Virus or Malware or What?

Windows XP Computer all of a sudden cannot launch anything.

Any icon or even if I run it out of Windows directory gives me a popup Screen

What Program do I wish to use to launch this program.

No Matter what I do this is all I get.  Some kind of virus attacked and user

deleted most but some remains.

I pulled hard drive out and ran combofix and Trend Micro with drive as slave but no Virus Found????

What could it be?

Joseph SalazarVice President - Senior IT ConsultantAsked:
Who is Participating?
Sounds like your file associations have been corrupted.

Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
>>>pulled hard drive out and ran combofix and Trend Micro with drive as slave but no Virus Found????

This is not the good approach these days. You would need to run those tool on the same hard drive by making it primary and booting it in Normal Mode.

Please run the scan again, post the logs and let us know.


What does that 'pop-up screen' say? If you could post a screen capture, it would help us pin-point the malware variant you have.

In many instances the rogue processes that are infecting your computer are not running unless the system is booted into Normal Mode. For a full discussion of techniques you should or should not be using, please review this EE Article:
Malware Fighting – Best Practices

Based on your description, it sounds as though the malware may have modified some registry entries to cause the malware to run regardless of the program you are trying to start.

This EE Article details the steps and programs that will help you address that:
How do you know if your security is working?

Protecting your business doesn’t have to mean sifting through endless alerts and notifications. With WatchGuard Total Security Suite, you can feel confident that your business is secure, meaning you can get back to the things that have been sitting on your to-do list.

Its malware for sure and the best fix I have found is Hitman Pro try it at run a free scan and there you go.


Comment copied from earlier post by 'rpggamergirl':
I would not use HitmanPro, too risky, it's not that good for removing infections specially when system files are patched.
Since last year there has been many reported unbootable PCs after scanning with HitmanPro.

These below are just in one forum.
Posted 24 November 2011  
Ran Hitman Pro 3.5 now Windows won't boot

Posted 21 November 2011
Hitman Pro 3.5....Can't Boot. Please HELP!

Posted 14 November 2011  
Hitman Pro killed my OS...

Posted 08 November 2011
Used Hitman pro 3.5 to remove google redirect virus and now computer won't boot. 
Your right about hitman however same thing can be said with spybot and malware bytes or any antivirus that alters key files.. I guess the better solution is the person who posted should have had malware protection and a virus scan program. Its up to them but with this issue it does seem to work.


Joseph SalazarVice President - Senior IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Ran the attached file from previous post and it

Saved the day, I was able to run combofix and clean computer

Thanks for putting me on the right Track "sweetfa2"

Joseph SalazarVice President - Senior IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Put me on the right track to find Correct
Reg Merge file from previous post.

Worked Fantastic !!!
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.