On boot into Windows 7 I get a good login but no
explorer.exe is started. Hence, no desktop, no GUI generally.
I can start task manager with Ctrl+Alt+Del and run programs from there, including
msconfig, even Firefox.
So I have a semi-working system. Starting
explorer.exe manually results in immediate crashes. Eventvwr log below. I've run full system scans with a variety of software including Norton360 boot recovery and Power Eraser, Kasperskey, and now running full system scan with Microsoft MSRT. So far nothing comes up. If it's malware it's very invisible.
Every attempt to start
explorer.exe results in the following event situation (Event Viewer log):
Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 6.1.7601.17567, time stamp: 0x4d672ee4 Faulting module name: EFACli64.dll, version: 126.96.36.199, time stamp: 0x4ed5ce9f Exception code: 0xc0000005 Fault offset: 0x000000000000e5b4 Faulting process id: 0x15f0 Faulting application start time: 0x01cd363bbb2612bd Faulting application path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Norton 360\Engine64\188.8.131.52\EFACli64.dll Report Id: fa008352-a22e-11e1-a8aa-001d729e5a6c
UPDATE: I just had a remote control session with Norton tech. They said this is OS issue and passed it to MS. I haven't tried a session with MS but that seems next logical step prior to repair with boot disk.
My question now is what is the significance of the "faulting module"? This is the Norton 360 dll by the name of
EFACli64.dll. Norton rep seemed to imply it meant nothing in particular. But everytime I try to start
explorer.exe manually I get that error log packet exactly, and Norton 360 just updated yesterday.
So I'm wondering. If this is strictly OS corruption. If it's malware it's really stealthy. Nothing has caught a whif of anything: as above, Kasperskey, Norton, MS full scans reveal nothing.
Is this just MS Windows 7 corruption or is newly updated Norton 360 to blame?
I'd earlier attempted a System Restore which didn't happen because on restart it wouldn't remember the process. I just now did a System Restore from a Windows 7 boot usb disk. The System Restore went through flawlessly, but the OS has the same issue on reboot.