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Inability to utilize Search Function and Install


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#1
Graye

Graye

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Greetings,
I hope someone will be able to aid me in resolving this issue, as it is beyond my technical expertise to do so.

My family computer, which is almost constantly in use for internet browsing, uploading/downloading of files, writing reports and whatnot, recently began to exhibit some strange behaviors whose root cause I have been unable to identify. The issue began some weeks ago (or so I am told) when the Window Explorer browser began to shut off inexplicably. The error, which is a simple "Windows Explorer has encountered an error and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience..." type seems to identify entapi.dll as a related cause (the file is named EntAPI.dll in the system32 directory, if that matters), however, Explorer only shuts down if the "search" function is utilized. Whether by pressing the "Search" button at the top of Windows Explorer or accessing such via the Start button, the result is the same: it pops-up an innocuous error box and closes the window. Note that it does not close Windows entirely, only the window.
However, in attempting to mitigate this, I sought help online and was directed to use HijackThis...but I cannot install the program.
I initially downloaded the archive to a folder entitled "My Download Files" (which I created for convenience in organizing files) and unzipped it there. Double-clicking or going to the "Open" option via the right-click both lead to the same error as before. Moving the executable to the desktop and attempting to run it leads to the same error, however, this also freezes the entire computer. I cannot install any other program either. All have the same result.
I have run a scan with AVG, which found nothing. Ad-Aware used to be installed on this computer, but was recently -and inexplicably - uninstalled by my son. A System Restore does nothing, nor has simply cleaning the computer. As some light-searching through Google revealed a link between McAfee VirusScan and the entapi.dll file, I thought it pertinent to point out that (to the best of my knowledge) McAfee has never been installed on this machine.
Thanks for your time. Any aid would be greatly appreciated...

(EDIT) Postscript:
I forgot to mention that, on occasion, I have encountered a Dr Watsons Postmortem Debugger error as well.

Edited by Graye, 02 February 2009 - 02:05 PM.

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#2
wannabe1

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Hello Graye...

There are some rootkit infections in the wild right now that can cause the symptoms you describe.

Please go to the Malware Forum and follow the instructions found there.

While you may not be able to run some of the programs there, complete what you can, then start a topic in the HiJackThis Logs Go Here forum. Explain the problems you've experienced, what you've been able to run, and what you've not been able to run. Be patient, the Malware Forum is a very busy place and a two or three day wait is not unusual. Do Not bump or reply to your own topic before a helper posts their initial instructions. If it shows a reply it may be overlooked as one that is being worked on.

If you are still having problems after getting a clean bill of health from the malware expert, please return to this thread.

wannabe1
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#3
Graye

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Thank you, wannabe1, will do.
I also appreciate the prompt reply.
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