Solved My Windows 10 system seems infested with something odd

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Rusty Rusty

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Most things are still working as expected.
I am reluctant to utilize the "Fresh start" capability touted by Windows Security because it uninstalls a lot of apps.
Windows Security reports a problem of "apps crashing or hanging". Also it reports "temporay internet files location has changed". Also it reports there as some problem with BITs Service (and it told me what that stands for under Details).
I pressed the button to shutdown (I guess) my system and later restarted (I guess) it. 'Not sure that is a FULL reboot though.

BUT HERE IS THE PRIMARY SYMPTOM: When I use my Windows key to open the primary menu, or try to type in Cortana field, the primary big fancy menu pane opens as expected at first but after a second or two the entire thing greys out slightly like it has become "disabled".I mean it is still perfectly readable but absolutely nothing can be launched, not settings not power functions not Cortana. As I wait, it occasionally flickers back to full-lit for a split second or so but mostly it is greyed out and even if I catch it while it is lit, like when first opens it is lit for a full 2 s to 3 seconds or so, even then I cannot get a single thing to launch.

Does any of this sound familiar plz?? But the software placed on my Desktop can all seemingly be launched fine and functional as well as the sodtwares in my quick-start bar below.

I could REALLY use some advice right about now. While I wait I will try one or two more pushbutton restarts. THANK YOU!!!


My browser (Chrome) is obviously working. My email is working. Some games I have on my Desktop work fine. Arggh!


I can get to my entire file structure by the quick-launch file system link. I can launch ALL my softwares by locating them in Program Files folder and double clicking them. Arggh!

And that main Start menu pane refuses to scroll when it is greyed out, or maybe all the time since it is nearly continually greyed out. Arggh!
Minor point I am sure but yes the Start Menu does scroll ok until it greys out within a couple seconds; but I am unable to launch anything or utilize the Start menu pane in any way whatsoever. Arggh!

Minor point I am sure but yes a pgm will launch from the Start Menu pane if I click on it before it greys out and seemingly only if it is pinned onto the spread-out area of the pane. If a pgm is just in the ordinary list it seems unable to launch. I am still checking (frantically). Please bear with me; my panic and all. Please bear with me.


Minor point I am sure but yes a pgm in the ordinary Start menu list can be launched by clicking on it if I get to it fast enough before the whole darn thing goes grey; though as I stated it periodically flickers lit again every so often but only for tiny time slots. Even fully lit I swear the Cortana and left side functions of Power, Settings and the like will NOT launch even if I get to it quickly when lit up.

Very odd! Windows Security now indicates no problems!: green check mark on every category, though the main Start menu thing is still afoul and I have NOT rebooted yet. Arggh.

I used my computer's physical button to reboot again just now -- not sure that is how to accomplish a FULL restart, since W10 has so many tricky ins and outs. And that Start Menu syndrome is still afoul as before. It is interesting to note that I can right-click the Windows Start symbol lower left and it functions perfectly as expected with the power-user's menu (call it that I guess) coming up and 100% functional. You know what I mean, it can take you right to Device Mgr for example. Hey this situation is a real bugaboo; I'd love to hear some suggestion(s).

BTW: When the Start Menu is opened it takes approximately 4 to 5 seconds before it grays out.Can anyone tell me, if I choose the "Fresh Start" option, is there a way I can know precisely which apps Windows will uninstall and which it will leave? Thank you.
It might be worth noting that on that Start Menu pane I have only one "live tile" and that is showing weather forecast info. It contains to go through its "live" machinations even when the menu pane grays out.
As I implied earlier, there is no real hard evidence that anything malicious is at work on my system. Programs all seem to function correctly and my file system seems unmolested. I just can't use Start Menu or Cortana or go to Settings or Power and those other avenues to the left of Start menu listed programs.

Now I know I've done a full reboot because I pulled the AC cord. The Start Menu fiasco persists. I ran a Speccy and it is here http://speccy.piriform.com/results/fTKm5G3eIVxEEnIczuQklwk but I doubt that will give any great new insight. But hey, maybe.


I do solicit help and responses to this thread but I may hit the hay anytime soon and return to this forum on the morrow. I am kind of encouraged that maybe there is nothing nefarious at work after all.

I have initiated a full scan, as opposed to a quick scan, of my system for viruses and like threats using the Windows-10 Security system (called Windows Defender) with updated definitions. That will take some time. We'll see if that yields anything pertinent.
 
