Dwm.exe hell!


Feb 28, 2010
Hi there, recently my laptop has been infected with malware that has caused it to not startup properly unless used in safe mode. The laptop boots up as normal up to the login screen, and after entering my password and logging in, I am met with 'dwm.exe failed to initialise- error code (0xc0000022)'. Afer clicking OK it tell me that explorer.exe failed too, and am error report window comes up that also crashes. Even if I attempt to open task manager i get this message: 'taskmgr.exe failed to intialise properly'.

This has caused me serious problems, I've tried malwarebyres as in safe mode I was getting Vista Guardian 2010 scammed and so I ran a scan and fixed all problems, but this error remains and is a real nightmare.

I've tried system restore but it tells me I have no restore points although I'm fairly sure I had some before. If I try to use a Vista repair disc it asks me to check if I've got any USB devices plugged in and to restart with them plugged out, and I never have anything plugged in.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and if you manage to help me it will be great, as this is causing me so many problems.


Dec 12, 2009
The difference in a Safe boot is that the operating system only uses Microsoft default drivers. Since you can boot into the Safe mode, you probably have at least one bad specific driver.

The video driver seem to be the target of many virus.
Recommend you boot into the Safe mode with internet connection
Download/install/run Driver Sweeper

Clink on Analyse and clean
Click on the video device and click on the Analyse button.
This should provide a list of the current video drivers.
Click on the Clean button.

A second area to check is your Device Manager.
Once you have your Device Manager open
on the Menu line, click on View
click on Show hidden devices

Check for any device showing a problem.
Reference ...

You may have more than one problem, but this is a good place to start.