Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to fix C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error?

History of the Problem Appearance

The history of this problem troubleshooting was not very exciting. The contaminated with malware computer was processed through a several anti-virus and anti-malware scans, including the standard loaded antivirus program, Malwarebytes, and several other “disinfectants”. After the guilty program was removed, the following traces remained:
* Periodic error message, pointing on the C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error. The specified module could not be found.

There was a problem starting C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll
The specified module could not be found.

* Size of the icons on the Desktop is small, and cannot be reset as Default for medium size.

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Why the SysMenu Issue Happens?

Well, the original problem source is, so called, PUP. PUPs – which is short for Potentially Unwanted Programs - are computer software programs that install themselves without you knowing about it and then, rather presumptuously, take it upon themselves to install new files on your PC.

After the actual malware is successfully removed, the unwanted orphan files and configuration records might still remain, causing a RunDLL C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error message on startup saying that the specified module could not be found.

You may be wondering why you got this nasty malware at the first place. Potentially Unwanted Programs developers apply grey (questionable) and sometimes even red (totally illegal) business practices. The might include the visually attractive option in the totally legitimate and well-respected software, they might include it as a part of the downloaded torrent, or they may hide as an option with some illegal software you are trying to use.

Having a decent anti-malware program is a must, but might be not sufficient to keep your computer free from intruders. Therefore, whenever you download and install a new software on your computer, do not mindfully click next every time, just acknowledging the developers fine print. Make sure to read the End User License Agreement very carefully. PUPs will normally be mentioned in the small print as an added 'extra' so ensure that check boxes relating to these add-ons are correctly configured so that you do not download them too. Do not automatically download and install anything you are not very sure what it is.

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How to Fix?

If your computer performance is draws your suspicion, uninstall all the recently installed programs, you are not familiar with, listing your programs by installation date in the built-in Unintsall option in your Windows OS. If you have the better uninstallation utility, like Revo Uninstaller, or similar, better you them, as they assure cleaner removal from your Hard Drive and Registry.

If the SysMenu.dll error message still appears on your computer (or started to appear after the PUP removal), use the following recommendations:

1. Download Windows Sysinternals Microsoft standard utility Autoruns for Windows, developed by Mark Russinovich, and save it to your Desktop.

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2. Launch autoruns.exe program (for Vista/Windows 7/8 users’ right-click and select Run As Administrator).
3. In the top menu, click File > Find... and type the file name SysMenu.dll, then click Find Next. Alternatively, you can scroll through the list and look for any entry related to SysMenu.dll.
4. When found the related entry, right-click on it and choose delete. Note that these entries are usually yellow highlighted.
5. Go through the list and delete all the related entries.
6. Close Autoruns and reboot your computer, when the task is completed.

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