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Multiple iexplore.exe processes running, but only one instance of Internet Explorer

By neiloakley
Oct 14, 2009
  1. Hi

    This is my first post here. I have used the search function and found similar issues, but the suggested fixes have not worked for me (despite many hours trying).

    I have read the 8 simple rules and completed/complied with all of them.

    So here goes . . .

    When i open internet explorer 8, i see two, sometimes three instances of the process running all consuming about 30mb of memory each. If i close IE they all go away. Trying to end one slows down the PC enormously and repeated closes have to be performed to get them to go.

    I tried to rename/delete iexplore.exe and within a few seconds a new file appears identical to the last.

    I have used Norton, Bitdefender, SpyBot S&D, AVG, and a RootKit revealer. None of these have found any abnormal issues (only the normal tracking cookies).

    I am on XP SP3

    As is tradition, attached is my three log files:
    1) Malwarebytes Anti Malware log
    2) SuperAntiSpyware log
    3) Hijackthis log

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Welcome to TechSpot Neil. Hopefully we can get you running smoothly.

    About Internet Explorer v8: It is normal to see multiple entries of iexplore.exe with this version. IE8 is also very heavy on memory use.

    Please scan with HijackThis and paste (Ctrl V)the log into your next reply. IF you did run it, you forgot to leave it. Unlike the other 2 logs, I would refer the paste for HJT.

    Please tell me what symptoms the system is having besides the IE issue you have described.

    I can see a malware infection called Norton 2009 Reset (.norton2009Reset) It is added by a variant of the Trojan.Generic TROJAN! Second one today- this must be the new kid on the block!

    Boot into Safe Mode
    • Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.
    • Select the Safe Mode option when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.
    Click on Start> Run> type in services.msc> double-click on Norton 2009 Reset (.norton2009Reset)> change the Startup type to Disabled> Stop the Service> Close the Services.

    Using Windows Explorer: (right click on Taskbar> Explore) click on My Computer> then Local Drive> Look for Documents & Settings> All Users> Application Data> right click on Norton2009 Reset> Delete

    Boot back into Normal Mode.

    Rescan with HJT after doing the above and paste in the new log in your net reply.
  3. neiloakley

    neiloakley TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Bobbye

    Thanks for the reply. I took the actions you suggested and attached is the HJT log (tried to paste it but got the error "To be able to post links or images your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 1 posts.")

    I was just concerned that something could be calling iexplore.exe in a hidden mode and using IE to pass information out the door without my firewall picking it up, did not know it was a trait of IE8

    IIf you think all is ok now then much appreciat your help so far.

  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Neil you have multiple antivirus programs running.: AVG9 and Norton AV:
    You should decide which you want to keep and remove the others for the following reasons:
    • Multiple antivirus programs can cause conflicts that may leave the system more vulnerable.
    • Multiple antivirus programs can also slow down the system.

    If you are using a paid program, consider removing the free programs. If you are using a Trial of a paid program, please decide which programs you would like to keep and remove the others. You will find the following removal tools helpful:

    Note:Security programs are best removed while in Safe Mode. Download the removal tool and save to your desktop.
    Boot into Safe Mode
    • Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.
    • Select the Safe Mode option when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.
    • AVG Remover
    • Norton Removal Tool
    Please reboot the system when you have made the change. Update and run a full system scan with the antivirus program you have kept. This will assure that it is working properly and find any viruses on the system as a result of the multiple programs.

    I'll get to the rest of the entries a bit later.

    Again, about iexplore.exe: Yes, malware can disguise itself as almost any process. Many who are using IE8 are concerned about the multiple entries. We start off by letting you know that it's 'normal', then rule out malware> it's a process.
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