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Multiple iexplore.exe in task manager (a.k.a. is there an echo in here?)

Solved
By drvodka
Jul 24, 2010
  1. Greetings,

    First of all - a huge thank you to those of you who give up your time to help others.

    So I am experiencing what appears to be a common issue for many less-tech-savvy folks: multiple instances of iexplore.exe in my task manager despite the fact that I dont even use IE as a browser. I noticed this issue when my laptop suddenly ground to a halt and was running at 100% all of the time. I found your forum and noticed the excellent help that others with the same problem were receiving, so here I am. I was actually reading this forum over one week ago and have been running scans etc since (my computer is running that slowly). I was, perhaps unwisely running AVG and Symantec at the same time for years - but removed both using the relevant removal tools elsewhere in this forum. I am not using Avira, Comodo, SpywareBlaster and SpywareDoctor.

    On to the 8-step Program!

    1. Ran Avira scan - found no problems.
    2. Ran TFC - cleared up a good half a Gig of junk
    3. Ran a Quick Malwarebytes scan (attached) - no problems.
    4. GMER kept crashing on me (after taking eight hours to scan!) - I tried booting into Safe Mode and re-running but I cannot access the 'Save' button upon scan completion as my screen resolution reduces in Safe Mode and cannot be reset! Really frustrating - I spent a good few days just running these scans!
    5. DDS just opens a DOS window and sits there - no 'explanation about the tool' - even in Safe Mode.
    6. Ran HJT too given that I could not do GMER or DDS
    7. So sadly - I can only post an MBAM and HJT log.

    View attachment mbam-log-2010-07-24 (08-50-48).txt

    View attachment hijackthis.log

    I have Autoruns, File Assasin, and Process Explorer all installed on my computer - if necessary (they seemed to be popular!) :)

    Any help you guys and gals could provide, would be greatly appreciated. I brew my own beer (and it's actually pretty good). If I get some awesome help, I'll call the next batch 'VirAle' and send someone a 6-pack :)

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,

    drv
     
  2. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Download MBRCheck to your desktop

    Double click MBRCheck.exe to run (Vista and Windows 7 users, right click and select Run as Administrator).
    It will show a black screen with some data on it.
    A report called MBRcheckxxxx.txt will be on your desktop
    Open this report and post its content in your next reply.
     
  3. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    you must like beer...

    thanks

    MBRCheck, version 1.1.1

    (c) 2010, AD



    \\.\C: --> \\.\PhysicalDrive0



    Size Device Name MBR Status

    --------------------------------------------

    74 GB \\.\PhysicalDrive0 Known-bad MBR code detected (Whistler / Black Internet)!





    Found non-standard or infected MBR.

    Enter 'Y' and hit ENTER for more options, or 'N' to exit:

    Options:

    [1] Dump the MBR of a physical disk to file.

    [2] Restore the MBR of a physical disk with a standard boot code.

    [3] Exit.



    Enter your choice:



    Done! Press ENTER to exit...
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Rerun MBRCheck.
    Enter 'Y' and hit ENTER for more options and select option "2".
    When asked for physical disk number, enter 0 (zero).
    Next, enter 1 (Windows XP) for MBR code.
    Post resulting log.
     
  5. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    It asked if I wanted to 'fix the MBR code' - which I responded Yes to. Hope that was correct - just woke up and am a little groggy. thanks again.

    MBRCheck, version 1.1.1

    (c) 2010, AD



    \\.\C: --> \\.\PhysicalDrive0



    Size Device Name MBR Status

    --------------------------------------------

    74 GB \\.\PhysicalDrive0 Known-bad MBR code detected (Whistler / Black Internet)!





    Found non-standard or infected MBR.

    Enter 'Y' and hit ENTER for more options, or 'N' to exit:

    Options:

    [1] Dump the MBR of a physical disk to file.

    [2] Restore the MBR of a physical disk with a standard boot code.

    [3] Exit.



