remove virus causing explorer.exe to use 100% CPU

My explorer.exe keeps multiplying and using 100% of my CPU. I used malwarebytes in safe mode and got rid of everything it found. I used hijackthis and removed the bad studd. I used Kaspersky rescue10, booting up from my CD and cleaned my hard drive from 1 virus. I used AVG antivirus which told me my drive was clean. Yet something is causing my explorer.exe file to go crazy. Help, anyone.....
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  1. In safe mode, try going to the Command Prompt as administrator and run system file check > at the command prompt type SFC /SCANNOW and hit enter, if will check the Windows files and replace any that are corrupt or changed from what they should be
  2. Tradesman1 said:
    In safe mode, try going to the Command Prompt as administrator and run system file check > at the command prompt type SFC /SCANNOW and hit enter, if will check the Windows files and replace any that are corrupt or changed from what they should be


    I have now had 2 computers with the same issue at work. action taken were a virus scan in safe mode. The computers were in fact infected and then cleaned as well as all temp files other than what windows advises to skip. Upon reboot, the explorer.exe will have multiple instances running and eating up close to 100 of the cpu, and at times using more than 2gb of ram. If took the computers off the network,(aka no internet) and rebooted the issue wouldn't happen. I might have 2 explorer.exe running with no more than 2 percent cpu usage. If I put it back on the network and internet and rebooted, boom, within minutes 4 or more explorer.exe would be running in the task manager, and cpu and memory usage was through the roof. I am still searching for a solution or fix.
  3. Might be malware, try going into safemode and run MalWareBytes - they have a free version
  4. Done, twice in fact. The first cleaned out infected files, and the second confirmed that it was now clean. I found this link helpful. http://netwanlan.com/2012/03/27/explorer-exe-corrupted-or-infected/ I actually found a iexplorer.exe regestry key where it shouldn't have been. but this issue is still ongoing.
  5. Darkhorse, I had the same exact problem which took me hours to finally find the solution. Try running kaspersky anti virus, even just the trial version. It should take care of the problem. I tried maybe 4-5 different anti-virus programs and none of them worked except kaspersky
  6. Is your Windows up-to-date?
    Check your Windows Startup in msconfig or use CCleaner.

    Check your registry, Start > Run and type regedit and navigate to the following hive
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler

    Also, try others virus/adware removal tools:
    Adware-Removal-Tool 3.8 http://www.techsupportall.com/tools/
    AdwCleaner, Rkill, TDSSKiller
    HitmanPro
    spybot-2.2
    AVAST
    SUPERAntiSpyware
  7. If simply corrupt, might run system file check,, go to the command prompt as administrator, and run the command SFC /SCANNOW
  8. jpattdc said:
    My explorer.exe keeps multiplying and using 100% of my CPU. I used malwarebytes in safe mode and got rid of everything it found. I used hijackthis and removed the bad studd. I used Kaspersky rescue10, booting up from my CD and cleaned my hard drive from 1 virus. I used AVG antivirus which told me my drive was clean. Yet something is causing my explorer.exe file to go crazy. Help, anyone.....


    Here's how you fix it....i'd get over 50 explorer.exe's rear their ugly heads on occasion....and my c.p.u would be at 100%..it sounded like my computer was going to blow up!!out of frustration i went to regedit and typed in the 'find' search box found in the 'edit' drop down menu,and started deleted whichever one popped up and BAM!! AFTER ABOUT THE 6TH SEARCH the c.p.u went to 99% to the good and my once, slow computer,(a dell inspriron 530 desktop), runs as efficient as can be. I know what someone is going to say.."That i had a virus"..nope i ran the bought and paid for version of malwarebytes, then deleted it and ran windows defender and nothing came up on either.It did take a whileto delete the explorers because i had to open each entry and change permissions for every sub-entry,(and i went ahead even after things were better and deleted every instance of explorer.exe and iexplore.exe,i also typed both in the find search box without the ".exe" to make sure everything with the explorer name got deleted.sure they say its risky messing with your regeditor ut sometimes a little gamble has a big payoff!!!...DANGER-RUSS
  9. jpattdc said:
    i went to regedit and typed in the 'find' search box found in the 'edit' drop down menu,and started deleted whichever one popped up and BAM!!


    What did you search for? I have this happening on a workstation now, and am desparate to fix this issue. I plan to run Kaspersky (5th virus scan at this point) to see if that does anything.
  10. DANGERRUSS said:
    jpattdc said:
    i went to regedit and typed in the 'find' search box found in the 'edit' drop down menu,and started deleted whichever one popped up and BAM!!


    What did you search for? I have this happening on a workstation now, and am desparate to fix this issue. I plan to run Kaspersky (5th virus scan at this point) to see if that does anything.

    I went into my reg edit and typed in the "find" search box (located on e edit drop dowm menu),explorer.exe and deleted each entry as they were found.After the sixth entry that I deleted bam,just like that system idle in task manger ran at 99 to 97%....but just 30 minutes ago all the sudden I couldn't open any program on chrome or ie ran malwarebytes and sure enough it quarentined a Trojan in explorer.exe....I had it deleted from my computer and am now doing a start up repair from the f-8 key after booting...DANGER-RUSS
    .
  11. DANGERRUSS said:
    jpattdc said:
    i went to regedit and typed in the 'find' search box found in the 'edit' drop down menu,and started deleted whichever one popped up and BAM!!


