Browsers won't open on Windows 8

Posted on 2014-10-28
Last Modified: 2014-11-04
Firefox and IE errorHi all,
I'm getting this error when I start Firefox or Internet explorer on Windows 8.
I have completed all windows updates and rebooted. I also uninstalled/reinstalled Firefox, scanned for malware with Mbam and Spybot (no hits), and tried running "iexplore.exe -extoff"

The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000022). Click OK to close the application.

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Question by:Elixir2
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Author Comment

ID: 40408941
Some internet threads comment that this is a bad antivirus software incorrectly targeting some files as virus.

In this case the Windows 8 machine has both Norton AV as well as Webroot Secure Anywhere v8.0.4.131 and I cannot uninstall the latter.

Some other internet threads suggest it was a corrupt Windows Update. I have narrowed down by date updates that were installed at the time this error started occurring.  The Microsoft KBs installed were:
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 40408954
Check your video drivers are up to date
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 40408955
what about open browser in safe mode? are you able to do this?
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Author Comment

ID: 40409022
Tried running "iexplore.exe -extoff" (as stated in OP) and IE still crashes.
have not tried with Firefox Safe Mode (holding Shift while starting).
have not tried with Win8 in safe mode either....
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 40409025
Browser problems like this are very often to do with the video card.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 40409072
Try a different user.
If no better, boot to safe mode (hold shift, while selecting restart) and try there.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 40411403
Having two AV's running at the same time can cause issues for sure. Have you tried rolling back the system using system restore? You may be able to restore to a point before those updates were installed. I would try that before doing a full refresh.

Accepted Solution

Elixir2 earned 0 total points
ID: 40414327
This was a tough one for me, because after a Google search, the error code did not come up in searches.
It was not a video driver issue. No research pointed to that. One thing I kept seeing over and over was a reference to "CA antivirus suite" which, according to one account, was the cause of another user's problems similar to mine.

But on this Win8 machine, CA did not exist. However a similar malware existed in the form of "Webroot Security." It purports to be an antivirus software, but after you read how I had to uninstall it, it seems more like a virus itself.

1. Reboot Win8 into safe mode - a ridiculous process. I feel like Win8 is as unfinished a product as Vista was years ago. Complete crap. My first recommendation was to downgrade to Win7, but the client would not have it. LMAO (j/k).

2. Win8 in safe mode, browsers work OK. But Webroot won't uninstall via its uninstaller file (big surprise, right?) and it has an .exe file that won't allow deletion because it's in use.

3. The .exe file in use, can't be deleted, and services can't be terminated. So open services.msc and set the WRSRV (WebRootSeRVice) to DISABLED on startup.

4. Now open regedit in admin mode and search the registry for anything with WRSRV. Delete the individual keys in the Run or RunOnce folders. Delete the whole registry tree when you find anything to do with the WRSRV service. At this point it should be noted you could blue-screen your computer if you're not skilled or lucky. Beware.

5. Reboot Win8 into safe mode again. (Ridiculous again!) Now the service is disabled and not running, and the hooks are out of the registry. If you did it right, the Run and RunOnce did not fire the .exe so it is no longer in use.

6. Finally delete all traces of Webroot files, folders, etc. Empty trash, run CCleaner and scan the registry, delete all stray unknown keys and FINALLY....

7. REBOOT Win8 AGAIN!!! ARRRRGGGHHH... Did I mention Win8 is a POS???

So in the end, it was Webroot Security that was causing the problem. After a final reboot into normal mode, Win8 opened both IE11 and Firefox with no trouble. I changed the search engines in both browsers to make sure that Webroot didn't come back. I also checked both browsers for add-ons, etc. and found some. Disable and delete. restart the browser, reset default security settings, etc. Check for proxy, remove if found.

Just as a final warning, client's Norton was about to expire so I removed that too, even though it wasn't causing the reported problem.  After removing Norton Win8 operated about 50% faster. LMAO.

I installed Trend Micro AV (the base level, no internet security crap) and let the 30-day trial start. No viruses were found in this entire job. Ahem. But Webroot is a virus in my opinion.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40421151
Due to being so on the cutting edge of technology (hahaha, j/k) I had to forge the solution to this one myself. Some of the comments were helpful, but only in the sense that they were wrong. ;)

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