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Windows 7 infected,"is not a valid Win32 application" error so can't run cleaners

Discussion in 'Malware Help - MG (A Specialist Will Reply)' started by theremingirl, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    First, thanks for reading this. I did read and attempt to go through the steps listed in the Malware Removal Guide. However, although I could download the file for CCleaner, I could not make it run.

    I have a new (I've had it for less than a month) HP laptop running Windows 7. I somehow acquired a Trojan, despite having Norton AntiVirus running on my system. I downloaded a few set-up files for programs such as HijackThis and Cleaner7, but I cannot run any of them. I get the "is not a valid Win32 application error" when trying to to do.

    I restored my laptop to the original factory settings, but that didn't help. Because I did this, I lost the name of the evil program (I had searched Google for it)... the name sounded something like "animal", and it pretended to find threats on my computer in order to get me to pay for "removal" of them. I tried to remove it in my control panel but of course that didn't work. I thought that since it didn't show up in Programs when I restored it was gone, but I could tell my computer was still infected. :(
  2. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Then you need to work your way through the below :)

    Welcome to Major Geeks!

    Please read ALL of this message including the notes before doing anything.

    Pleases follow the instructions in the below link:

    READ & RUN ME FIRST. Malware Removal Guide

    and attach the requested logs when you finish these instructions.
    • **** If something does not run, write down the info to explain to us later but keep on going. ****
    • Do not assume that because one step does not work that they all will not. MGtools will frequently run even when all other tools will not.

    • After completing the READ & RUN ME and attaching your logs, make sure that you tell us what problems still remain ( if any still do )!
    Helpful Notes:

    1. If you run into problems trying to run the READ & RUN ME or any of the scans in normal boot mode, you can run the steps in safe boot mode but make sure you tell us what you did later when you post logs. See the below if you do not know how to boot in safe mode:
    2. If you have problems downloading on the problem PC, download the tools and the manual updates for SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes ( links are given in the READ & RUN ME) onto another PC and then burn to a CD. Then copy them to the problem PC. You will have to skip getting updates if (and only if) your internet connection does not work. Yes you could use a flash drive too but flash drives are writeable and infections can spread to them.
    3. If you cannot seem to login to an infected user account, try using a different user account (if you have one) in either normal or safe boot mode and running only SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes while logged into this other user account. Then reboot and see if you can log into the problem user account. If you can then run SUPERAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes, ComboFix and MGtools on the infected account as requested in the instructions.
    4. To avoid additional delay in getting a response, it is strongly advised that after completing the READ & RUN ME you also read this sticky:
    Any additional post is a bump which will add more delay. Once you attach the logs, your thread will be in the work queue and as stated our system works the oldest threads FIRST.
  3. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Thank you for replying quickly, I do appreciate it. I don't think my original post was read, though. I stated that I couldn't run any of the programs listed because I currently can't run any .exe files AT ALL. Therefore it is impossible for me to run files such as Malwarebytes (I tried to do it in safe mode, too.) Ever since I was infected (by Antimalware, I think), I receive the "is not a valid Win32 application" error whenever I try to run any setup files I download.
  4. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    I thought you said that you reinstalled windows, so did not know your status currently.

    Please download and run the below tool named Rkill (courtesy of BleepingComputer.com) which may help allow other programs to run.

    There are 4 different versions. If one of them won't run then download and try to run the other one.

    Vista and Win7 users need to right click and choose Run as Administrator

    You only need to get one of them to run, not all of them. You may get warnings from your antivirus about this tool, ignore them or shutdown your antivirus.
    1. Rkill.exe
    2. Rkill.com
    3. Rkill.scr
    4. Rkill.pif
    Once you've gotten one of them to run then try to immediately run the following.

    Now download and Run exeHelper from Raktor
    • Please download exeHelper to your desktop.
    • Double-click on exeHelper.com to run the fix.
    • A black window should pop up, press any key to close once the fix is completed.
    • A log file named log.txt will be created in the directory where you ran exeHelper.com
    • Attach the log.txt file to your next message.
    Note: If the window shows a message that says "Error deleting file", please re-run the program before posting a log - and post the two logs together (they will both be in the one file).

    Now run this: Using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    Now run this: Using MGtools

    Now you need to attach (See: HOW TO: Attach Items To Your Post ) the below logs created while running the above scans
    • exeHelper log
    • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log
    • MGlogs.zip - normally it is C:\MGlogs.zip - only attach this log from MGtools.exe DO NOT attach any logs seen in the MGtools folder.
  5. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Thanks again for posting, and my apologies if I'm not explaining things clearly. :)

    I just downloaded the rkill files, but none of them will run (I did try the "as an administrator" way). I just get the same error I get with every other thing I try to run, that it's "not a valid Win32 application". Isn't there something I can do manually?

    I do have Norton on this system because it came preloaded, but it's not helping. I ran Live Update, so it's up to date, but it doesn't find anything when I scan with it.
  6. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Download and save the below to your PC (save it anywhere you can find it. The Desktop is fine). Then double click on it to run it.


