Problem with USERINIT.EXE

Posted on 2004-11-08
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
G'day All!

Six days ago I loaded the new Yahoo Toolbar - with anti-spyware and anti-adware - anyway when I rebooted the system I got an error message associated with "userinit.exe" and it would not bring up the logon screen.  I was able to access the system via Safe Mode with Networking and uninstalled the Yahoo Toolbar.  I tried to reboot but was getting the same error (userinit.exe).  Well, I ended up moving the file to the recycle bin and rebooted - after this point whenever I get to the signon screen it just says it's logging on, then logging off, saving my settings and then I'm stcuk at the signon screen.  If I try to get in through Safe Mode it just does the same thing and knocks me back to the signon screen.
I used a bootdisk and am able to bring up a C: prompt, but I'm stuck now.  I don't see any files named userinit.exe or wsaupdater.exe - CAN ANYONE HELP?  I'm about ready to just reformat the hard drive.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated - I'm not that comptuer literate so whatever advice you have please dumb it down for me.

Question by:pat6
    LVL 59

    Accepted Solution

    Unable to logon to Windows after removing BlazeFind using a spyware removal utility?

    Logon - Logoff loop, also caused by BlazeFind

    Another critical symptom caused by this malware: This malware modifies the Userinit area in the registry (replacing the userinit.exe with wsaupdater.exe) and Ad-Aware (with a particular definition update) removes the wsaupdater.exe file from the system, thus causing the Logon - Logoff loop. That is, when you login to Windows, the 'loading personal settings" verbose will appear, but suddenly it will logoff. This issue was documented clearly by Lavasoftusa in it's Lavahelp Knowledgebase.

    Here is the solution to the logon - logoff issue in Windows XP.

    Enter the Recovery Console

    Boot the system using the Windows XP CD-ROM. In the first screen when the Setup begins, read the instructions press "R" (in the first screen) enter the Recovery Console. Type-in the built-in Administrator password to enter the Console. You'll see the prompt reading C:\Windows (Or any other drive-letter where you've installed XP)

    Type the following command and press Enter.

    (If that does not work, try CHDIR SYSTEM32)


    Quit Recovery Console by typing EXIT and restart Windows.

    You'll be able to login successfully as you've created the wsaupdater.exe file (now, a copy of userinit.exe)

    Now, change the USERINIT value in the registry (see Phase II in this page) and change it accordingly.

    NOTE    If you don't have a Windows XP CD-ROM, you need to use Windows XP Setup floppy disks to enter the Recovery Console.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for the quick reply Lee.

    I followed your instructions and am stuck at the copy step.  I changed directory to SYSTEM32 and then entered the copy command, but it says "The system cannot find the file specified" and then leaves me at a C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32> prompt.

    As I said before, I moved the userinit.exe file to the recycle bin - I kind of gave in to MicroSoft's intructions when using help - they said to disable a file that was interferring with the startup.  

    Where can I get this userinit.exe file from?

    Author Comment

    well, I guess I've got this thing solved.

    I copied a userinit.exe file from another computer and copied into mine.  After the computer booted I deleted the copy I just made and then restored the file that was in my recycle bin.

    I've got my fingers crossed for the future.  Thanks for the help.

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