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All .exe files return the error "---.exe is not a valid win32 application.

Posted on 2007-12-02
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Whenever I try to run an .exe file in Windows XP it give me "----.exe is not a valid win32 application". This error seems to be universal because none of my startup programs startup (though they don't return an error) . .exe files on removable media and shared drives do not execute either. In addition to this when I try to shutdown/restart from the start menu XP returns an error saying that "You don't have permission to shut down this computer." I've tried booting in safe mode and everything works there.
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Question by:christek91
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Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 20393196
Have you tried renaming the .exe extensions to .bat, .com, and .scr and then tried running them?
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Author Comment

by:christek91
ID: 20393217
When I try renaming a file it returns the error "Access denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write protected and that the file is not currently in use." I did try to execute a .com file earlier, but it still gives me the "---.exe is not a valid win32 application." error.
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Author Comment

by:christek91
ID: 20393220
Also, It might be worth noting that not even rundll.exe is working. Though other necessary system processes do run and continue to run on startup. ("explorer.exe", "svchost.exe", etc.).
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by:orangutang
ID: 20393228
Have you tried safe mode?
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by:orangutang
ID: 20393235
Oh, never mind. Let me research some more.
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by:orangutang
ID: 20393247
Hmm, I'm guessing it's either virus problem or just a permissions problem. Send us your HijackThis (http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US/threat_analytics/hijackthis.php) log in safe mode.
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Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 20393263
Also, check out:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/exefile.htm
and the "Related articles" section toward the bottom.
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Author Comment

by:christek91
ID: 20393312
Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
Scan saved at 8:58:28 PM, on 12/2/2007
Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)
Boot mode: Safe mode with network support