    It should take a couple minutes to run. You will see a black command prompt window while it is running and it should close when it is finished. Once it finishes, attach the c:\avplog.txt file that is will hopefully create as long as the malware does not block the batch file from running. (See: HOW TO: Attach Items To Your Post )
  7. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    I've attached the text file to this post.

    Attached Files:

  8. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Is this 64 bit windows 7 or not? If not then please at least TRY the below (I understand the malware is blocking things but let's see what gives)

    Go to TDSSKiller and Download TDSSKiller.zip to your Desktop

    • Extract its contents to your Desktop so that you have TDSSKiller.exe directly on your Desktop and not in any subfolder of the Desktop.
    • Now double click the TDSSkiller.exe file to run it ( if using Vista or Windows 7 do not double click on it but rather, right click and select Run As Administrartor.
    • Allow the application to run and a window will open showing that it is TDSSkiller from Kaspersky
    • Click Start scan
    • It will run rather quickly and will notify you of whether anything is found or not.
    • Follow the instructions to delete/quarantine if asks you what to do when if finds something.
    Whether an infection is found or not, a log file should be created on your C: drive ( or whatever drive you boot from) in the root folder named something like TDSSKiller.2.1.1_27.12.2009_14.17.04_log.txt which is based on the program version # and date and time run. Please attach this log to your next reply. (See: HOW TO: Attach Items To Your Post )

    Now if you do not have combofix on the desktop already, download it if you can, and rename it to 123.com. Try and run it. If you were successful, attach the log it generates, (C:\combofix.txt) also the log from TDSSKiller if you were able to run it.
  9. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Yes, it's 64 bit Windows 7.

    I downloaded the zip file anyway, but I couldn't extract it- it said it was "invalid". I also tried to run the exe file on that same page, but I got the usual error.
  10. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

  11. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Thanks so much for helping me out, I really appreciate you taking the time.

    Anyway, I couldn't get that online scanner to work. I would say yes to the agreement, enable Active X (I'm using IE8), and then just get a blank light blue screen. I guess I'll try it again later.
  12. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Try doing this:

    Kaspersky Rescue Disk.

    Create the disc and then you will need to boot to it. This means you need to go into the bios and set your cd/dvd player to be the first boot device. It will update itself before it begins the scan.
  13. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Thanks for the latest info. I was unable to download the .iso file, though. I tried multiple times, but it always hang at 85%.

    Based on the advice about burning a CD to boot from I searched for other programs and tried the Avira rescue CD .iso file, which I burned to a CD. I hit ESC as my computer rebooted and it took me to boot options (F9), and I chose to boot from the CD, but it just started Windows normally. Forgive my ignorance, but is there some other way of booting from the CD?
  14. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    (I hope this isn't a duplicate, I already wrote this reply but didn't see it even after I refreshed.)

    Thanks for the latest info! I tried to download that .iso file several times, but it always hangs at 85%.

    So then I searched for other similar things and downloaded the Avira Rescue CD .iso file and burned it to a CD. I then rebooted and chose the F9 option and then picked the boot from CD option, but then Windows just started normally. Am I missing a step?
  15. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Just wanted to add that I figured out how to change the boot order to make the CD first. I still didn't see anything different happen when I restarted, though.
  16. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Hmmmm, I'm not sure why it didn't post, but before my most recent reply I said that I couldn't download Kaspersky because it always hangs at 85%. So I downloaded the one from Avira, but it doesn't seem to do anything.
  17. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Yes, and this time try using Firefox please. We have to make a start on this somehow, and I am running out of idea's at the moment.
  18. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Unfortunately I can't use Firefox. The computer didn't come preloaded with it, and when I tried to install it after the infection (I did a system restore which returned it to the "factory settings"), it didn't work. Although, instead of getting the Windows 32 error, it says the file is corrupted when I try to run it.
  19. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Dammit! I am seeking Chaslang's guidance with this, in the mean time I guess you cannot do this either?:

    Open up a Command Prompt and run the tasklist command, it will show you a list of all the running processes.

    Right click the top of the window > edit > select all > ctrl + C and ctrl + V into a notepad. Attach this file.
  20. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    I've attached the task list.
  21. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

  22. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Sorry, let me try that again.

    Attached Files:

  23. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Oh good, glad you got that to run!

    Please still also try the EXE File Association fix. Then try running scans again if the fix worked for you.
  24. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    Will that work for Windows 7, though?
  25. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    Arggh! I need some sleep. I overlooked that.
  26. theremingirl

    theremingirl Private E-2

    At this point I'm starting to wonder if the virus/trojan is gone and my system is just messed up... I mean, I did restore it to the original factory settings, but maybe since I didn't format C the installation wasn't clean?
  27. Kestrel13!

    Kestrel13! Super Malware Fighter - Major Dilemma Staff Member

    I just don't want it to beat us.

    Now I know you're frustrated and this might just turn into another "I tried that and it failed" sort of thing, but let's do this:

    Please locate the C:\MGTools.exe file and rename it to kestrel13.com, now try and run it. Failing that, head to safe mode to see what progress can be made there if any.
  28. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

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