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Shell32.dll, kernel32.dll, hosts, user32.dll, ntoskrnl.dll

by cwcrane / April 12, 2008 5:34 AM PDT

I have been trying to fix an issue with a friends computer. Problem is I'm not very computer savvy :S So that's where you all come in Silly I do have some knowledge of computer's and usually catch on pretty quickly. Basically I have been noticing my friends comp has become increasingly slow over the last week I have scanned with AVG and found a change in the following:

Shell32.dll, kernel32.dll, hosts, user32.dll, ntoskrnl.dll

I have tried searching for the shell32.dll and found it only to be in the C:/windows/system32 folder as someone recommended in another post I had read on here..Those are the only items showing in a complete scan of the system so I have no idea what is causing this..Also she has been noticing an increased amount of pop ups even when explorer is not running? I believe they are CID or CDI pop ups. Either way the comp is extremely slow compared to the past so much to the point where if you go to a web page the comp freezes for a good 2 minutes solid then all of a sudden comes back into order, it has become increasingly impossible to run multiple programs such as facebook and msn at the same time when in the past this was never an issue. Anywho I need some advice to help diagnose the issue as I said I am not very technically inclined unfortunately so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated Thanks ~Cheers Candy

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Re: slow computer
by Kees Bakker / April 12, 2008 5:42 AM PDT

Go into Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del), find the Processes tab and sort them on CPU% (descending, the largest on top). Then go to a web-sites and see what programs are using how much CPU during that 2 minutes it takes to load it.
Post your finding (and tell which websites it were and which browser she is using).


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In my opinion

In my opinion, if all of those files are compromised, it's pretty much game over and time to format.

I'd set about backing up everything you don't want to lose, and collecting all the installation CDs, then formatting the system. Just be sure to get SP2 installed BEFORE you ever connect to the Internet. So, either order one of the SP2 CDs Microsoft gives out, or download the full installer (200MB+) and burn it to a CD on another computer. You might even just consider downloading the SP3 pre-release.

Then make sure that the XP firewall is running if you're not behind a router or have some other firewall program running. After which your first order of business should be to install any updates that need installing. This may take two or three tries after installing some updates then rebooting to install some more. Keep doing this until no more high priority updates are listed.

Once you've done all that, here are some tips to help keep the system running smoothly in the future. You can also set about installing and updating your other apps at this time.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address

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by cwcrane / April 12, 2008 6:23 AM PDT
In reply to: In my opinion

Thanks much. I was pretty convinced the best option would be to reformat..Her son tends to go to gaming sites which I told her can sometimes be risky if it's not a reputable site. Thanks so much for the advice folks Happy Any other suggestions are still greatly appreciated Silly

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It is normal that AVG shows that files, the MBR or Boot record to have changed. These are done during normal maintainance, when you or windows updates files or have had to correct errors on the drive. The only time that you should worry is if they also show as infected.

To get AVG to quit showing them as changed, open the AVG Test Center, click the F3 key on your keyboard and tell it to confirm the changes. If it still shows something as changed after this.. delete the file named AVG7QT.DAT in the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\avg7\ folder and AVG will rebuild it the next time it is run.

The %ALLUSERSPROFILE% is different for each version of Windows. The following are the typical locations for XP and Win9x

XP - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\avg7
Win9x -C:\Windows\All Users\Application Data\avg7


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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / April 12, 2008 6:10 PM PDT

I knew AVG marked these as changed on each scan from my own use of AVG. After initial concerns when I first noticed this I settled down and accepted them as normal.

I didn't know that we could set AVG to stop displaying them though. That's good to know Marianna. Thank you.

That said, it may be in this case that a reformat and reinstall is not necessary, although JG's advice and recommendations remain very relevant.

Before going the reinstall route you could try the clean up advice I've suggested here;
The only change in that advice is about Spybot Search and Destroy. I no longer use it.

As Kees suggests you also need to check what is running on the system and at some stage you could check the System Configuration Utility by going to Start > Run, type in msconfig and clicking OK. In the Startup tab look through each startup item and deselect those that are not required to be loaded at STartup.


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