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Malnutrition

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Jul 22, 2016
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Download Malwarebytes Support Tool


Once the file is downloaded, open your Downloads folder/location of the downloaded file
Double-click mb-support-1.4.0.615.exe to run the report
You may be prompted by User Account Control (UAC) to allow changes to be made to your computer. Click Yes to consent.

Place a checkmark next to Accept License Agreement and click Next
You will be presented with a page stating, "Get Started!"


Do NOT use the button “Start repair” !
Click the Advanced tab on the left column

Click the Gather Logs button

A progress bar will appear and the program will proceed with getting logs from your computer

Upon completion, click a file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to your Desktop. Click OK
Please attach the ZIP file in your next reply.
 

Rusty Rusty

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Ok I did what you suggested Malnutrition but I am afraid I screwed up because I should have canceled that Windows Defender scan before doing malwareBytes. Defender identified threats deemed "severe" and I may have chosen to "quarantine" those. It was not until a few moments afterward that I looked at the Details of the 3 threats found (all 3 same type) and saw that they were within MalwareBytes temp folder. So anyway, the MWB Zip file was created without error message from MWB and it is attached herewith. Its value might be compromised; I hope not, but if so I will re-perform that for you upon request.
 

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Rusty Rusty

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Insignificant likely but I thought the W10 Defender scan had aborted or something but then just a moment ago it popped up and notified me no "current threats" were found after scanning a tad more than a million files. Maybe those 3 threats alerted to me were from the underlying demon process of Defender and not from that full scan that was in progress... yeah, that is likely the case.
 

Malnutrition

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Seems the tool did not complete. Can you just run it after Windows Defender has completed the scan and you perform a reboot of your machine.
 

Rusty Rusty

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Can you just run it after Windows Defender has completed the scan and you perform a reboot of your machine.
Sure, I will do so now.


I am beginning to wildly speculate that maybe Microsoft messed up on a Windows update applied in the last 24 hours behind the scenes and I am one of the earliest victims; as there seems to truly be no malicious goings on here, just a quirky malfunction of the Start Menu system. 'Dunno!
 
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Malnutrition

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I'll be able to tell you if there is malware on your machine, although other scans may be required. :)
 

Rusty Rusty

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Ok I rebooted, deleted the old Zip file, ran MWB Gather Logs function and Defender issued no balks this time and the resultant file is more than twice the size as before and here it is. MANY EARNEST THANKS!


I have detected a pattern to the odd Start menu behavior. When you hit the start key the menu opens up looking good; after about 4 seconds it grays out; after about 4 more it flickers on ever so momentarily (eg. a 60th of a second); after 4 more secs another flicker; after 4 more secs another flicker (3 total); then the sequence ends and it remains grayed out interminably.
 

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Rusty Rusty

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BTW I've enabled the forum's push notifications upon its incessant urging though I am unclear as to the purpose but not worried, don't bother enlightening me and yes I think I know how I could revert that if I ever desire so.
 

Malnutrition

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Let's run a couple basic malware/adware scans while i look over your logs.

Adware Cleaner Scan.

Please download AdwCleaner by Xplode onto your desktop.

  • Close all open programs and internet browsers.
  • Right Click on adwcleaner.exe and run as admin to run the tool.
  • Click on Scan button.
  • When the scan has finished click on Clean button.
  • Your computer will be rebooted automatically. A text file will open after the restart.
  • Please post the contents of that logfile with your next reply.
  • You can find the logfile at C:\AdwCleaner[S1].txt as well.

===============================================================================


Adware Removal Tool Scan.



Download Adware removal tool to your desktop, right click the icon and select Run as Administrator.











Hit Ok.











Hit next make sure to leave all items checked, for removal.











The Program will close all open programs to complete the removal, so save any work and hit OK. Then hit OK after the removal process is complete, thenOK again to finish up. Post log generated by tool.

=================================================================================================


Rogue Killer Scan.

Download RogueKiller -- (Portable) -- from one of the following links and save it to your Desktop:

Link 1
Link 2




  • Close all other the running programs
  • Disable ALL Antivirus -- Antimalware -- Applications.
  • Right Click Rogue Killer and Run as Administrator.
  • Click the Start Scan button.
  • Allow the scan to run -- it can take ten minutes or more.
  • Once the scan is complete check All items for removal.





