their system powers up now.. they get 2 very small pop-up boxes in the centre of the screen - the first one announces that a .DLL Failed to load only 2 options are the RED "X" or the [OK] button. As soon as you close it.. a second box pops up..this time identifying itself as ""HOTKEY KEYBOARD.." and only giving the message "Failed" and no other details, error codes..only Red "X" and/or [OK] button

Upon closing that box.. everything else.. works just fine..

..Any idea what ELSE i could run.. to eliminate this .DLL pop-up.. and its' annoying sidekick?

I ran.. AUTORUNS..it finds nothing rogue..nothing suspicious.. nothing comes up.. yellow nor pink.. (no flags.. nothing..i mean.. really clean.. tight.. lean)

i DID find 2 entries ? ???? and ? ??????? one which had the "status/description" listed as missing file.removed the "check-marks"..from their resepective boxes.. .exited out.. did a REBOOT.. no change.. still there..

ALSO RAN the following..just to make sure
Malwarebytes - Anti-Rootkit = 0
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware = 0
Comodo Anti-Virus = 0
Spybot Search and Destroy = initially 71 issues most of those cookies (now turned off)
Eusing Free Registry Cleaner = found and removed - 141.. first pass 56..second pass..
Combofix = found 3 infections 1 orphan,
Comodo Cleaning Essentials.. - found 4.. removed 2 .. 2 failed

CHKDSK /R - found nothing wrong

SFC /ScanNow - found some corruption but could not fix it

And a Microsoft FIXIT solution..

but to no avail.. ( i ran 2 of the 27 fixit modules -related to orphaned software/corrupted patches..etc)

tried booting with all system services disabled.. - took longer.. but the .DLL and Hotkey - failed error messages both popped up

restored.. system services and shut everything down in .. msconfig /start up tab..

..booted.. and still ".DLL did not load.. ".. and " hotkey.. keyboard.. failed" error messages still appeared

Booted into safe mode - "No pop-up error boxes" showed up

I Tried a REGEDIT - looking or "HOTKEY KEYBOARD".. and nothing was found
I know reformat is always an option.. but in my buddies case.. he would have to re-install about a dozen applications.. redo his printer driver..etc.. - time he does not have..


Opened Event Viewer said.. these "Errors" occured.. about 1600 since July 2014 !! redface.gif  - that said..when i probed for details..it was pointing to Event id 1903 HHCTRL - it even SUGGESTED a link.. to microsoft website.. - got there.. read it through.. HOWEVER - it says.. their "fixes" are for Win XP 64 bit pro.. and Server2003 .. not Win 7 frown.gif  ... i also fired up .. HiJackThis - scan only.. to see if i could see anything.. "missing file" .. or Hotkey Keyboard.. and no.. Nothing (im not heavily skilled in HJT.. on a scale of 1 to 10.. guess about a 4.. i didn't see anything stabbing me in the eyes trying to catch my attenton) -other articles i have glanced over.. suggested that.. perhaps - it was a Scheduled Task (occuring on boot?.. or shortly after boot that references either an application that is not present.. and its uninstall didnt remove all remnants from the registry.. or. .the initial install.. was over a corrupted sector of the hd drive.. (etc..) ..) .


I found services.msc - which lists all the services that launch automatically on start-up - but NOT KNOWING which ones should be defaulted to Auto/Manual..it would be tough to turn them all on/off.. 2 or 3 at a time to see if any of them are invoking the corrupted??  (or non-existent ??) program/.DLL - that said.. IFFFFF these "Services.msc" are the same ones you can turn on/off from inside of msconfig.. - then it may not be in our best interest.. pursuing them.. as i tried turning off services in msconfg - leaving only "Start-up" options.. under the Start Menu tab on.. that didnt stop the errors from coming up.. - yet.. when i turned the services defaults on.. and start menu start-up options off.. and reboot.. - still produced.. the errors.. ONLY TIME THE errors dont come up is when i boot in safemode.. frown.gif  there has got to be.300-1200 different processes that DONT LOAD in SAFE MODE..narrowing it down.. would be a task in "Futility" unless there is an app/program/diagnostic software that can do that automatically?


Finally TRIED .. regedit.. exported the registry to external usb mem stick, - then filtered down to .. HKLocal Machine\software\microsoft\windows\current version\ = runonce - default
...Run - there was an entry there.. labelled.. HotKeysCmds with a value of.. c:\windows\system32\hkcmd.exe
and i removed it..

when i sauntered over to .. HK Current Users.. software\microsoft\windows\current version \ BOTH the Run and RunOnce - had no similar entry .. nor.. anything with HotKeys/HotkeysCmds

upon exit and reboot.. - BOOMPH.. they were there frown.gif  ...still..
..i double checked.. to see if there was anything in msconfig.. that might have been still calling upon the program / .DLL .. but.. nothing there..

ANY / ALL HELP ..would be greatly appreciated..

Thanking you all in advance.."jimmimc"

Edited by jimmimcsandy, 13 August 2015 - 05:36 PM.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:20 AM

Please...post your ComboFix log and the requested FRST log...in a new topic, following Steps 6-8 of Preparation Guide, Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic34773.html .  Note that the new topic is to be posted in the same forum which reflects the Preparation Guide.  If you do not have access to the ComboFix log at this time...please post the FRST log data requested in the Prep Guide.


Thanks :).



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