When you try to open Microsoft Security Essentials and you got the message “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.” then your computer is probably infected with the ZeroAccess rootkit. The new variants of this rootkit will alters the junction points for Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender. Causing either program not to be able to be accessed, reinstalled or uninstalled.
If you are able to force either Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials folders and file removal Winows no longer boots normally, so don’t try to remove Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials in this case.
In the most cases it is not possible to remove or reinstall Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials because you will receive a message like “An error has occurred in the program during initialization. If this problem continues, please contact your administrator. Error Code: 0x80073b01.”
The latest bèta release of HitmanPro will now detects and removes these modified Reparse Points so that Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender will function again, for removal of this malware we advise to follow the below instructions.
Microsoft Security Essentials – Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.
All tools used in our malware removal guides are completely free to use and should remove any trace of malware from your computer.
Please be aware that removing Malware is not so simple, and we strongly recommend to backup your personal files and folders before you start the malware removal process.
1. Run a scan with TDSSKiller
Please download the latest official version of Kaspersky TDSSKiller to your desktop from one of the links below.
- If you can’t start Kaspersky TDSSKiller, you first need to rename it so that you can get it to run. Rename the executable from TDSSKiller.exe to iexplore.exe or svchost.exe, and then double-click on it to launch.
- Kaspersky TDSSKiller will now start and display the welcome screen and we will need to click on Change Parameters option.
- Check the boxes beside Verify Driver Digital Signature and Detect TDLFS file system, then click OK.
- Next,we will need to start a scan with Kaspersky TDSSKiller
- Click the Start Scan button to begin the scan and wait for it to finish.
- Warning! Do not use the computer during the scan!
- When it finishes, you will either see a report that no threats were found like below:
- If no threats are found at this point, just click the Report selection on the top right of the form to generate a log. A log file report will pop which you can just close since the report file is already saved.
- If any infection or suspected items are found, you will see a window similar to below.
- If you have files that are shown to fail signature check do not take any action on these. Make sure you select Skip. We will tell you what to do with these later. These may not be issues at all.
- If ‘Suspicious objects’ are detected, the default action will be Skip. Leave the default set to Skip and click on Continue.
- If Malicious objects are detected, they will show in the Scan results. TDSSKiller automatically selects an action (Cure or Delete) for malicious objects.
- Make sure that Cure is selected. Important! -> If Cure is not available, please choose Skip instead. Do not choose Delete unless instructed to do so.
- Just for Reference purposes, if you were to quarantine any detected objects, Quarantined files will not be removed! They are moved to a quarantine folder.
- The default quarantine folder is in the system disk root folder, e.g.:
- After clicking Next, TDSSKiller applies selected actions and outputs the result.
- A reboot might require after disinfection, please reboot immediately if it states that one is needed.
2. Run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
- Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
- At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
- Then click Finish.
- If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
- Once the program has loaded, select Perform quick scan, then click Scan.
- When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
- Be sure that everything is Checked (ticked) except items in the C:\System Volume Information folder and click on Remove Selected.
- If you accidently close it, the log file is saved here and will be named like this: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\Logs\mbam-log-date (time).txt
- Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be presented with 1 of 2 prompts.
- Click OK to either and let MBAM proceed with the disinfection process.
- If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
- After the restart in Normal mode, start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware again and perform a Full System scan to verify that there are no remaining threats.
3. Run a scan with HitmanPro
- Double click on HitmanPro to start the program, if you are experiencing problems while trying to start HitmanPro, you can use the Force Breach mode.
- To start HitmanPro in Force Breach mode, hold down the left CTRL-key when you double click on HitmanPro and all non-essential processes will be terminated, including the malware processes.
- HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
- The program will start to scan the computer. The scan will typically take no more than 2-3 minutes.
- Click on the next button and choose the option activate free license
- Click on the next button and the infections where will be deleted.
- Click now on the Save Log option and save this log to your desktop.
- Click on the next button and restart the computer.
4. Run a scan with Roguekiller
- Download Roguekiller from one of the links below to your dekstop.
- Double click on RogueKiller.exe to start this malware removal utility it will start automatically the prescan, this should take only a few seconds to complete.
- After the prescan is finished click on the Start button to perform a full system scan.
- When the scan has completed, you can press the Delete button to remove the detected items and registry keys they found by Roguekiller
- If RogueKiller detects malicious Registry entries, you can delete them by clicking the Registry tab and clicking the Delete button. Please check each registry entry before deleting it.
Some of the programs that we used in our malware removal guides would be a good idea to keep and used often in helping to keep the computer clean. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is one of the most powerful anti-malware tools. It is totally free but for real-time protection you will have to pay a small one-time fee. The license of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is life-time so you have to buy it once, and because Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a great addition to your regular virusscanner of security programs.
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