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MSDTC.exe randomly running on PC, concerned it could be linked to malware

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Today I went into task manager to close some programs and noticed the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator running. I ended the process as I had never seen it running before on my pc over the course of 4 years. After looking into what it is and what it does, I found it kind of odd that it was running on my PC as I don't use it for any remote server or database stuff. Out of curiosity I went into the event viewer just to see what it was doing and found that it had tried to launch or was running several times throughout the day with "Complus" tasks running before it each time. After ending the task for the first time, I found that it came back later as well and was labeled as "MSDTC 2" in event viewer.

I attached the MSDTC event screenshot as well as the Complus one.:








I have since disabled the MSDTC service from starting up in services for the time being. This is probably just me being paranoid or something, but I figured I would reach out since I found someone with a similar issue here: 


The difference with mine is that I don't see the trustedinstaller user or have the exes they mention, but the event XML is the same as the one my MSDTC created.

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Hi :welcome: 

I would like a report set for review.   This is a report only.

Please download MALWAREBYTES MBST Support Tool

Once you start it click Advanced >>> then   Gather Logs

 Have patience till the run has finished.

Upload an archive once it is done. Attach the mbst-grab-results.zip from the Desktop.


  • Please attach  mbst-grab-results.zip    to your reply
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Thank you. What follows is just a first step. Let me know after this has been completed. 

Current DNS Servers:

Please consider changing your default DNS Server settings. Please choose one provider only

DNS is what lets users connect to websites using domain names instead of IP addresses

  • Google Public DNS: IPv4 and   IPv6   2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844
  • Cloudflare: IPv4 and   IPv6   2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
  • OpenDNS: IPv4 and  IPv6  2620:119:35::35 and 2620:119:53::53
  • DNSWATCH: IPv4 and   IPv6  2001:1608:10:25::1c04:b12f and 2001:1608:10:25::9249:d69b

The Ultimate Guide to Changing Your DNS Server

Here is a YouTube video on Changing DNS settings if needed

Restart Windows when done.

Let me know after this is done. We have much more to do.

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We now do a custom script run. 

Please be sure to Close any open work files, documents,  any apps you started yourself  before starting this. THIS run will do a Windows RESTART. Once it starts it will auto-close any other running app.

We will use FRSTENGLISH.exe  on the Downloads folder to run a custom script.    The system will be rebooted after the script has run.

This custom script is for  Halogen09  machine  only / for this machine only.

  • Please save the (attached file named) FIXLIST.txt   to the   Downloads   folder

 Fixlist.txt   <<< - - - -

Then, Start the Windows Explorer and then, go  to the Downloads    folder.

RIGHT click on FRSTENGLISH.exe    and select RUN as Administrator and allow it to proceed.  Reply YES when prompted to allow to run.

  •    If the tool warns you the version is outdated, please download and run the updated version.
  • IF Windows prompts you about running this, select YES to allow it to proceed.
  • IF you get a block message from Windows about this tool......

               click line More info information on that screen
               and click button Run anyway on next screen.

  • on the FRST window:

Click the Fix button just once, and wait.  👈

PLEASE have patience when this starts. You will see a green progress bar start.  Please attach the Fixlog.txt report.   😉

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Thank you. Did this pc used to have Norton360 ?  about when was it uninstalled ?  and how ? 

  •   Do a Quick scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus ]

Just want to do a visual check in Windows Security to see (visually) that Microsoft Defender is on , and to do a Quick scan.

From the Windows Start menu, select Settings, then select Update and Security.

Next, look at the left-side menu & select Windows Security

Next, In Windows Security section: Click on the grey button Open Windows Security

Now, click on the shield Virus and threat protection

Look to see that Microsoft Defender is shown & available for use.

On the next display, look at all the options.  Look down the list and see "Check for Updates" .

You should click on that to have the system check for updates for Windows Defender.  Watch & wait for that to complete.

Please also note that the Scan options (all) can be displayed by clicking on Scan options.   Click that & select QUICK scan   & have it go forward.

Let me know the results.

  • I also would appreciate this report:

Download   Farbar's Service Scanner utility

and Save to your Desktop.

Right-Click on fss.exe and select Run As Administrator.

Answer Yes to ok when prompted.

If your firewall then puts out a prompt, again, allow it to run.

Once FSS is on-screen, be sure the following items are check-marked:

  • Internet Services
    Windows Firewall
    System Restore
    Security Center/Action Center
    Windows Update
    Windows Defender
    Other services


Click on "Scan".

It will create a log (FSS.txt) in the same directory the tool is run.   Please attach that file.  