    What did you search for? I have this happening on a workstation now, and am desparate to fix this issue. I plan to run Kaspersky (5th virus scan at this point) to see if that does anything.

    I went into my reg edit and typed in the "find" search box (located on e edit drop dowm menu),explorer.exe and deleted each entry as they were found.After the sixth entry that I deleted bam,just like that system idle in task manger ran at 99 to 97%....but just 30 minutes ago all the sudden I couldn't open any program on chrome or ie ran malwarebytes and sure enough it quarentined a Trojan in explorer.exe....I had it deleted from my computer and am now doing a start up repair from the f-8 key after booting...DANGER-RUSS
    .
  12. I have the same issue, I did the malwarebytes fix in safemode and it did not fix the problem. This is most definitely a virus. I know this because I moved two image files into drop box and within minutes my other laptop jumped to 100% memory use also.
  13. Run TDSSKiller , it will remove malware that blocks other anti-malware softwares.Then Reboot your computer. This worked for me.
  14. samtt said:
    Run TDSSKiller , it will remove malware that blocks other anti-malware softwares.Then Reboot your computer. This worked for me.

    This worked for me, thanks Samtt. TDSSkiller was a quick final solution. I had tried many other options, scans, virus detections including AVG and Malware Bytes. My wife's computer was running 5+ iexplorer.exe (then explorer.exe when I deleted all ie files/folders) tasks and using as much memory and cpu as available. But only when connected to the internet.

    It seems like this may not be the one solution for everyone, as various forums and threads seemed to have similar symptoms with different solutions.
  15. joeldb said:
    samtt said:
    Run TDSSKiller , it will remove malware that blocks other anti-malware softwares.Then Reboot your computer. This worked for me.

    This worked for me, thanks Samtt. TDSSkiller was a quick final solution. I had tried many other options, scans, virus detections including AVG and Malware Bytes. My wife's computer was running 5+ iexplorer.exe (then explorer.exe when I deleted all ie files/folders) tasks and using as much memory and cpu as available. But only when connected to the internet.

    It seems like this may not be the one solution for everyone, as various forums and threads seemed to have similar symptoms with different solutions.


    Thank you. I had to try it 5 times, because it kept crashing, but eventually TDSSkiller found the virus.
  16. TDSS Killer worked for me as well. Tried many many different virus scanners offline and regular that did not find and kill it. The infection turned out to be Rootkit.Boot.Cidox.b
  17. super7g said:
    Darkhorse, I had the same exact problem which took me hours to finally find the solution. Try running kaspersky anti virus, even just the trial version. It should take care of the problem. I tried maybe 4-5 different anti-virus programs and none of them worked except kaspersky


    Sorry I haven't gotten back in a while, but this solution was spot on. It did find one more thing that the other scans missed or didn't get.. TDsskiller worked.
  18. Tdsskiller worked for me! Thanks guys!
  19. Another solution:

    The copy of explorer.exe in the windows directory is corrupt. Get a good copy from a clean machine and put it on a floppy or cd. Go into the windows repair console during bootup and delete the corrupt copy on the hard drive. Copy the clean file to the windows directory and you should be good.
    I had the same problem on this machine and finally fixed today using the above solution.

    Good luck
  20. Norton Power Eraser is what helped solve my particular issue.

    This article helped point me in the correct direction - http://www.solutionary.com/resource-center/blog/2012/12/hunting-malware-with-memory-analysis/

    After searching on Shylock Trojan an article pointed me to Norton Power Eraser https://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.aspx?lcid=1033 or Microsoft Security Scanner http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

    After running Norton Power Ereaser it found p2pcollab.dll to be malware and not in the correct location. I found it to not be in the correct loction upon doing searches for the file location on a known good machine and google.


    I did have to uncheck a bunch of the files above that were known "good" files. They were apart of a business program. I did this by clicking on each name under "risk" and reviewing the file location and what it thought the threat was. I left the AVG ones to remove as they were in the temp location and didn't seem to be doing any harm. Unpon the removal it stated that it failed to remove the p2pcollab.dll but upon inspecting further it simply failed to remove a couple of entries after the reboot.
  21. Just wanted to pass my experience along. I got hit with this same problem. A second copy of explorer.exe would start up soon after boot up. It would then multiply until it consumed all of my RAM. I tried my anitvirus programs, AVG, and ran Malware with no luck. Downloaded Kaspersky TDSSkiller and it found nothing. However Norton Power Eraser found the problem and fixed it on the first pass. Thanks to the guy who posted this above.
  22. Darkhorse0428 said:
    Tradesman1 said:
    In safe mode, try going to the Command Prompt as administrator and run system file check > at the command prompt type SFC /SCANNOW and hit enter, if will check the Windows files and replace any that are corrupt or changed from what they should be


    I have now had 2 computers with the same issue at work. action taken were a virus scan in safe mode. The computers were in fact infected and then cleaned as well as all temp files other than what windows advises to skip. Upon reboot, the explorer.exe will have multiple instances running and eating up close to 100 of the cpu, and at times using more than 2gb of ram. If took the computers off the network,(aka no internet) and rebooted the issue wouldn't happen. I might have 2 explorer.exe running with no more than 2 percent cpu usage. If I put it back on the network and internet and rebooted, boom, within minutes 4 or more explorer.exe would be running in the task manager, and cpu and memory usage was through the roof. I am still searching for a solution or fix.