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\Hijack This\HiJackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar,LinksFolderName =
R3 - URLSearchHook: Yahoo! Toolbar - {EF99BD32-C1FB-11D2-892F-0090271D4F88} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: HP Print Enhancer - {0347C33E-8762-4905-BF09-768834316C61} - C:\Program Files\HP\Smart Web Printing\hpswp_printenhancer.dll
O2 - BHO: HP Print Clips - {053F9267-DC04-4294-A72C-58F732D338C0} - C:\Program Files\HP\Smart Web Printing\hpswp_framework.dll
O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: IeCatch5 Class - {2F364306-AA45-47B5-9F9D-39A8B94E7EF7} - C:\PROGRA~1\FlashGet\jccatch.dll
O2 - BHO: SSVHelper Class - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
O2 - BHO: Google Gears Helper - {E0FEFE40-FBF9-42AE-BA58-794CA7E3FB53} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Gears\Internet Explorer\0.1.54.0\gears.dll
O3 - Toolbar: FlashGet Bar - {E0E899AB-F487-11D5-8D29-0050BA6940E3} - C:\PROGRA~1\FlashGet\fgiebar.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [nwiz] nwiz.exe /install
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Logitech Hardware Abstraction Layer] KHALMNPR.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_CC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe /STARTUP
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ACU] "C:\Program Files\Atheros\ACU.exe" -nogui
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTSysVol] C:\Program Files\Creative\SBAudigy\Surround Mixer\CTSysVol.exe /r
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [P17Helper] Rundll32 P17.dll,P17Helper
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Profiler] C:\Program Files\Saitek\Software\Profiler.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SaiSmart] C:\Program Files\Saitek\Software\SaiSmart.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SaiMfd] C:\Program Files\Saitek\Software\SaiMfd.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [amd_dc_opt] "C:\Program Files\AMD\amd_dc_opt\amd_dc_opt.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CTXFIREG] CTxfiReg.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [\\BMILLER\EPSON Stylus CX4600 Series] C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\DRIVERS\W32X86\3\E_FATI9AA.EXE /P36 "\\BMILLER\EPSON Stylus CX4600 Series" /O6 "USB002" /M "Stylus CX4600"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CoolSwitch] C:\WINDOWS\system32\taskswitch.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [avast!] C:\PROGRA~1\ALWILS~1\Avast4\ashDisp.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UnlockerAssistant] "C:\Program Files\Unlocker\UnlockerAssistant.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\jusched.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Spiceworks] C:\Program Files\Spiceworks\bin\spicetray_silent.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UpdReg] C:\WINDOWS\UpdReg.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PWRISOVM.EXE] C:\Program Files\PowerISO\PWRISOVM.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ehTray] C:\WINDOWS\ehome\ehtray.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DAEMON Tools] "C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools\daemon.exe" -lang 1033
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe Photo Downloader] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Album Starter Edition\3.0\Apps\apdproxy.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [HP Software Update] C:\Program Files\HP\HP Software Update\HPWuSchd2.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvMediaCenter] RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\QTTask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [LogonStudio] "C:\Program Files\WinCustomize\LogonStudio\logonstudio.exe" /RANDOM
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Gizmo Project] "C:\Program Files\Gizmo Project\Gizmo.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [COMODO Firewall Pro] "C:\Program Files\Comodo\Firewall\cfp.exe" -s
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [DAEMON Tools] "C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools\daemon.exe" -lang 1033
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PeerGuardian] C:\Program Files\PeerGuardian2\pg2.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [VisualTaskTips] C:\Program Files\VisualTaskTips\VisualTaskTips.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Steam] "c:\program files\valve\steam\steam.exe" -silent
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [EA Core] C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\EA Downloader\Core.exe -silent
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Pidgin] C:\Program Files\Pidgin\pidgin.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [KeePass Password Safe] "C:\Program Files\KeePass Password Safe\KeePass.exe"
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-19\..\Run: [AVG7_Run] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgw.exe /RUNONCE (User 'LOCAL SERVICE')
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-20\..\Run: [AVG7_Run] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgw.exe /RUNONCE (User 'NETWORK SERVICE')
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [AVG7_Run] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgw.exe /RUNONCE (User 'SYSTEM')
O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [AVG7_Run] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgw.exe /RUNONCE (User 'Default user')
O4 - Startup: hamachi.lnk = C:\Program Files\Hamachi\hamachi.exe
O4 - Startup: MemInfo.lnk = C:\Program Files\MemInfo\meminfo.exe
O4 - Startup: Mozilla Thunderbird.lnk = C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe
O4 - Startup: ProcessTamer.lnk = C:\Program Files\ProcessTamer\ProcessTamerTray.exe
O4 - Startup: Stardock ObjectDock.lnk = C:\Program Files\Stardock\ObjectDock\ObjectDock.exe
O4 - Startup: YASU.exe.lnk = C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools\YASU.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Adobe Reader Speed Launch.lnk = C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\reader_sl.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Adobe Reader Synchronizer.lnk = C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\AdobeCollabSync.exe
O4 - Global Startup: HP Digital Imaging Monitor.lnk = C:\Program Files\HP\Digital Imaging\bin\hpqtra08.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Last.fm Helper.lnk = C:\Program Files\Last.fm\LastFMHelper.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Launchy.lnk = C:\Program Files\Launchy\Launchy.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Logitech SetPoint.lnk = C:\Program Files\Logitech\SetPoint\SetPoint.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Works Calendar Reminders.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: Privoxy.lnk = C:\Program Files\Privoxy\privoxy.exe
O8 - Extra context menu item: Download All by FlashGet - C:\Program Files\FlashGet\jc_all.htm
O8 - Extra context menu item: Download using FlashGet - C:\Program Files\FlashGet\jc_link.htm
O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {09C04DA7-5B76-4EBC-BBEE-B25EAC5965F5} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Gears\Internet Explorer\0.1.54.0\gears.dll
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: &Google Gears Settings - {09C04DA7-5B76-4EBC-BBEE-B25EAC5965F5} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Gears\Internet Explorer\0.1.54.0\gears.dll
O9 - Extra button: HP Clipbook - {58ECB495-38F0-49cb-A538-10282ABF65E7} - C:\Program Files\HP\Smart Web Printing\hpswp_extensions.dll
O9 - Extra button: HP Smart Select - {700259D7-1666-479a-93B1-3250410481E8} - C:\Program Files\HP\Smart Web Printing\hpswp_extensions.dll
O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\OFFICE11\REFIEBAR.DLL
O9 - Extra button: FlashGet - {D6E814A0-E0C5-11d4-8D29-0050BA6940E3} - C:\PROGRA~1\FlashGet\flashget.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: &FlashGet - {D6E814A0-E0C5-11d4-8D29-0050BA6940E3} - C:\PROGRA~1\FlashGet\flashget.exe
O16 - DPF: {30528230-99f7-4bb4-88d8-fa1d4f56a2ab} (YInstStarter Class) - C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Common\yinsthelper.dll
O16 - DPF: {69EF49E5-FE46-4B92-B5FA-2193AB7A6B8A} (GameLauncher Control) - http://www.acclaim.com/cabs/acclaim_v5.cab
O20 - AppInit_DLLs:  C:\WINDOWS\system32\guard32.dll
O23 - Service: Abel - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Cain\Abel.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: Atheros Configuration Service (ACS) - Unknown owner - C:\WINDOWS\system32\acs.exe
O23 - Service: Adobe LM Service - Adobe Systems - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe Systems Shared\Service\Adobelmsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Apache2.2 - Apache Software Foundation - C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin\httpd.exe
O23 - Service: Apple Mobile Device - Apple, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
O23 - Service: avast! iAVS4 Control Service (aswUpdSv) - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswUpdSv.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Antivirus - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashServ.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Mail Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashMaiSv.exe
O23 - Service: avast! Web Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashWebSv.exe
O23 - Service: AVG7 Alert Manager Server (Avg7Alrt) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
O23 - Service: AVG7 Update Service (Avg7UpdSvc) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
O23 - Service: AVG E-mail Scanner (AVGEMS) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
O23 - Service: Bonjour Service - Apple Computer, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Gizmo Project\mDNSResponder.exe
O23 - Service: COMODO Firewall Pro Helper Service (cmdAgent) - COMODO - C:\Program Files\Comodo\Firewall\cmdagent.exe
O23 - Service: EPSON V3 Service2(03) (EPSON_PM_RPCV2_01) - SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION - C:\WINDOWS\system32\E_S00RP1.EXE
O23 - Service: Folder Size (FolderSize) - Brio - C:\Program Files\FolderSize\FolderSizeSvc.exe
O23 - Service: GCALDaemon - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\GCALDaemon\bin\wrapper.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: Google Update Service (gupdate) - Google Inc. - C:\Program Files\Google\Update\1.0.91.0\GoogleUpdate.exe
O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Driver\11\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
O23 - Service: iPod Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
O23 - Service: NVIDIA Display Driver Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe
O23 - Service: PnkBstrA - Unknown owner - C:\WINDOWS\system32\PnkBstrA.exe
O23 - Service: UPS - Unknown owner - C:\WINDOWS\System32\ups.exe (file missing)

