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PUM Hijack Black Desktop Empty Start Menu


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Yesterday, I was checking my gmail account using firefox and out of nowhere, the browser closed. I didn't get the usual message from firefox asking if I'd like to reopen. Then popups started to appear from "Windows" asking for permission to make changes to my hard drive. I said no and tried to reboot. When I did, my desktop was black, all my icons were gone and my start menu was empty. A large number of popups appeared asking for permissions and giving me warnings, etc. There was a popup from windows security essentials asking if it could send info about an unrecognized file to microsoft (I think) for analysis. I said yes. I ran Malwarebytes and 6 (or maybe 5?) issues were detected, two of which were PUM Hijack Startmenu or something similar. I tried to remove the issues with Malwarebytes, and while a scan with the program now comes up clean, my desktop won't accept a new image (just stays black), most of my icons are dimmed out, and my startmenu lists a bunch of folders that still say "(empty)" when i click.

Any help would be very appreciated!

Thank you!



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Hello rosimary and :welcome:! My name is Maniac and I will be glad to help you solve your malware problem.

Please note:

  • If you are a paying customer, you have the privilege to contact the help desk at Consumer Support. If you choose this option to get help, please let me know.
  • I recommend you to keep the instructions I will be giving you so that they are available to you at any time. You can save them in a text file or print them.
  • Make sure you read all of the instructions and fixes thoroughly before continuing with them.
  • Follow my instructions strictly and don’t hesitate to stop and ask me if you have any questions.
  • Post your log files, don't attach them. Every log file should be copy/pasted in your next reply.

Step 1

Please download unhide.exe from here and save it to your Desktop. Double-click on the Unhide.exe icon on your desktop and allow the program to run. This program will remove the +H, or hidden, attribute from all the files on your hard drives. If there are any files that were purposely hidden by you, you will need to hide them again after this tool is run. When Unhide is complete, it will create a logfile on the Windows Desktop called Unhide.txt .

Step 2

Anti-Virus programs take up an enormous amount of your computer's resources when they are actively scanning your computer. Having two anti-virus programs running at the same time can cause your computer to run very slow, become unstable and even, in rare cases, crash. My suggestion is to uninstall avast! Free Antivirus and to keep Microsoft Security Essentials.

Also, please uninstall µTorrent

Step 3

  • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Go to Update tab and select Check for Updates. If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
  • Go to Scanner tab and select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan.
  • The scan may take some time to finish,so please be patient.
  • When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When disinfection is completed, a log will open in Notepad and you may be prompted to Restart. (See Extra Note)
  • The log is automatically saved by MBAM and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy&Paste the entire report in your next reply.

Extra 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.

Step 4

Download aswMBR.exe to your desktop.

Double click the aswMBR.exe to run it

Click the "Scan" button to start scan


On completion of the scan click save log, save it to your desktop and post in your next reply


In your next reply, post the following log files:

  • unhide log
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware log
  • aswMBR log

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