  • This here is just to get a overall view of the current state of this Windows machine.
  • I would recommend getting a readout report as to update status of some key apps.
  • Download SecurityCheck by glax24 from here  https://tools.safezone.cc/glax24/SecurityCheck/SecurityCheck.exe
  • and save the tool on the desktop.
  • If Windows's  SmartScreen block that with a message-window, then
  • Click on the MORE INFO spot and over-ride that and allow it to proceed.

                               This tool is safe.   Smartscreen is overly sensitive.

Right-click  with your mouse on the Securitycheck.exe  and select "Run as administrator"   and reply YES to allow to run & go forward
Wait for the scan to finish. It will open in a text file named SecurityType.txt. Close the file.  Attach it with your next reply.
You can find this file in a folder called SecurityCheck, C:\SecurityCheck\SecurityCheck.txt

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The PC did used to have Norton 360 installed, and was installed at the end of 2019 via the Norton website. I uninstalled it when I switched to Malwarebytes in the beginning of 2021 (or somewhere around that time).


I ran the Windows Defender check for updates and quick scan and no threats were found.


Here is the Farbar Service Scanner log:



Securitycheck logs:



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Start Malwarebytes. Click Settings ( gear ) icon. Next, lets make real sure that Malwarebytes does NOT register with Windows Security Center

Click the Security Tab. Scroll down to

"Windows Security Center"

Click the selection to the left  for the line "Always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center".
{ We want that to be set as Off   .... be sure that line's  radio-button selection is all the way to the Left.  thanks. }

This will not affect any real-time protection of the Malwarebytes for Windows    😃.

Close Malwarebytes.


These applications need your attention & follow-up to insure latest release updates are in place. 

Python 3.10.0 (64-bit) v.   Warning! Download Update

Discord v.0.0.309    Warning! Download Update

If you do not use Discord, then Uninstall it by doing uninstall using Control Panel. But version 309 is very very outdated.

Microsoft Edge v.106.0.1370.42   Warning! Download Update


I would highly suggest to insure that this pc is all up-to-date with security updates & cumulative updates on Windows. select the Windows Start  button, and then go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update . and click Check for Updates.
Have much patience.

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Alright, I updated all of the programs mentioned above as well as checked for updates/update windows. I think the discord version that was in the control panel may have been a visual bug or something, because the version in the client itself was up to date. I uninstalled and reinstalled it to be sure though. I also changed the Malwarebytes setting mentioned above.

Also as a side note, since running the Farbar Recovery Scan script my PC boots into the windows boot manager and I have to manually select Windows 10 before it boots. I don't mind having to do this, but is this normal after running the script?

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  • Solution

Note: The Boot Manager screen ( which provides a opportunity to select a different advanced boot menu) is only there for 5 seconds and then it will time out and then the system continues to load Windows O.S. automatically.
Unless you respond by tapping Enter-key straight away within the first 5 seconds or before. It is a very short 5 seconds.
If 5 seconds is too much, we can trim that down.

Tell me, have you observed any unexpected starts of The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) service ? Tell me, do you use this system as part of a business network ?
Do you run corporate type applications?
MSDTC is not a malware or infection. If needs be, I think MSDTC can be disabled.

Tell me, do you need other help at this point?

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I noticed MSDTC randomly starting up a couple of days ago in the background, but hadn't seen it start up at all in the past before then. I disabled it when I originally became suspicious of it. Currently I do not/have not used the system as part of a business network and don't run any corporate type applications on it. 

Other than that, I think I'm all set for now. Thanks for all the help with everything. :)

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This here is for tools cleanup.

Please download KpRm by kernel-panik and save it to your desktop.

  • right-click kprm_(version).exe and select Run as Administrator.
  • Read and accept the disclaimer.
  • When the tool opens, ensure all boxes under Actions are checked.
  • Under Delete Quarantines select Delete Now, then click Run.
  • Once complete, click OK.
  • A log may open in Notepad titled kprm-(date).txt.  I do not need it. Just close Notepad if it shows up.

Delete mb-support-
Delete mbst-grab-results.zip on the Desktop


Let me suggest that you get your browsers each, as applicable, to have the Malwarebytes Browser Guard. Chrome +Edge +Firefox

See Support article how-to


See Support article how-to for Firefox

For the EDGE browser https://support.malwarebytes.com/hc/en-us/articles/4413298736787-Install-Malwarebytes-Browser-Guard-on-Microsoft-Edge-browser

Your system is good-to-go ☀️ 😎

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Glad we could help.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this thread. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Please review the following to help you better protect your computer and privacy Tips to help protect from infection

Thank you



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