: "userinit.exe application error". VIRUS?

2008-08-27, 07:25 AM

My neighbor asked me to look at her computer. It's single install, not part of a home network.

Her two boys have been downloading on peer to peer websites like kazaa and limewire, and I think she now has a serious virus as a result. My research on the Internet makes me lean this way.

When her computer boots up, it will not make it past the Windows XP log on screen. If you select Administrator or Owner, the result is the same: userinit.exe application error. No icons appear on her desktop just her desktop picture alone.

I tried booting to safe mode with no luck.
It's a Compaq computer, and of course she's lost her restore disk.

What would you recommend? A a purchase of XP and a re-format?

Thanks in advance,

2008-08-27, 07:49 AM
userinit.exe is a key process in the Windows operating system. On boot-up it manages the different start up sequences needed, such as establishing network connection and starting up the Windows shell. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.

Looks like a necessary program.
This webpage (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=bph07143) tells how she can order a new restore disk.

2008-08-27, 09:17 AM
Or Compaq's and HP's can usually be restored from a hidden partition; the BIOS screen on bootup usually mentions the key (F9 I think) to restore from this partition.

2008-08-27, 01:37 PM
If you have a copy or have access to a copy of the same version of XP you can use the repair option that is part of the CD this does not require a you to have the CD-key or any other information.

2008-08-28, 07:13 AM
Thanks for the answers, guys.

I found an old XP disk here that never really got installed and activated on one of my PC's a few years back. Wasn't able to repair the existing install, so will start fresh.

The drivers for the machine were all on the Compaq website you directed me to, Hugh. Thanks.

I'll install avast! and Spybot and make sure the machine is password protected so that the neighbor's kids just can't use the machine period. They'll have to get their own PC.

I've got a spare router. I'll "loan' it to them . Maybe the router will offer a bit more protection and will be helpful when they buy another PC for the kids..

Ciao for now,