Task Manager wont open, auto update disabled and windows explorer error on startup

By A.B.D.
Jan 10, 2008
  1. Hi everybody,

    This is my first post here.

    Following is the background:
    I have used my lapotop for over a year, never had any problem. I use Windows XP Home edition.
    When I went on holiday with it 2 weeks back, I seem to have caught some rough stuff.
    It turned out to be a trojan detected by AVG. I came to learn from forums it is called infostealer.gampass which keeps on generating host.exe and xia.exe files....very annoying.
    Moreover my Automatic Update went into disable mode and Firewall went off. I could not enable either.
    Another problem - task manager will not start in any way.
    Even the computer date on startup used to change back to 1808 for some reason!
    Lastly, on start up windows displays a message "windows explorer has encountered a problem and will have to close". Then the screen refreshes and nothing really changes that is visible.

    I scanned with AVG and deleted a lot of infected files. That may have caused the windows explorer error message, which started coming later.
    I somehow got the computer clock to function normally and got the firewall to enable. But automatic updates is still greyed out.
    And the "Threat detected" prompts from AVG kept coming with the various .exe files.

    After going through some forums I downloaded AVAST. It seems to be sturdier and I do not get any threat messages anymore. So I guess the virus is gone. But I still could not open task manager nor enable automatic update.

    Today I downloaded SDFix and scanned in safe mode...it came up with another Trojan - myspace*.exe. That was deleted.
    Still cannot enable automatic updates nor open task manager. "Windows explorer has encountered a problem and will have to close" message still comes on startup, but (I noticed) not on safe mode.

    Please advise/help. I would be most grateful.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. A.B.D.

    A.B.D. TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks a zillion Kimsland.
    I will give all this a shot over the weekend. Looks comprehensive.

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