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Solutions: Suspect Windows startup item may be a virus

When I run msconfig-start-up some unknown item labeled conime appears. I uncheck it to remove it at start-up. It will reappear again and seems to slow my computer at start-up. I am using Microsoft Security essentials and also have performed an antimalware sweep and also a spybot sweep, but they do not show it as a virus. I am using a Windows 7 64 bit. Is conime a virus? If so how can it be removed?

CONIME.EXE is a valid Windows process, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been replaced by a virus. Some older viruses specifically targeted CONIME.EXE. The fact that it keeps appearing as one of your Start items in MSCONFIG raises suspicion. It doesn't belong there. The problem is that with many viruses, once installed (by any number of ways) they can disarm any of the antivirus/malware programs and keep from being found.

Try this: Use Microsoft's Windows Defender Offline Beta. It creates a boot CD (or USB drive) that will allow you to boot without starting Windows and runs a thorough virus check without allowing any potential virus to interfere.

Go to http://tinyurl.com/TBT01 to read about the Windows Defender Offline Beta and create your own CD/DVD. Once this is completed, boot from that CD (watch when your computer reboots, it will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD). This will automatically run the Windows Defender Offline Beta virus/malware which will be able to eradicate any problems it finds without interference.

I have Windows XP on my HP desktop. I receive this message box from time to time and have not been able to figure out why: "Debug Assertion Failed, Program: C:\Program File\Internet Explorer/iexplorer.exe File: dbg heap.c Line: 1132 Expression: _Crt1s Valid Heap Pointer (pUser Data)..."

This most likely is the result of a third-party Internet Explorer add-on (probably Google desktop). Try this: From Internet Explorer click Tools, Internet Options, and then the Advanced tab. Find and uncheck the "enable third party browser extensions" and then restart the computer. This will tell you if the issue is add-on related.

I have Windows Vista on a Acer PC. I cannot open Adobe Reader any more. Every time I click on it, it says: 1606 cannot access network location %APPDATA%\.

I have tried almost everything to fix this but I can't. Can you suggest a fix for this?

This is a generic type error and not necessarily related to Adobe. It is due to a problem with registry entries and the corrections needed are a bit lengthy. Luckily Microsoft provides an automated fix at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886549. Scroll down and click the large "Fix this problem" button. I would also install the latest Adobe reader directly from www.adobe.com/downloads.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Suspect Windows startup item may be a virus 05/06/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 6, 2012 4:34pm]
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