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Windows 7: Two explorer.exe, One taking all of my RAM's Memory

29 Jan 2015   #131
JustPassingBy23

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I've been have the same problem, mines slightly different though, I have the computer in sleep mode right now just so I could research what the problem and how to fix it and it lead me here. From reading over the thread and other ones I can skip over how I think I came to get it in detail, put short I was browsing websites and when I closed a popup ad my problems started, I've yet to act on any info in the thread because my problem like I said is slightly different.

I get the second explorer.exe popping up, constantly increasing the amount of RAM its using until I kill it manually, it stays down for a few minutes, unless I have internet explorer open, in which case it automatically just comes back, and always loads ctfloader (ctfmon.exe) with it, if I kill the actual explorer.exe it goes with it, and I can operate the computer as normal as it wont restart until I run explorer.exe.

I tried doing windows updates and updating other software before I put the computer into sleep mode but here's the part where things get slightly different, my AV Avast constantly detects and stops connections to various urls, categorizing them as malware (Thankfully I always set antivirus's to max sensitivity and to scan stuff even if it causes slow down), it stops them so that's great, the problem there are probably 13-15 connections every minute its stopping, so my desktop gets bombarded with notices whenever explorer.exe is running, and with avasts audio queues, it causes the worrier in you just to kill explorer.exe to stop it.

So this is where I run into my problem, I don't want to run explorer.exe out of worries it might backdoor in something worse since my situation is a little different from everybody else it seems, but at the same time in order to try anything, I really need explorer.exe. I was thinking of doing a boot time scan, but that cache 22 of being worried something worse might happen if I give whatever this is a chance at my computer on shutdown/startup.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jan 2015   #132
Ged325

Windows 7 Ultimate N
 
 

@JustPassing:

I would recommend you go into the C:\ProgramData and see if you see any GUID folders that were recently modified:

Just so people know, a GUID is a string which has the following HEX FORMAT:

3F2504E0-4F89-11D3-9A0C-0305E82C3301 (note your numbers may appear differently).

If you DO see a GUID folder, the 2nd explorer is most likely coming from this directory. I used the unlocker program to delete the folder forcefully, other's have used the UVK.

It's also been noted that if you don't have an internet connection the 2nd explorer stays dormant. So my suggestion would be to download utilities from a clean machine, disconnect the computer from the network, run your explorer, and then attempt the clean off of the thumb drive.

After you reboot, the 2nd explorer shouldn't come back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2015   #133
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Avoid Explorer?

I don't see why you won't allow explorer to run but in addition to the above post you can download this:

https://explorerplusplus.com/download

It's a portable alternative to windows explorer and if you're worried you can use it to check the suspect folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jan 2015   #134
JustPassingBy23

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I guess I wasn't the most clear, the reason for "avoiding" explorer was listed at the bottom of the second paragraph. "if I kill the actual explorer.exe it goes with it, and I can operate the computer as normal as it wont restart until I run explorer.exe."

I realise that I should stop getting the constant alerts if I just pull the ethernet cable from the tower, making the "Oh my god is sounds like its about to blow up" fear go away, and from there try to so far tested and trusted solutions, I'm just reading as much as I can on this "subject", being explorer.exe related, that's a pretty crucial part of the OS and not just some program I can toss away willy nilly, so I'm just siding on the air of caution before I go off doing anything, best safe than sorry.

Oh and thanks for the explorerplusplus download, that should be really handy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2015   #135
randomusername

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

I had a basically frozen laptop for the last 2 days. Found the explorer.exe duplicate in Task manager consuming 100% RAM. Commenced internet search which led me here.

Solution as per cpubus: Locate and delete GUID folder under C:\programdata (used UVK delete utility).

Laptop running normally.

Note the rogue explorer.exe was cycling up and down - so laptop was usable for brief spurts - enough to download and run the software tools (eg UVK)

Also, the laptop was just as poorly performing when disconnected from internet - unlike as reported by others in this thread that the problem only surfaced when connected.

I'm non-techie but I assume the file doing the damage on my machine was thawbrkr.dll (created 29/1/15 7.25am, which corresponds to the time the problem started). Can't think of anything out of the ordinary I did around that time or just before. It's a work machine running only basic apps.

Thanks for help everyone!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Two explorer.exe, One taking all of my RAM's Memory




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