I have a Windows XP System here

By HAL 9000 Moderator ·
That is performing strangely. It shows as Clean when scanned with AVG, Malware Bytes, Spy Bot and F Secure but neither Outlook or Outlook Express will open and run. I also am unable to change the sound for just the Recycle Bin though I can change all of the rest of the sounds.

This started as a supposed issue with Outlook Express the Mail Client that this user uses which would open and then sit there not responding after receiving the same E-Mail from 2 people in his contacts List.

The system is fully updated with SP3 and is fully patched. The above mentioned scanners appear to work in both Normal & Safe Modes but I am unable to open Outlook Express now but when this NB first came in I could open Outlook Express but I couldn't delete the offending E-Mail from either source.

Since that time the Battery went flat while the owner was showing me his problem and upon the restart with the Mains Adapter in use I was unable to open Outlook Express without it going to the Not Responding Message in Task Manager for at the very least the time involved to scan the system with AVG. The Outlook Express Service is running at 50% of the CPU usage during that time and does the same thing in Safe Mode without Networking.

As he requires E-Mails in his In Box I thought about opening Outlook Importing the e-mail in and seeing if I could work that way around the issue.

It didn't work any better than things did with Express and from his description I think he has a Mass Mailing Worm or some similar infection but so far I have been unable to find any sign of Infection, let alone some sort of cure for this behavior.

This is a new NB less than 3 months old running on a Benq R58 Chassis and there are no Hardware Issues showing as possible causes here though I honestly didn't think there would be.

So I guess anyone got any ideas on what I could use to scan this with or any other possible Solution?

Ideally not deleting the In Box from the system would be my first choice if possible. I don't think it's a great Idea to upset a Guy that may stand over me with a Scalpel if possible that's all.

Oh did I mention that he wants this urgently? :^0

Edited to add Otherwise the system seems to be working correctly and there is no abnormal Outgoing Traffic showing. As this person uses a Mobile Broadband Internet Connection it always isn't starting on line but I have it wired into a Linux Gateway on a Separate LAN and ISP Connection and there doesn't appear anything strange happening though of course that's now.

I don't know what it was doing previously and both people who he received this message from are not reporting any problems with their computers.


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All Answers

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Give ComboFix a go

by .Martin. In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...

start off with some stupid suggestion, tried a system restore? or repair install? (had to ask )

otherwise, ComboFix has always been my last resort option for finding viruses/malware ( http://tinyurl.com/2yct9u ) it has found and fixed most of my problems, and problems it hasn't been able to fix, it tells you in the log

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I have a shotgun approach to problems.

by Ron K. In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...

Aim in the general area and hope something hits the target.<br>
What stands out to me is Outlook and Outlook Express. I know you have Linux boxes available. I'd try one of those setup to receive his email and a large file size.<br>
Maybe that's stupid but it won't take just a few minutes to try.<br>
I'd probably try taking the HD out and putting it in a caddy to scan with malware/AV scanners too.<br>
Have you scanned using the sfc/scannow option in case a file somehow got deleted? <br>
Shotgun approach. :)

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Couple Of Ideas

by TheChas In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...

The first thing I would try would be to move the DBX files to a different folder and even back them up onto a USB or optical disk.

Then, see if OE will open with no messages. The best thing is that even if OE still does not open, no mail has been lost.

Have you tried a repair install of OE? Same for Office.

Might not hurt to make an XP SP3 slipstream disk and run system file checker for that matter.

You might also consider removing OE and installing Thunderbird or Windows Mail. Predominately for better security support. From either, you can import those previously backed up DBX files.

Anyhow, that is where I would start.


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My shot in the dark ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...

If the CPU is scrabbling about, around the 50% mark - have you considered (albeit the system is only 3 months old) that the HDD might just have a bad sector and Outlook just happens to be sitting on it?

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With O'erM on this one

by shasca In reply to My shot in the dark ...

Since I'm late checking in on this ? It would be time well spent to get the Hd's. Manufactures scan tool and run it.

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Another, possibly unhelpful, thought.

by seanferd In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...

Perhaps there <i>was</i> an infection, which was removed. I've seen systems for which there was no fix due to whatever the malware had changed, but the remaining odd behaviors were no big problem. Have you had a look in quarantine for the anti-malware apps which were installed at the time you received the NB?

Any chance uninstalling & reinstalling the affected apps would help?

Does the NB have a machine test available in BIOS?

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Could be that there is

by IC-IT In reply to I have a Windows XP Syste ...
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That's exactly what's happened here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Could be that there is

Seems that the In Box. DBX File is corrupted and currently there are no Editors that can open it.

hence they Hang attempting to open the file using 50% of the CPU and slowly driving me nuts.

Not sure what's happened here if it's just a simple case of Data Corruption or if the AV product has spit the dummy and attacked the last received e-mail.

But no matter what at the moment it looks as if I'll be deleting that folder and working from there. No backup's or stored Mail anywhere else because I'm told that Windows Works. :^0


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by seanferd In reply to That's exactly what's hap ...

Sure it works. That's why you're fixing it.

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I see several commercial programs for .dbx recovery.

by Ron K. In reply to That's exactly what's hap ...

Are you talking about any of those not working?

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