  • After All items are checked then press Remove Selected.
  • Wait until the Status box shows Deleting Finished.
  • Click on open report -- then open txt
  • Copy the content of the report and paste it here in your next reply.
 

Malnutrition

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Ok, as soon as all three of those logs are posted we can move forward.
 

Rusty Rusty

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Ok, I've opted to do these three tasks in succession and post between runs. That way you know that I am hard at work. I've downloaded all 3 pgms. I just ran Adwcleaner and it created two text logs. They are attached herewith. Now I will proceed with next tool.
 

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Malnutrition

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Ok, once you have completed those three scan, I want to use a tool that digs a bit deeper than FRST.

Quick Diag Scan.


Download Quick Diag to your desktop.
Very Important!! -- Make sure program is on your desktop.
Disable your Antivirus/Antispyware prior to scanning.
Right Click Run as Administrator.
Select the Quick Scan.







Post the log that is generated in your next post.

You should attach this file as it is rather large, you can click on attach files when you reply.
 

Malnutrition

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I've got work early in the morning, so I will look at this for you tomorrow. :)
 

Rusty Rusty

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Sure, of course, this can wait. I am really doubting that its basis is something malicious; I deeply appreciate your efforts and will consider another donation.
Alright, that 2nd tool took very long scanning more than a million entities, found 18 objects and cleaned them and I am attaching that log now before moving on. I hope these tools don't mess up my wife's use of "MyPoints" or she will be dearly disappointed.
 

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Rusty Rusty

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I opted to do just the quick scan with RogueKiller as I think malware is not my problem and the other tools have already done so much (including a FULL scan by Windows Defender). RogueKiller found nothing and so I am not posting any log for it. Of course if you insist, tomorrow, I could still do the long RogueKiller scan. Now on to Quick Diag Scan.
 

Rusty Rusty

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I ran Quick Diag. Its progress bar showed about 80% done when it chashed with a system "error allocating memory". It seems that happened to me once before if recollection serves. So I tried a second time and it did exactly the same thing at exactly the same point in its progress, leaving a 181kb log file. I am attaching that, hoping it is of some value.

So that concludes the tool runs for now, I am turning my Windows Defender realtime protection back on and logging back in to my Google Chrome account. I sure hope I can still access my bank accounts readily, ad-free weather forecast service subscription. I hope my wife's use of MyPoints is still functional and all that good everyday stuff.

And lo, the problem with the Start Menu is now much better!! ..but I don't think it is entirely cured. I will reboot and see. It no longer grays out disabling everything! But it is still totally nonfunctional as to using Cortana or the several launch items to the left: Power, Settings, Documents and Pictures.

I feel quite sleepy now, goodnite.
 

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Rusty Rusty

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Thank you for moving this thread to a more appropriate sub-forum.
Recapping: the Start menu problem is greatly alleviated now, as I don't see it dimming out and going into that totally disabled/unresponsive/non-scrolling state. However the disablement of Cortana and those few functions to the left of the programs list (Power, Settings, Pictures, Documents, User) continues. So I cannot put the machine to sleep I guess, as the only means I have is the physical power button on the CPU box. Oh I'm sure that another means is possible but I don't know it. And the only means I have to navigate into Settings is to right-click empty Desktop and select Display settings and thence proceed to Settings home et al. And I have no known means to log in as a different user but that is okay since this is a home system for the wife and I and we don't bother defining separate users. Again, I'm sure there would be an alternate avenue but since I never use that feature I am unfamiliar. I know how to get to Documents without the Start menu.

Still, I wish this bugaboo would alleviate. Looks pretty hopeless, like it's something deeply embedded. You know, it just now occurred to me that I would have no way to allow this PC to update Windows-10, without the Power functions button working from the Start menu area. Can someone kindly advise me how I could affect a Restart and/or a Restart with updating (when updates are available). Maybe Microsoft is on to this quirky bug that has assailed me and maybe a fix is in the pipeline but alas I have no way to allow its installation.
 

Malnutrition

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Alright, I need a full log from your machine, so lets do this.
Download Process Close and unzip it to your desktop.
Right Click Run As administrator.
Click on the search button.
Then: Double click on users folder.
Then select ken&vicki folder.
Double click on desktop.
There you will find Quick Diag.
Right click on it and run as adminstrator.
Choose the quick scan.
Post the log here.

This should allow you to run the full scan from quick diag.
 

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