MPREXE has invaded me!
May 25, 2006 5:14 AM   Subscribe

Something called MPREXE has invaded my computer. Is it a virus or part of Microsoft's evil empire... in any case it is making my PC screwy.... help me get rid of it please!

When I turn on the computer (Windows 98) I get an error message as my desktop loads saying:

MPREXE caused an invalid page fault in
module KERNEL32.DLL at 016f:bff7a4b2.
EAX=00000000 CS=016f EIP=bff7a4b2 EFLGS=00010206
EBX=00000000 SS=0177 ESP=0136edbc EBP=0136edcc
ECX=00510018 DS=0177 ESI=00510000 FS=1a97
EDX=00000040 ES=0177 EDI=0051000c GS=0000
Bytes at CS:EIP:
8b 03 25 fc ff ff 0f 3b 45 0c 0f 83 81 00 00 00
Stack dump:
788f1d20 0136ef1c 829c7340 0136ef1c 0136ede0 bff88dc4 00510000 00000040 00000000 0136ee40 7ff214f0 00510000 00000000 0000003c 7ff21520 7ffce00c

My symptoms: so far I notice that my "find files" function is disabled, and I cannot open the "My Computer" file to check properties on my C disc (I can look in Windows Explorer, though,

Googling this has me confused - is it a legit program or a trojan virus. I downloaded Microsoft's patch ( but that has not worked, searched for it in my registry. Last night I ran Trend's virus scan on-line, and came up clean.

Perhaps it might be something that came in when I downloaded uTorrent yesterday?
posted by zaelic to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
This is a pretty well-documented problem in Windows 95 and 98. The link offers several resolutions, but I say that you tough it up and get XP. It's actually fairly stable.
posted by charmston at 5:15 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: Charmston, I saw that, but the fix fequires using the "find files" function to search for .pwl password list files, and my "find" function is frozen...

I'm stuck with 98 on this machine....
posted by zaelic at 5:26 AM on May 25, 2006

Open and command prompt and enter:

cd \
dir /s *.pwl

That should stell you where to .pwl files are living.
posted by ed\26h at 5:32 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: DOS search found only one .pwl file in my Windows folder, called A.pwl, and it is about six years old. Possibly it is not a .pwl problem?
posted by zaelic at 6:03 AM on May 25, 2006


What the hell is that kernel file thingie anyway? I got a horrible blue screen error telling me mine couldn't be found and then my entire hard drive crashed. Irreparably, too. I have XP.

posted by CunningLinguist at 6:24 AM on May 25, 2006

On second look, that link seems to deal with MPREXE not responding rather than flat-out crashing. You could try a blanket approach and install the Unofficial Windows 98 Service Pack.
posted by ed\26h at 6:29 AM on May 25, 2006

It's both a wave and a particle : it's a network service (Multiple Protocol Router) that can be crashed by damaged password files (.pwl), and is also sometimes replaced/infected by a virus.

Easiest way to tell the difference is to download something like Autoruns and see if there's a startup key named MPREXE with a value of MPREXE.EXE. If so, it's a virus. Deleting this key should allow you to reboot without error and scan for the little bugger.
posted by Pinback at 6:36 AM on May 25, 2006

What the hell is that kernel file thingie anyway? I got a horrible blue screen error telling me mine couldn't be found and then my entire hard drive crashed. Irreparably, too. I have XP.

Here's a brief description of a kernel. I imagine your error was cause by your hard disk starting to fail rather than vice versa.
posted by ed\26h at 7:00 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: Pinback: Ran Autorun and it did not find any mprexe.exe on the system.

ed/26h: Is there some reason the unofficial version is better than some official version? Would re-installing from my original Windows 98 disc help the problem?
posted by zaelic at 7:50 AM on May 25, 2006

The unofficial service pack is in lieu of, rather than as opposed to an official one. Hard to say whether or not a reinstall would help as I’m unsure as to exactly what’s causing the problem; certainly worth a go, but personally I’d try the service pack first as it’s the least drastic option.
posted by ed\26h at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2006

ed - thanks much. I was sort of afraid of that. I wiped the drive and reinstalled the factory settings etc, and so far so good, but I'll look into getting a new hard drive.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: CunningLinguist: did you just start having these mprexe problems or have you had them for a while? Just wondering if there is some odd cybervirus going around that Symantec hasn't copped onto yet.
posted by zaelic at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: ed\26h: I installed the unofficial pack, and my troubles got worse! I don't know what's involved in that service pack, but I don't recomend it. The original MPREXE glitch is still there. But now I couldn't open IE Explorer, couldn't shut down automatically, my monitor colors changed. I am now doing a full reinstallation from my origal Windows 98 disc.
posted by zaelic at 8:43 AM on May 25, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to all who helped. The full reinstallation of Windows seemed to have cleared the problem up (for now....) Must have been some kind of corrupted file.
posted by zaelic at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2006

I think I had a corrupted file too, zaelic. Ironically, I suspect it had something to do with the backup software I was using. I started getting strange error messages from the program even when I wasn't using it, and then things started to crash - getting progressively worse over a period of days until I couldn't even bring up windows anymore. I tried wiping the hard drive and reinstalling everything from the backup, but the same crashing stuff and kernel errors appeared. So I wiped it again, reinstalled just the basics and transferred only the most crucial files from the backup. So far so good. But as ed says, it may be a hard drive problem ultimately.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:57 AM on May 25, 2006

gah, too late, but the Windows 98 System File Checker is good for restoring damaged files without having to reinstall all of Windows. Upgrading to Windows 98 Second Edition is also another good, less drastic fix for serious Win 98 problems.

Windows 2000 is far, far more stable and usually runs on machines built for Win 98, if going all the way to a current OS isn't an option.
posted by anildash at 10:08 PM on May 25, 2006

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