--
End of file - 10725 bytes
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 20393413
Also, when you boot normally, can you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete? If you can, what processes are running?
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Accepted Solution

by:
orangutang earned 500 total points
ID: 20393445
Also, it seems like you have too many security programs running at the same time and they may be conflicting with each other. It appears that you have AVG, avast!, COMODO and maybe more. I would try fixing the problem using the process of elimination (if you can in safe mode). Unfortunately, you're going to have to temporarily uninstall a few programs. Try uninstalling all of your security programs one by one and restart each time a program is uninstalled to see if it worked. I can't think of any other solution but if anyone else can, I'd like to know about it.
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Author Comment

by:christek91
ID: 20393478
I'll start uninstalling them now. In the meantime here are the processes that show up on startup:

acs.exe
slg.exe
AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
ashMaiSv.exe
ashServ.exe
ashUpdSv.exe
avgamsvr.exe
avgemc.exe
avgupsvc.exe
cmdagent.exe
csrss.exe
dllhost.exe
E_S00RP1.EXE
ehRecvr.exe
ehSched.exe
explorer.exe
FolderSizeSvc.exe
GoogleUpdate.exe
httpd.exe
httpd.exe
lsass.exe
mDNSResponder.exe
msiexec.exe
nvsc32.exe
PnkBstrA.exe
services.exe
smss.exe
spoolsv.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
System
System Idle Process
taskmgr.exe
winlogon.exe
wscntfy.exe
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 20393498
slg.exe? slg.exe isn't even listed in your HijackThis log.
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Author Comment

by:christek91
ID: 20393505
Sorry I missed-spelled it. It should be alg.exe .

Actually, uninstalling Comodo fixed the problem. I guess I went berserk on me.

Thanks A Bundle!
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Author Closing Comment

by:christek91
ID: 31412244
I'm glad it wasn't anything more complex than that. Thought it was a virus for a while! Helpful, quick responses!
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 20393532
I would also stick to one antivirus program (either AVG or avast!). You might also want to try the free version of ZoneAlarm (http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp) as an alternative to COMODO.
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