There seems to be a rash this past week and continuing this week of PC’s infected with a Trojan that displays the following symptom:

You attempt to login to your PC and your PC responds by saying “Loading your personal settings” followed immediately with “Saving your personal settings,” then taking you right back to the login screen.

What the trojan is doing is deleting a file called the “userinit.exe” file and renders your PC useless to you.  However, what you don’t know is that even though your PC is useless to you, it is still running all of it’s background services.  So what? 

Well the “so what” is that the person who infected your PC could be using your PC as part of a botnet and sending out spam or executing denial of service attacks on other computers.  They could be doing all sorts of nefarious stuff and you wouldn’t even know it.  And the worst part is, they are using your computer and you cannot!

Fixing this issue is fairly easy if you have the right tools.  Unfortunately, there is still a certain amount fixed costs involved in running any business so we have to charge a minimum service fee just for stopping by to perform the fix.  However, if we have you on our subscription support service, we can log in remotely and fix it without ever having to leave our shop.  And with our subscription support service, there is no charge for this fix.  (If you are not already on the subscription service, then this remote fix is not possible but we can come to your place or you can bring your PC in…just be sure to call first to schedule a drop-off time.)

By the way, for skeptics who think there is no way you could log into a computer that the userinit.exe file is deleted from, you are flat wrong.  We had a computer on the subscription plan today that got infected with this same trojan and the user could not get past the login screen, not even in “safe mode.”  However, we were able to get into the computer replace the userinit.exe file and the computer returned to normal working order without even being re-booted and never had to leave the office.

One of our other customers today did not have the paid support plan so they did not have the right tools installed for us to perform this task remotely.  They ended up having to pay 6 hours of labor and 200 miles round trip mileage because we had to be on site to fix this for them.  There wasn’t a choice.

We would love to talk to you about becoming YOUR Information Technology Department.  Just give us a call.

Dennis “The Computer Guy” Wilson