    Enter your choice: Enter the physical disk number to fix (0-99, -1 to cancel): Available MBR codes:

    [ 0] Default (Windows XP)

    [ 1] Windows XP

    [ 2] Windows Server 2003

    [ 3] Windows Vista

    [ 4] Windows 2008

    [ 5] Windows 7

    [-1] Cancel



    Please select the MBR code to write to this drive:

    Do you want to fix the MBR code? Type 'YES' and hit ENTER to continue: Successfully wrote new MBR code!

    Please reboot your computer to complete the fix.





    Done! Press ENTER to exit...
     
  6. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Very good :)

    Restart computer and check for iexplore.exe issue.
     
  7. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    No instances of iexplore.exe since reboot - but laptop is now running at 100% memory in Task Manager. Really slow all around....kind of how I first noticed the problem actually.
     
  8. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    That's fine.
    We just eliminated one culprit.

    Please, rerun MBRCheck and post fresh log (just to make sure).


    Please download ComboFix from Here or Here to your Desktop.

    **Note: In the event you already have Combofix, this is a new version that I need you to download. It is important that it is saved directly to your desktop**
    1. Please, never rename Combofix unless instructed.
    2. Close any open browsers.
    3. Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
      • Very Important! Temporarily disable your anti-virus, script blocking and any anti-malware real-time protection before performing a scan. They can interfere with ComboFix or remove some of its embedded files which may cause "unpredictable results".
      • Click on this link to see a list of programs that should be disabled. The list is not all inclusive. If yours is not listed and you don't know how to disable it, please ask.
      NOTE1. If Combofix asks you to install Recovery Console, please allow it.
      NOTE 2. If Combofix asks you to update the program, always do so.
      • Close any open browsers.
      • WARNING: Combofix will disconnect your machine from the Internet as soon as it starts
      • Please do not attempt to re-connect your machine back to the Internet until Combofix has completely finished.
      • If there is no internet connection after running Combofix, then restart your computer to restore back your connection.
    4. Double click on combofix.exe & follow the prompts.
    5. When finished, it will produce a report for you.
    6. Please post the "C:\ComboFix.txt"
    **Note: Do not mouseclick combofix's window while it's running. That may cause it to stall**

    Make sure, you re-enable your security programs, when you're done with Combofix.

    DO NOT make any other changes to your computer (like installing programs, using other cleaning tools, etc.), until it's officially declared clean!!!
     
  9. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    I disabled Comodo and Avira - moved the Combofix.exe to my desktop (from Downloads folder - not sure if this is an issue, doubt it?)

    Ran Combofix - it asked which profile I wanted to use (am logged on as Admin) so I selected Admin and left the check box for 'protect my computer...'. Combofix gave me an error and then hung up the system. Had to reboot. Once back up, disabled Avira and Comodo again, re-ran Combofix and this time removed the check box item and Combofix appeared to be doing it's job - an actual progress bar this time. Then a message 'Combofix could not find xxx file' (too quick to read) and the program closed. The 'Accept' (liability thingy) this Agreement for Combofix then opened and I said Accept.

    Error: Could not Install.

    Is this user-error (i.e. ***** me) or symptomatic? :)
     
  10. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    You didn't:
    Delete your Combofix file. Download fresh one, but rename combofix.exe to broni.com BEFORE saving it to your desktop.
    Do NOT run it yet.

    Please download and run the below tool named Rkill (courtesy of BleepingComputer.com) which may help allow other programs to run.

    There are 4 different versions. If one of them won't run then download and try to run the other one.

    Vista and Win7 users need to right click Rkill and choose Run as Administrator

    You only need to get one of these to run, not all of them. You may get warnings from your antivirus about this tool, ignore them or shutdown your antivirus.

    * Rkill.com
    * Rkill.scr
    * Rkill.pif
    * Rkill.exe


    • * Double-click on the Rkill desktop icon to run the tool.
      * If using Vista or Windows 7 right-click on it and choose Run As Administrator.
      * A black DOS box will briefly flash and then disappear. This is normal and indicates the tool ran successfully.
      * If not, delete the file, then download and use the one provided in Link 2.
      * If it does not work, repeat the process and attempt to use one of the remaining links until the tool runs.
      * Do not reboot until instructed.
      * If the tool does not run from any of the links provided, please let me know.

