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Firefox Crashes, Settings Change, and New Shortcuts Install on Desktop

  • 5 fhreagra
  • 1 leis an bhfadhb seo
  • Freagra is déanaí ó jcclay1

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I'm not certain who to turn to for support, but I'm starting here. I also can't tell if there is one sole cause of all of these issues or several, but please do your best to explain what's going on.

1-2 months ago, some strange things started happening with my computer repeatedly. Consistently, a command prompt would open unexpectedly, saying something about Chromium failing to update. I couldn't do anything with that program, so I just X'd it out, and maybe around a minute later Firefox would crash and restart. Once that happened, my Firefox home page would be set to, and the default search engine would also be changed to Yahoo!. And on my desktop, shortcuts for Internet Explorer and Chromium would be added, and the shortcut for Chromium would be automatically pinned to my taskbar.

Windows Security would then notify me that it's blocked a threat, so I'd go to check it out and remove said threat. Every time, it;d say the blocked threat makes changes to browser settings without proper permission, and the blocked threat is called "sodecitot.exe", located in a filepath like c:\programdata\{5b729525-380e-6a38-89c28-8402d0dace36}\sodecitot.exe (just in case it's some obscure ID, I've swapped out those numbers and letters with random numbers and letters). Then Windows Security reports "Remediation incomplete" on the same threat, implying it attempted to restore itself. That letter and number folder name notably follows the same format as a bunch of folders which were last modified when I first turned on this computer on January 1, 2019.

I was getting a lot of such reports from Windows Security on very similar threats, having various different letters and numbers for their folder names, and I figured it was likely malware, so I made several full scans with MSERT, Malwarebytes, Windows Security, and Windows Defender Online Scan, all to no avail.

I don't even know why Internet Explorer is installed, but its files were last modified in February 2019, so I think it's just a shortcut that was added.

I'm not sure what Chromium is or why it's installed either. I tried to look it up to learn more about it but found nothing useful, and its executable looks like a blue version of Google Chrome's logo. Some parts of Chromium's installation were last modified in October 2019, but most of its files were modified just today.

Notably as well, when these problems started happening 1-2 months ago, there were two instances of all of my desktop shortcuts having weird visual issues, one being the little arrows on the shortcuts (which indicates it's a shortcut and not an actual file) being replaced with a X's, and a separate instance where the Audacity logo was over top every other shortcut for a few minutes.

With the same events happening today, a new error message opened, saying something about Windows Explorer attempting to load the C runtime library incorrectly (screenshot included).

I also considered turning to Mozilla, Google, and/or Microsoft support when this was originally happening, but then it suddenly stopped. I had a bunch of screenshots of some of the weirder things, but since nothing was happening for a while I deleted them. Now, 1-2 months later, it's starting right back up and I don't know why. I suspect it all links back to Chromium, but I'm not sure if I can just delete its files and call it quits, because I don't know if it's supposed to be there. It seems like something by Google, but I can't even confirm that.

So yeah. Any suggestions?

My computer has a Windows 10 operating system. Mozilla Firefox is installed and constantly open, used for entertainment. Google Chrome is installed and constantly open, used for work. Apparently, some part of Google Chrome's installation trips off Malwarebytes whenever I make a scan. Removing it causes Chrome to crash, and once I open it again that part is replaced. Usually, I just remove it so I don't miss any other threats, and then just restore my closed tabs. Audacity is installed and has a desktop shortcut. Internet Explorer is apparently installed, and there is no uninstall executable as far as I can tell. Whatever it is, Chromium seems to keep trying to install itself, with parts of it already existing on my computer.

Attached screenshots

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jcclay1 said

Windows Security would then notify me . . .

Unfortunately, that might not be a message from Windows.

Step one: You may have ad/mal-ware. Further information can be found in this article;

Run most or all of the listed malware scanners. Each works differently. If one program misses something, another may pick it up.

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I've run seven scans, five with the antiviruses offered there, one with Windows Security, and another with Windows Defender Online. Some things were identified and have been removed, but I am wary because I had also used 4/7 of these the last time and the issue was not resolved then.

In that article it also said to look for strange add-ons with Firefox, and only three are installed:

-OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc.
-Shockwave Flash
-Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc.

When I restarted my computer to finish the removal process for those antiviruses, Chromium opened up automatically and was apparently just a browser, so I did my best to remove all traces of it from my computer.

I followed the instructions to run DISM and SFC, and something was corrupted and repaired. In the CBS log, it reports, "Repairing corrupted file \??\C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.0.3705\\mscormmc.dll from store."

All in all, it looks like some good was done, but the issues I reported are spontaneous so I cannot confirm if they have been resolved. Let's hope. However, thank you for that step two in particular; I was not aware of corrupted system files needing to be fixed.

And with the Windows notifications, do you mean malware can send fake notifications? If so, what should I look out for to avoid clicking on one? What would happen if I did click on one?

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jcclay1 said

In that article it also said to look for strange add-ons with Firefox

What you listed are plugins, other programs the browser finds on your system.

What you need to check are the extensions the browser is using. Type about:addons<enter> in the address bar to open your Add-ons Manager. Hot key; <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> A)

In the Add-ons Manager, on the left, select Extensions. You need to know what each one is and what it does.

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There are no extensions installed.