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Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Windows is starting OK up to the point where I select a User. Whichever User I select then, the desktop background is shown, together with an error message from RunDLL to the effect that a system module cannot be found. None of the Desktop icons, the Task bar, nor the Start button appear.
I am using Shift-Control-Escape to access the Task Manager, then File -> New Task (run....) to start Explorer. I can get to all files and applications this way, and I (obviously) have network connection. But it is a massive pallaver and SWMBO won't even try this on her own.....  I need help to get rid of this poxy RunDLL error!
The module that cannot be found is "...\ALLUSE~1\APPLIC~1\tfsnmcsrbabwecbvutv.bfg ".
Interestingly (?), an application has appeared in my Startup folder with the name " vtuvbcewbabrscmnsft.bfg ".  See what they've done there?!!
This looks like malware, but what do I know?
I have tried cleaning the Registry (Eusing). I have tried System Restore to a time well before the problem started. What do I try next?
Very grateful for any help.
Chris
15 REPLIES
gtowen
Rising Star
Posts: 353
Thanks: 9
Fixes: 1
Registered: 05-05-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

A google search for  vtuvbcewbabrscmnsft.bfg gives no hits, but a search on the .bfg suggests its a game file extension, maybe the following link might point you in the right direction Smiley
http://bfg.filebio.com/bfg-file-extension
As to the item in the startup folder, that is just a shortcut to the program which seems to be corrupted and failing to start up when windows starts. You should be able to delete that link and it should allow windows to load properly, then you can sort out the game thats causing the prob.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,939
Thanks: 357
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Probably malware that uses a randomly generated filename for its startup entry.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
Thanks: 102
Fixes: 19
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

I agree with ejs, a nonsensical name like that has got to be a virus (malware).
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Download something like Hirens Boot CD and do a cold boot from that - it has lots of Antivirus utilities on which you can run - start off with the rootkit detection stuff.
Alternatively, put your hard drive into another known working computer and scan from there - also do a surface integrity scan as it may be something as simple as bad sectors or damaged filesystem.
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Thanks all  Smiley
I'm just backing up data before I have a real go at this....
I'll post back later with results.
Chris
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

My regular weekly scan with AVG Free identified a .pad file with the same random name as a threat called 'Luhe.LockScreen.A'
This was removed, but the .bfg files escaped detection by AVG. I have got rid of everything I can find with the same name, and cleaned up my System Startup.
I no longer get the RunDLL error on startup.
Unfortunately, the Desktop still stops loading before the Taskbar, Start button, and icons appear. I'm still working on it.
Chris
Glenn
Grafter
Posts: 332
Registered: 12-02-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

I use Avast Free Antivirus as my main Anti Virus programme, I switched from AVG about a year and a half ago after I saw it was rated better on a few different comparison sites, it's served me well, no problems since.
You can get it here, choose free antivirus: http://www.avast.com/en-gb/index

If I've had problems in the past I'd install and run Malwarebytes, you can uninstall it after you've used it.
Just download the free version here: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

I've also installed and ran Spybot Search & Destroy and uninstalled it after I used it.
You can download the free version here: http://www.safer-networking.org/private/

I've also used SuperAntiSpyware as well, and like the others uninstalled after I used it.
Download the free version here: http://www.superantispyware.com/

You can install and run Malwarebytes, Spybot and SuperAntiSpyware one at a time and use them then uninstall when you're finished.
I recommend running a boot time scan if one of those has the option, it just means it runs a virus scan before windows loads because some infections can only be caught that way.
Hope you get it sorted mate.  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

You really need to boot from a clean boot disk to check for rootkit viruses. These are incredibly clever and can avoid most antivirus detection programs.
A customer of mine contracted one of these and it took me almost a week to find it and remove it - once the rootkit had been removed, it revealed another 3 or 4 viruses which it had been "cloaking" on the machine. I'd scanned the machine with AVG, MSE AVAST and a couple of online scanners but without booting from a clean startup disk (I used Hirens) nothing picked it up.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,768
Thanks: 102
Fixes: 19
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

See my post on Penneck's thread for how to get Explorer working again.  You might think that a virus scanner could correct an error like this but they often don't.  In which case you will have to do a manual registry edit.
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Brilliant help on here, as always!
Particular thanks to ReedRichards -- your advice helped me get explorer.exe working again. I used the Microsoft utility 'Autoruns' to clear the registry of a malware re-direct, simple as that!
Thanks to Glenn for detailed advice on clearing the virus;  I already use Malwarebytes and Spybot, as well as AVG Free in-line, so I was able to get rid of the culprits -- LockScreen.A seems to have come in on a browser add-on called SweetIM, which may have loaded when I accidentally clicked on an emoticon advert  Angry
Thanks to picbits for good advice, which I've stored up for future use;  I think I've cleaned out the malware without having to do a virgin reboot on this occassion (touch wood).
Working (better than) normally at the moment. Staying alert  Smiley
Chris
redsetter
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 12-05-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

if you have an xp installation disk that has an option to repair windows.
if there's nothing of  importance on the pc then a format c: in dos boot up and a fresh windows xp reinstall is an option too.
Glenn
Grafter
Posts: 332
Registered: 12-02-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

@ ChrisL...Glad you got advice that helped and it's working even better than normal.  Cheesy
Maybe you already use it, (not sure which browser you use) I use Firefox, but I have an add on called Adblock Plus and subscribe to a list for it...I see no ads and the net is nice n clean for me.
Here's the add on for Firefox:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus-pop-up-addon/
Here's the easy list which already has rules in it that blocks ads, it works for both Firefox and Chrome:
https://easylist.adblockplus.org/en/
Here's Adblock Plus for Chrome if needed:
https://adblockplus.org/en/chrome
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

Thanks for that, Glenn. I use Chrome and I'll certainly look into Adblock. One reason I've avoided this kind of thing in the past is the way they used to slow everything down. But the speed of browsing these days makes that unlikely to still be an issue?
Chris
Glenn
Grafter
Posts: 332
Registered: 12-02-2013

Re: Windows XP SP3 failure during startup

@ ChrisL ...I don't think it'll slow your browser down, unless you have a lot of add ons, but it's worth a try I reckon.
You can always remove it if it does slow things down, but with a lot of ads getting zapped it might speed browsing up.
The Easy List gets updated automatically too which is great.
Smiley