Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
So, I've been having this odd problem where I cannot browse in any browser at all. Every time I try to connect to a website, it keeps loading but never actually loads. It happened to me on Chrome first, then on Edge, and then on Internet Explorer. I am currently using a browser called BlueSky that I found on the Microsoft store. It seems to work just fine surprisingly. However, it does not have all the functionalities of an actual browser, and so I've spent days attempting to make Chrome work again. Here's how that went:

1- I tried to end task chrome. It shutdown normally, but there was a Chrome sub-process that was still running. I tried to end-task-it multiple times, but nothing happened, so I clicked go to details and clicked end task on there. It came up with the error "Access is denied."


2- I, eventually, uninstalled Chrome. Even though it was uninstalled, the background process that couldn't be killed earlier was still there, and it still said the same thing, "Access is denied." So, I looked for the Google folder, and it was still there. I tried deleting it, but there was an error telling me that the folder is in use. Keep in mind this is after I uninstalled chrome.


3- At this point, I got desperate. So, I went into safemode and used 4 anti-maleware softwares: SuperAntiSpyware, Sophos, Malewarebytes, and Trojan Remover. A lot of tracking cookies and PUP.whatever's were detected, but removing them did not fix the problem. Now, because I restarted, the chrome.exe process was not there, but when I launched Internet Explorer, the same problem happened with it. An unkillable Internet Explorer background process appeared. The access is denied error appeared again when trying to kill it.

4- After that, I tried to kill IE with "taskkill" in administrative mode cmd. I typed "taskkill /IM 'iexplore.exe' /T /F", but that didn't work. An error appeared saying that this process could not be terminated. The same error appeared with chrome after I reinstalled it. I also tried killing it using its PID. I tried in CMD, and I tried in Powershell. None worked. I also tried to use "wmic process where name='chrome.exe' delete", but it still didn't work.



5- I checked if my user had administrative privileges over the software and it did, but there where other weird things on there that had full control. I denied all of them, but I still couldn't kill the tasks.


6- After all that, I used a program called Process Hacker, which had really high ratings when it comes to killing tasks. I opened it, and attempted to terminate task, but an error keeps occurring that says "Unable to terminate."


7- Okay, so the only thing left for me to do was delete the registry keys for the processes. I went into safemode and opened a software called Revo Uninstaller. I uninstalled Chrome with it and deleted all its registry keys and excess files. I also did that with every new application I installed on my laptop. I, then, ran my 4 anti-maleware softwares, and they detected nothing. So, I restarted, but the problem was still there.

I tried everything I could possible do, but nothing worked. Even removing all the browser files after uninstalling, but it was all still a no-go. I genuinely don't know what to do. Any help is appreciated.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Here, i have 2 suggestions; 1st one is possible fix, 2nd one is confirmed fix.

1) Download and run Process Explorer,
link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Guide on how to understand it,
link: https://www.howtogeek.com/school/sysinternals-pro/lesson2/

I use Process Explorer mainly to see which programs hog the system resources but it's also good in showing all sub-processes, suspending them and also killing them. Also, it has signature ans virus total checks in it to see if all the processes running in your system are signed (verified) and if they are malware or not.

1.1) If Process Explorer also can't kill the process since it's locked, then you'd need another piece of software to remove the lock on the file.
I use LockHunter to delete otherwise locked files,
link: https://lockhunter.com/

Note: with LockHunter, you can effectively unlock all files, including OS files and thus corrupt your OS. So, be very careful which files you're unlocking (and deleting).

2) Format your OS drive and make a clean Win install.
While this method wipes all the data on your OS drive, with clean Win installation, you'd be starting fresh, without any software conflicts in your system.
 

Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
Here, i have 2 suggestions; 1st one is possible fix, 2nd one is confirmed fix.

1) Download and run Process Explorer,
link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Guide on how to understand it,
link: https://www.howtogeek.com/school/sysinternals-pro/lesson2/

I use Process Explorer mainly to see which programs hog the system resources but it's also good in showing all sub-processes, suspending them and also killing them. Also, it has signature ans virus total checks in it to see if all the processes running in your system are signed (verified) and if they are malware or not.

1.1) If Process Explorer also can't kill the process since it's locked, then you'd need another piece of software to remove the lock on the file.
I use LockHunter to delete otherwise locked files,
link: https://lockhunter.com/

Note: with LockHunter, you can effectively unlock all files, including OS files and thus corrupt your OS. So, be very careful which files you're unlocking (and deleting).

2) Format your OS drive and make a clean Win install.
While this method wipes all the data on your OS drive, with clean Win installation, you'd be starting fresh, without any software conflicts in your system.
Thanks for your reply!

I just tried Process Explorer and things did not go as well as I hoped. Same error "Access is denied." So, I tried LockHunter to unlock the files, but it came up with this error: "Cannot unlock file." I genuinely don't know what to do anymore. I really don't want to reset my laptop. (I ran both as administrator)

Any help is appreciated


 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Hmmm... try this:
  • kill GoogleCrashHandler.exe and GoogleCrashHandler64.exe from Process Explorer.
  • if unsuccessful, locate both files within Google folder, right click on each executable and select "What is locking this file?" (aka activate LockHunter).
  • unlock both files, close LockHunter and then try killing both from Process Explorer again.
  • if unsuccessful in killing from Process Explorer, open both files with LockHunter, unlock them and delete them via LockHuter.
  • if successful in killing both processes: in Process Explorer, right click on chrome.exe, select Properties.
  • in new window, look at the Path of the process to locate it. (it should be similar to mine: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe")
  • locate the chrome.exe within the folder, right click on executable itself and select "What is locking this file?" (aka activate LockHunter).
  • unlock the file, close LockHunter and then try killing it from Process Explorer again.
  • if unsuccessful in killing from Process Explorer, open chrome.exe file with LockHunter again, unlock it and delete it via LockHuter.
If all goes according to the plan, you can kill and remove chrome.exe for good.
 

Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
Hmmm... try this:
  • kill GoogleCrashHandler.exe and GoogleCrashHandler64.exe from Process Explorer.
  • if unsuccessful, locate both files within Google folder, right click on each executable and select "What is locking this file?" (aka activate LockHunter).
  • unlock both files, close LockHunter and then try killing both from Process Explorer again.
  • if unsuccessful in killing from Process Explorer, open both files with LockHunter, unlock them and delete them via LockHuter.
  • if successful in killing both processes: in Process Explorer, right click on chrome.exe, select Properties.
  • in new window, look at the Path of the process to locate it. (it should be similar to mine: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe")
  • locate the chrome.exe within the folder, right click on executable itself and select "What is locking this file?" (aka activate LockHunter).
  • unlock the file, close LockHunter and then try killing it from Process Explorer again.
  • if unsuccessful in killing from Process Explorer, open chrome.exe file with LockHunter again, unlock it and delete it via LockHuter.
If all goes according to the plan, you can kill and remove chrome.exe for good.
Thank you so much for replying. I appreciate your responsiveness.

Google Crash Handler was killed easily with Process Explorer, but for some reason the chrome.exe sub-process itself keeps denying my request to kill it. I tried locating the path of the sub-process and unlocking it, as you kindly told me to, but that didn't work. This error showed up:


I am unsure whether this is an error from Windows itself or it's a Trojan causing this. I have done multiple scans with multiple anti-maleware softwares including Process Explorer's TotalVirus, but no threats were found. Thanks again, anymore help is appreciated.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Only thing that i can think of is that you have some serious malware issue (possibly rootkit) in your system. That is further confirmed by the fact that your issue continues over to several other web browsers (Chrome, Edge, IE and quite possibly to Firefox as well if you try using it). Since in a clean setup, that Process Explorer + LockHunter combo should've killed the process without issues.

Oh, is your Win legit or pirated?

Also, did some Google-Fu and found many people who has/had the very same issue. Managed to find one topic where the issue got solved,
link: https://malwaretips.com/threads/cant-kill-google-chrome-processes.54561/#post-463089

You can try the Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner combo described in that topic to see if it fixes your issue as well (it did for that OP). If it helps, then it's good. If it doesn't help, i'd wipe the system and start fresh.
 

Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
Only thing that i can think of is that you have some serious malware issue (possibly rootkit) in your system. That is further confirmed by the fact that your issue continues over to several other web browsers (Chrome, Edge, IE and quite possibly to Firefox as well if you try using it). Since in a clean setup, that Process Explorer + LockHunter combo should've killed the process without issues.

Oh, is your Win legit or pirated?

Also, did some Google-Fu and found many people who has/had the very same issue. Managed to find one topic where the issue got solved,
link: https://malwaretips.com/threads/cant-kill-google-chrome-processes.54561/#post-463089

You can try the Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner combo described in that topic to see if it fixes your issue as well (it did for that OP). If it helps, then it's good. If it doesn't help, i'd wipe the system and start fresh.
Thank you so much for your help. Yes, my Windows is legit.

I'll report back if the scans did anything. Oh, and btw, I cannot install Google Chrome without installing it as an administrator. It's weird.

Thanks again.
 
Last edited:

Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
UPDATE:

Nothing has worked. The Adwcleaner detected a threat and removed it, but I don't think that was it because the problem is still occuring. However, I have realized something. When downloading Firefox and attempting to install it normally without clicking run as admin, this error pops up:


I do not have 7-Zip on my laptop, nor have I ever used it for anything.

I'd really appreciate further assistance.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Rather than finding all the needles in a haystack, i'd burn the entire thing and build a new one, free of needles. Aka make a clean Win reinstall.

Also, you failed to say if your Win is legit or pirated, since that alone could be the issue.
 
Reactions: Yazan Hawari

Yazan Hawari

Reputable
Nov 27, 2015
11
0
4,510
0
Rather than finding all the needles in a haystack, i'd burn the entire thing and build a new one, free of needles. Aka make a clean Win reinstall.

Also, you failed to say if your Win is legit or pirated, since that alone could be the issue.
Made me laugh.

Alright. Guess I have no choice.

You got a way to preserve important files and apps I want to keep?

Btw, I did tell you:


Thanks.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Sorry about the double Win question, i didn't spot your reply on that.

To preserve your data, copy/paste them on any other drive than the current OS drive. SSD/HDD or USB flash drive. If you're old school and have DVD burner (like i do), you can create CD or DVD where to put your data on. But if you're more like newer generation, you can upload all your data to Cloud storage as well. So, there are many possibilities.

Note: without knowing which malware exactly is affecting your PC, you may copy/paste that malware with your personal data and once you have new Win up and running, you can infect your PC again by copying back the infected personal data.
 
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