    Once you've gotten one of them to run then try to immediately run the following.

    Now download and run exeHelper.


    • * Please download exeHelper from Raktor to your desktop.
      * Double-click on exeHelper.com to run the fix.
      * A black window should pop up, press any key to close once the fix is completed.
      * A log file named log.txt will be created in the directory where you ran exeHelper.com
      * Attach the log.txt file to your next message.

    Note: If the window shows a message that says "Error deleting file", please re-run the program before posting a log - and post the two logs together (they will both be in the one file).

    Now, run broni.com
     
  11. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    update: tried again, this time saving Combofix directly to desktop. Exactly the same issue - managed to see the message prior to the program closing:

    "Windows cannot find the file nircmd.cfxxe - please choose an application or use the web to find one..."

    This happens right before the Disclaimer screen for Combofix and then when I click Yes, I just get an Error: Installation Failed message.

    p.s. I saw above - I did re-run MBR and it looked fine (just forgot to post it):

    MBRCheck, version 1.1.1

    (c) 2010, AD



    \\.\C: --> \\.\PhysicalDrive0



    Size Device Name MBR Status

    --------------------------------------------

    74 GB \\.\PhysicalDrive0 Windows XP MBR code detected





    Done! Press ENTER to exit...

    sorry for replying out or turn - will be patient from here on out. shall I just proceed with your post above? will wait to get the go ahead. thanks, Broni.
     
     
  12. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Now, re-read my previous reply.
     
  13. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    gah - sorry - last thing I want to do is annoy the person helping me!

    anyway - I got rkill.scr to run (opened and closed). then immediately ran exehelper:

    exeHelper by Raktor
    Build 20100414
    Run at 13:53:39 on 07/25/10
    Now searching...
    Checking for numerical processes...
    Checking for sysguard processes...
    Checking for bad processes...
    Checking for bad files...
    Checking for bad registry entries...
    Resetting filetype association for .exe
    Resetting filetype association for .com
    Resetting userinit and shell values...
    Resetting policies...
    --Finished--


    Then tried to run broni.com and it said it couldn't run it (do I need to rename to .exe first?).
     
  14. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    No.
    What was exact message?
     
  15. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    First one: "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this association. Create an association in the Folder Options control panel"

    then when I click OK:

    Error: "C:\" folder is not accessible
     
  16. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Rename the file to broni.exe
    Run rKill, exehelper and then broni.exe
    If it still doesn't work, restart in safe mode and run same 3 tools from there.
     
  17. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    ignore this message :)
     
  18. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    re-ran rkill and exehelper but it wont let me rename broni.com to broni.exe - it just renames to broni.exe.com and gives me the same program association error as before. switch to safe mode and try again?
     
  19. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Let's try couple of things.
    Delete broni.whatever, download fresh Combofix file and rename it to just broni.exe (not .com)
    Try rkill, exehelper and broni.exe in normal mode.
    If no go, try same 3 tools in safe mode.
     
  20. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    ok, that worked :)

    exehelper:

    exeHelper by Raktor
    Build 20100414
    Run at 14:50:20 on 07/25/10
    Now searching...
    Checking for numerical processes...
    Checking for sysguard processes...
    Checking for bad processes...
    Checking for bad files...
    Checking for bad registry entries...
    Resetting filetype association for .exe
    Resetting filetype association for .com
    Resetting userinit and shell values...
    Resetting policies...
    --Finished--

    took about an hour to run combofix and initially it gave me an issue with AutoRestore not being set-up, wanted to download and said it couldn't connect. It still completed the scan though....log attached.

    thanks again!
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Nice :)

    How is computer behaving at the moment?