    As a last resort, I ran combofix killed C:\programData\ntuser.pol and that may have been the piece not detected by some of the other tools.
    Good Luck
  23. Combofix is excellent in removing rootkits. I used it a couple of times years ago and it worked like a charm! I guess there is more than one type of exploit that targets the explorer.exe process. I had this problem earlier this month. In my case the pc I was trying to fix was creating at least one more explorer.exe which ate up all available memory pretty quickly and started displaying large ads covering the desktop. (It would create even more explorer.exe sometimes) It basically made the whole desktop background a giant ad display, like webpages with a bunch of "useful" links and banner ads changing every few seconds. Sometimes the background would turn just white for a while before the ads showed up. The computer became very slow and unusable. It was possible to close the explorer.exe with task manager but it kept returning within seconds if I didn't end the legitimate explorer.exe as well, which makes it hard to download software to fix the problem, but it's possible to restart "explorer.exe" from the task manager file, new task run menu. It was a pain though. I was fixing it remotely which made it more annoying too.

    I was sure it must be a rootkit since system restore didn't solve the problem. Malwarebytes, the gold standard in malware removal came up with nothing. I think this rootkit can hide for a while before it starts going crazy with the ad displays. The computer was infected a month earlier and I thought I had cleaned it using system restore and Malwarebytes.

    So after reading the above posts I decided to try Kaspersky TDSSKiller.exe Rootkit remover. I managed to run it and was delighted when it found a BOOT SECTOR virus "Rootkit.Boot.Cidox.b"! It removed it with no problem, and the problem was solved. No wonder no standard tools find anything, since this type of exploit writes itself onto the HD's boot sector, and that's not a file that can be scanned. In fact, I think that even re-installing windows without rewriting the boot sector, would leave this exploit intact.
  24. I had the same problem at my computer with Windows 7. I tried the solution you suggest

    These links help me to configue settings. http://windows7.iyogi.com/support/windows-7-high-cpu-usage.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQVjX5tso1Q&noredirect=1
  25. I have always refused to reply to these discussions unless I had a solution (i.e., don't reply unless you have solved it, don't answer a question with more questions). I have solved it - at least on my system.

    malwarebytes found dozens of threats (minor and major) on my system that were not detected by Norton 360 or Norton Power Eraser. And now it continues to protect my system from certain malware when Norton does not. My system is also WAY faster than ever before.

    I am impressed with malwarebytes.
  26. jasn009, as I said in my post, Malwarebytes is great, "the gold standard" for removing mal/spyware. Norton is known to be highly ineffective against anything. All it has going for it is the brand name which has been around for so long. However, Malwarebytes doesn't detect everything, and doesn't claim to be a rootkit remover. In this case Kaspersky's TDSSKiller.exe (a free tool) removed the "bootkit." High CPU usage doesn't always mean a virus, sometimes it's a crashed process, or something running that is unexpected or shouldn't be.
  27. samtt said:
    Run TDSSKiller , it will remove malware that blocks other anti-malware softwares.Then Reboot your computer. This worked for me.


    Thanks samtt; TDSskiller worked a treat, I have been sitting watching task manager while online waiting for he CPU % to explode but it's fine. PHEW a PC I cn now use; again thanks.
  28. super7g said:
    Darkhorse, I had the same exact problem which took me hours to finally find the solution. Try running kaspersky anti virus, even just the trial version. It should take care of the problem. I tried maybe 4-5 different anti-virus programs and none of them worked except kaspersky



    I had a similar problem, high CPU and memory %'s, causing my computer to be slow and unresponsive. The free trial of Kaspersy's anti-virus program works like a charm. Thanks for the tip, HP was telling me I needed to do a system recovery.
  29. super7g said:
    Darkhorse, I had the same exact problem which took me hours to finally find the solution. Try running kaspersky anti virus, even just the trial version. It should take care of the problem. I tried maybe 4-5 different anti-virus programs and none of them worked except kaspersky



    I had a similar problem, high CPU and memory %'s, causing my computer to be slow and unresponsive. The free trial of Kaspersy's anti-virus program works like a charm. Thanks for the tip, HP was telling me I needed to do a system recovery.

    Sad note to the end of the story (2 weeks later). Had a virus attack my computer and start deleting programs. I was forced to do a system recovery. Wish I had used the time Kaspersky's bought me to save my documents.
  30. I had the same issue with my computer, i had downloaded some video from youtube and when i played those videos my cpu usage went to 100%, and whenever i went on those folder in which the videos got downloaded the cpu usage gets 100%, so i had deleted those videos completely from computer and the problem is solved. try and c if any such video, picture or movie u had downloaded maybe that's causing problem.
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