Windows Update Won't Load/Windows Media Player Won't Start

On XP Home Edition SP3, beginning last week I have not been able to get the Windows Update page to load.  There is no error message, IE8 seems to think the page loads and there is code, but a blank white page displays in IE8. I discovered this problem after finding that Windows Media Player would not start -- again with no error message.  Watching on the Task Manager, the wmplayer.exe process runs for a few seconds, then disappears.

I've run a number of malware scans using Avira Free edition (now uninstalled), Spybot S&D, MalwareBytes Antimalware, Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials with no results or change.

I have reset IE8 to its default settings, and now find that I can't choose a search provider or display certain other pages on the Microsoft support site, such as -- it displays only the top banner over a blank page. (I'm posting this using Chrome.)

Other forum postings regarding either Update or Media Player not starting seem to be on other versions of Windows, and I haven't found anything regarding problems with both.

Has anyone else encountered this sort of problem?

Thank you


Question Info

Last updated July 15, 2018 Views 2,938 Applies to:
Only KB2416400 is installed, among those you listed

You are seeing the effects of a hijackware infection, most likely compounded by a W32/Alureon-variant rootkit infection. And I can tell that the computer's been infected since early August 2010,at the very least.

OPTION A: Microsoft PCSafety provides home users (only) with no-charge support in dealing with malware infections such as viruses, spyware (including unwanted software), and adware.

OPTION B (Recommended in your case): See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System

Follow the instructions in this post of mine in another forum (to-the-letter & in order!) to return your computer to a secure & functional state:

If you need additional assistance with the clean install, please begin a new thread in this forum:

Wish I'd had better news for you.  Good luck!

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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