A cousin has a very new HP all-in-one (Pavilion 23, Intel Core i5) running Windows 8.1. As of this morning it has begun displaying some really peculiar errors.
It seems to boot normally, but you get the message, "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WININET.DLL is either not designed to run on windows or contains an error . . ." upon completion of booting into the desktop. After you dismiss this a message, "Failed to load library URLMON.DLL" comes up.
If you try to start almost any program on the desktop, including mbam, you get a "parameter is incorrect" error for the .exe file associated with the icon you click.
In looking at the restore point log it appears that there was a critical update applied this morning. I decided to do a system restore to several days ago just to see if this would clear things up (you can always reapply Windows Updates) but it doesn't appear to have done so. Immediately after the system restore to March 4th, when everything was definitely working, upon reboot I'm getting a message regarding Skype.exe - Bad Image, with text, "C:\windows\system32\windowscodecs.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or the software vendor for support. Error status 0xc0000045" Again, if I try mbam it gives the full path to mbam with "The parameter is incorrect."
This is not something I've seen occurring in Windows 8 before. The system was set up with Panda Cloud Antivirus, but I notice that it does not appear to be running at the moment. McAfee Security Scan Plus, which I did not install when I set up the computer, is on it now. Panda has not been removed from the programs list under control panel, but if you search for it and try to start it you get another of the "Parameter is incorrect." messages.
I suspect that some sort of satanic malware has wheedled its way on to this computer even though I put Spywareblaster, Spybot, Mbam, and Ccleaner on this machine in mid-December when initially setting it up. I realize this thread may need to be moved if this is the case.
Any pointers on what to do next or suspicions about what this is. It's an entirely new situation to me.