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Windows 7: How do you keep Win 7 from getting corrupted?

28 Jun 2011   #1
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 
How do you keep Win 7 from getting corrupted?

Right now, I am on my 5th install of Windows 7. Each time I do an Install, it runs great for a while, then all kinds of little glitches start happening, eventually the install becomes unworkable.

My system is an AMD 4400+ X2, 2GB of Ram, a Geforce 8400 GS which I run into an old Sun 21" CRT and extend to my 42" HDTV. I usually run only 32 bit OSes, sometimes I use Ubuntu Studio which is 64 bit. But I never have trouble with Ubuntu.

What happens is, the system starts out great, then little by little, all kinds of startup programs are added, and I can never tell what is part of Windows 7, even Windows 7 itself adds new startup programs and services. I use Malwarebytes Antimalware and an old version of NOD32, version 2.7, cos it is easier to program and they have not stopped updating it... Plus it uses much less resources than Mcafee which I got from Cox. The Malwarebytes uses quite a bit of memory, but it works very well, then I have Peerblock, That stuff keeps me safe.

The problems always start when I install iTunes, and I absolutely have to have that, because its how I keep my phone backed up. I get hundreds of instances of "conhost.exe" and once that starts, I have to reinstall Windows 7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2011   #2
MvdB

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

Well, it would seem that you have (or keep getting) the same virus. That is what conhost is. If you really do a full and correct clean install of W7 after formatting your harddrive, I'd exp3ect your system to start clean. I guess you probably install things you saved on disc or external harddrive... and that's probably how the virus comes back.

If my assumptions are correct, do a real clean install, starting with a full format of your harddisk. (I hope you've got backups of important stuff).
Then install W7 and immediately install the free version of avast!

Your NOD evidently did not catch this problem.

Then, as far as security goes, you'd have windows firewall on and AVAST! for anti virus and malware. Upon connecting or installing ANYTHING that you previously saved on disk, perform scans by avast first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #3
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Whenever you install a new program you normally get a choice of whether a shortcut goes in the Startup folder. Unless it's absolutely necessary, the less that goes in there, the better.

In terms of free anti-virus, have you considered Virus, Spyware & Malware Protection | Microsoft Security Essentials? I use it alongside Malwarebytes and touch wood, have not encountered any nasties so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I guess you gave the answer yourself. If it is iTunes that messes up your system, stay away from it and use another program to backup your phone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #5
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote:
The conhost.exe process fixes a fundamental problem in the way previous versions of Windows handled console windows, which broke drag & drop in Vista. Itís a completely legitimate executableóas long as itís running from the system32 folder, and is signed by Microsoft. Scanning your computer for viruses is never a bad idea, though.
Source

The fact that you're getting "hundreds of instances" of conhost.exe might be an indication that some form of malware is disguising itself by using this legitimate process name. Whenever I've done a clean install I follow a specific course of action. As soon as the operating system is installed I'll install my security product of choice. I use Microsoft Security Essentials but Avast is good, too. I'll update the security product with the latest definitions. The next thing I install is Malwarebytes free. It's an on-demand scanner that picks up a lot of stuff that traditional security products might miss.

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free download that removes viruses and malware from your computer

Once I've got my security products installed I'll install Windows 7 SP1. Then I'll install IE9. And then I'll go to Windows Update and get the rest of the recommended updates. I do not try to install them all at once. I find there are fewer issues if I install just five at a time. That way if there are any problems I can narrow down the offending update to the last five that were installed.

Once I've updated everything I'll start on my additional programs and apps. Make sure your computer is functioning normally after each program installation. In your case, I'd leave iTunes to the very last. And before even attempting to install it I'd make a system image and save it to an external hard drive. Then if iTunes hoses your machine again you'll be able to restore your machine to that system image and be up and running in 30 minutes or less.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #6
MvdB

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
Quote:
The conhost.exe process fixes a fundamental problem in the way previous versions of Windows handled console windows, which broke drag & drop in Vista. Itís a completely legitimate executableóas long as itís running from the system32 folder, and is signed by Microsoft. Scanning your computer for viruses is never a bad idea, though.
Source

The fact that you're getting "hundreds of instances" of conhost.exe might be an indication that some form of malware is disguising itself by using this legitimate process name. Whenever I've done a clean install I follow a specific course of action. As soon as the operating system is installed I'll install my security product of choice. I use Microsoft Security Essentials but Avast is good, too. I'll update the security product with the latest definitions. The next thing I install is Malwarebytes free. It's an on-demand scanner that picks up a lot of stuff that traditional security products might miss.

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free download that removes viruses and malware from your computer

Once I've got my security products installed I'll install Windows 7 SP1. Then I'll install IE9. And then I'll go to Windows Update and get the rest of the recommended updates. I do not try to install them all at once. I find there are fewer issues if I install just five at a time. That way if there are any problems I can narrow down the offending update to the last five that were installed.

Once I've updated everything I'll start on my additional programs and apps. Make sure your computer is functioning normally after each program installation. In your case, I'd leave iTunes to the very last. And before even attempting to install it I'd make a system image and save it to an external hard drive. Then if iTunes hoses your machine again you'll be able to restore your machine to that system image and be up and running in 30 minutes or less.

You're totally right, I was a bit too blunt stating it was a virus. It shouldn't be, however, in this case with many multiple instances and his description, it probably is...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #7
XweAponX

Windows 7 (My Idea)
 
 

Gagh! I totally forgot about this post. Well, I'd like everyone to know, it WAS Itunes, that was part of it. Now, I thought about using MSE, but after seeing that once you get it in, it BLOCKS all other Antivirus proggies, it's for the trash. And Avast never got rid of anything.

Well, I had a number or ROOTKITS, and the Conhost problem was a specific version of iTunes - I had to update to iTunes 10.5.2 to get my iCloud stuff installed. Basically, I had the TDSS Rootkit, and I had some others... But I can't pull up the record right now. I FINALLY Upgraded to ESET NOD32 Antrivurus version 5... Which is WHOLLY Automatic once you set your exclusions and exceptions, and I still use Malwarebytes. So, now, when iTunes starts,m it never makes any mroe than 3 instances of Conhost.

Thanx for the answers, I guess we'll mark this one as SOLVED!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do you keep Win 7 from getting corrupted?




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