    1. Please open Notepad
    • Click Start , then Run
    • Type notepad .exe in the Run Box.

    2. Now copy/paste the entire content of the codebox below into the Notepad window:

    Code:
    File::
    c:\temp\D.tmp
    c:\temp\E.tmp
    c:\temp\6.tmp
    c:\temp\2.tmp
    c:\temp\is-0AM28.tmp
    c:\temp\CR_8C7.tmp
    c:\temp\CR_778.tmp
    
    
    Registry::
    [HKLM\~\services\sharedaccess\parameters\firewallpolicy\standardprofile]
    "DisableNotifications"=-
    
    
    

    3. Save the above as CFScript.txt

    4. Then drag the CFScript.txt into ComboFix.exe as depicted in the animation below. This will start ComboFix again.

    [​IMG]


    5. After reboot, (in case it asks to reboot), please post the following reports/logs into your next reply:
    • Combofix.txt
     
  22. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Behaving....hard to tell am still in Safe Mode :)

    I'll only drop out into normal mode once you tell me to!

    Second round of combofix ran smoothly - same unable to install auto restore again but no other issues.

    Tell me the good news!
     

    Attached Files:

  23. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    Restart in normal mode and see how it goes.

    Uninstall Combofix:
    Go Start > Run [Vista users, go Start>"Start search"]
    Type in:
    Combofix /Uninstall
    Note the space between the "Combofix" and the "/Uninstall"
    Click OK (Vista users - press Enter).
    Restart computer.

    ======================================================================

    Download OTL to your Desktop.

    * Double click on the icon to run it. Make sure all other windows are closed and to let it run uninterrupted.
    * Under the Custom Scan box paste this in:



    netsvcs
    drivers32 /all
    %SYSTEMDRIVE%\*.*
    %systemroot%\system32\Spool\prtprocs\w32x86\*.dll
    %systemroot%\system32\*.wt
    %systemroot%\system32\*.ruy
    %systemroot%\Fonts\*.com
    %systemroot%\Fonts\*.dll
    %systemroot%\system32\spool\prtprocs\w32x86\*.tmp
    %systemroot%\*. /mp /s
    /md5start
    /md5stop
    CREATERESTOREPOINT
    %systemroot%\system32\*.dll /lockedfiles
    %systemroot%\Tasks\*.job /lockedfiles
    %systemroot%\System32\config\*.sav
    %systemroot%\system32\user32.dll /md5
    %systemroot%\system32\ws2_32.dll /md5
    %systemroot%\system32\ws2help.dll /md5
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\Results\Install|LastSuccessTime /rs



    * Click the Quick Scan button. Do not change any settings unless otherwise told to do so. The scan wont take long.
    • When the scan completes, it will open two notepad windows: OTL.txt and Extras.txt. These are saved in the same location as OTL.
    • Please copy (Edit->Select All, Edit->Copy) the contents of these files, one at a time, and post them back here.
     
  24. drvodka

    drvodka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    am writing from my better half's machine now.

    when I restarted in normal mode:

    CPU still at 100%

    Got an error message regarding Tivoli Storage Manager (dmscsvc.exe) not being able to update (I dont care about TSM anyway - can remove that later.

    typed 'combofix \uninstall' into 'run' - it started to run Combofix again - this time it successfully installed the auto restore function, but is continuing with a full scan it seems - is this correct? It seems to me that you wanted combofix uninstalled, not to re-run? if so - is that because we renamed it broni.exe?

    I'll leave it running unless I hear otherwise from you, and will run OTL afterwards.
     
  25. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 47,684   +267

    You can stop Combofix at any time.
    Good thing is, it installed recovery console.
    We don't have any more use for it now.
    We can remove Combofix later.

    Please, run OTL now.
    Before you do this, run one more thing for me.

    Download Process Explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
    Unzip ProcessExplorer.zip, and double click on procexp.exe to run the program.
    Click on View > Select Colunms.
    In addition to already pre-selected options, make sure, the Command Line is selected, and press OK.
    Go File>Save As, and save the report as Procexp.txt.
    Attach the file to your next reply.
     
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