Guide on how to remove wmptray.exe and the WinCodecPro Trojan

  • March 10, 2009

WinCodecPro is advertised as a program that contains all the video codecs you need in order to watch any type of video on your computer. WinCodecPro is advertised through Trojans that purposely show fake alerts on your computer stating that your media player, system, or codecs are corrupted and that you should purchase WinCodecPro in order to fix these problems. These alerts are being generated by the C:\Program Files\MediaSystem\wmptray.exe, which is the main process for this Trojan. This malware will also change your desktop wallpaper to state that your computer has a fatal error in your media system and that you should update your media codec to protect. When you then click on the Update button on your desktop or the security alerts form your taskbar, you will be brought to the WinCodecPro web site. From the site you can then purchase it for $49 dollars, for a 30 day trial, or $79 dollars, for a lifetime license.

  • WinCodecPro Home page
  • Fake taskbar alert
  • False alert for WinCodecPro
  • Hijacked desktop wallpaper showing warning

Some of the alert messages the Trojan shows include:

Fatal Error! The media system on your computer is corrupt. Update your video codec immediately to resolve this issue.

Warning! Fatal Error: Can't play audio video files. Update your video codec immediately to resolve this issue.

Warning: Internal error! Media player has been corrupted. Immediately update your video codec to resolve this issue

Fatal Error: Windows can't play the following media formats: AVI;ASF;WMV;AVS;FLV;MKV;MOV;3GP;MP4;MPG;MPEG;MP3;AAC;WAV;WMA;CDA;FLAC;M4A;MID. Update your video codec to resolve this issue.

Warning! Media codec has been destroyed. Risk of losing all your audio video files high. To resolve this issue, update your media codec immediately.

Warning: Critical media error! Your media driver is unstable. Video driver is corrupt and can no longer save your monitor settings. Driver is in critical mode. To restore your media drivers, update your video codec immediately.

Critical Media Error! Windows detected a fatal error in your media system. Your media codec has been corrupted. System can't play audio video files until this issue is resolved. Update your media codec immediately.

Though WinCodecPro may actually be all it claims, the fact that it is being advertised via malware shows that you should not trust anything it states. Any program that purposely promotes itself via malware, or allows itself to be promoted that way, is as bad as the malware itself. If you find that you are receiving these types of alerts on your computer, as described above, please use the following guide to remove the WinCodecPro Trojan from your computer.

WinCodecPro Trojan and wmptray.exe Removal Options

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.
  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. Download SmitfraudFix.exe from here and save it to your desktop:

    SmitFraudFix.exe

    Confirm that the file SmitfraudFix.exe now resides on your desktop, but do not double-click on the icon as of yet. We will use it in later steps. The icon will look like the one below:




  3. Next, please reboot your computer into Safe Mode by doing the following:

    1. Restart your computer

    2. After hearing your computer beep once during startup, but before the Windows icon appears, press F8.

    3. Instead of Windows loading as normal, a menu should appear

    4. Select the first option, to run Windows in Safe Mode.

    5. When you are at the logon prompt, log in as the same user that you had performed the previous steps as.

  4. When your computer has started in safe mode, and you see the desktop, close all open Windows.

  5. Now, double-click on the SmitFraudfix icon that should be residing on your desktop.The icon will look like the one below:



  6. When the tool first starts you will see a credits screen. Simply press any key on your keyboard to get to the next screen.

  7. You will now see a menu as shown in the image below. Press the number 2 on your keyboard and the press the enter key to choose the option Clean (safe mode recommended).




  8. The program will start cleaning your computer and go through a series of cleanup processes. When it is done, it will automatically start the Disk Cleanup program as shown by the image below.





    This program will remove all Temp, Temporary Internet Files, and other files that may be leftover files from this infection. This process can take up to a few hours depending on your computer, so please be patient. When it is complete, it will close automatically and you will should continue with step 11.

  9. When Disk Cleanup is finished, you will be presented with an option asking Do you want to clean the registry ? (y/n). At this screen you should press the Y button on your keyboard and then press the enter key.


  10. When this last routine is finished, you will be presented with a red screen stating Computer will reboot now. Close all applications. You should now press the spacebar on your computer. A counter will appear stating that the computer will reboot in 15 seconds. Do not cancel this countdown and allow your computer to reboot.
  11. Once the computer has rebooted, you will be presented with a Notepad screen containing a log of all the files removed from your computer. Examine this log, and when you are done, close the Notepad screen.

Your computer should now be free of the WinCodecPro Trojan and wmptray.exe infection.

View Associated WinCodecPro Trojan and wmptray.exe Files

c:\Program Files\MediaSystem c:\Program Files\MediaSystem\1.gif c:\Program Files\MediaSystem\wall.html c:\Program Files\MediaSystem\wmptray.exe

View Associated WinCodecPro Trojan and wmptray.exe Registry Information

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GenericMultiMedia HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GenericMultiMedia\WinCoDecPRO HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "WmpTray"

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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