Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” (Removal Guide)

If you are seeing a “this file contained a virus and was deleted” message, when trying to download a program using Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10, then your computer is infected with a ZeroAccess rootkit.
[Image: file contained a virus and was deleted Internet Explorer]
The ZeroAccess trojan is a dangerous threat that has been circulating for several years. In the time that ZeroAccess has been in the wild there have been a number of revisions, with modifications to its functionality, infection strategy and its persistence mechanisms on an infected machine. However, the core purpose has remained: to assume full control of the machine by adding it to the ZeroAccess botnet and to monetize the new asset by downloading additional malware.
Primarily, Trojan ZeroAccess is a kernel-mode rootkit, similar in ethos to the TDL family of rootkits. It uses advanced techniques to hide its presence, is capable of functioning on both 32 and 64-bit flavors of Windows from a single installer, contains aggressive self defense functionality and acts as a sophisticated delivery platform for other malware.

Trojan ZeroAccess remains hidden on an infected machine while downloading more visible components that generate revenue for the botnet owners. Currently the downloaded malware is mostly aimed at sending spam and carrying out click fraud, but previously the botnet has been instructed to download other malware and it is likely that this will be the case again in the future.

The “program contained a virus and was deleted” trojan has been observed being distributed by exploits and programs that promote software-piracy, such as ‘keygens’ and ‘cracks’ (programs designed to bypass software licensing).

To protect itself from being removed, the ZeroAccess rootkit will prevent Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 users from downloading any piece of software that might lead to its removal.
When this happens, the Internet Explorer users will see a “filename.exe contained a virus and was deleted” message, which is obviously generated by this infection.
[Image: program contained a virus and was deleted infection]
The “file contained a virus and was deleted” infection, will only affect the Internet Explorer users, so if you are using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you should be able to download any piece of software without seeing this bogus alert.

In order to remove “[filename].exe contained a virus and was deleted” infection and stop this fake message from showing up and blocking software downloads you need to remove the ZeroAccess rootkit from your computer.

“This file contained a virus and was deleted” – Virus Removal Guide

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove the “file contained a virus and was deleted” infection from your your computer.

Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point STOP and ask for our assistance.
To remove “file contained a virus and was deleted infection by using one of the below methods:
OPTION 1: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus in Windows regular mode
OPTION 2: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus with with HitmanPro Kickstart
OPTION 3: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus with Kaspersky Rescue Disk

OPTION 1: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus in Windows regular mode

Because this infection will not allow you to download any program while using Internet Explorer, we recommend that you use any other web browser (examples: Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera) to download the below software, or alternatively you can use a USB flash drive to transfer these utilities on the infected computer.

STEP 1: Rename Windows Defender folder to stop the “file contained a virus and was deleted” notification

The ZeroAccess rootkit has corrupted the Windows Defender program, so we will need to temporarily rename its folder.

  1. Click on the Start button, select Computer, click on Local Disk (C:), and the click on Program Files.
  2. In the Program Files folder, right-click the Windows Defender folder and select Rename from the context menu.
    [Image: Right-click the Windows Defender folder and select Rename from the context menu.]
  3. Add a unique variation to the filename, such as .old (for example, Windows Defender.old) or something random.
    [Image: Windows Defender folder renamed]
  4. You should now be able to download the on-demand scanners from this guide. Please download all the recommended utilities in OPTION 1, and once your downloads have been completed, make sure to rename the Windows Defender folder back to its original filename before running these tools.

STEP 2: Remove “program contained a virus and was deleted” virus with Combofix

Trojan Sirefef may infect your Windows services, so we will need to run Combofix to replace these files.

  1. Download Combofix from any of the below links.
    COMBOFIX DOWNLOAD LINK #1 (This link will automatically download Combofix on your computer)
    COMBOFIX DOWNLOAD LINK #2 (This link will automatically download Combofix on your computer)
  2. Before running this utiltiy,please follow the below instructions:
    • Close any open browsers.
    • Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
      Temporarily disable your anti-virus, script blocking and any anti-malware real-time protection beforeperforming a scan. They can interfere with ComboFix or remove some of its embedded files which may cause “unpredictable results”.
    • WARNING: Combofix will disconnect your machine from the Internet as soon as it starts
      Please do not attempt to re-connect your machine back to the Internet until Combofix has completely finished.
      If there is no internet connection after running Combofix, then restart your computer to restore back your connection.
  3. Start the Combofix scan:
    1. Double click on ComboFix.exe and then follow the prompts.
    2. Accept the disclaimer and allow to update if it asks.
    3. When finished, it shall produce a log for you.
    4. Restart your computer

    Additional Notes:

    • DO NOT mouse-click Combofix’s window while it is running. That may cause it to stall.
    • DO NOT “re-run” Combofix. If you have a problem, reply back for further instructions.
    • IF after the reboot you get errors about programs being marked for deletion then reboot, that will cure it.

STEP 3: Remove “program contained a virus and was deleted” malicious registry keys with RogueKiller

  1. You can download the latest official version of RogueKiller from the below link.
    ROGUEKILLER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download RogueKiller on your computer)
  2. Double click on RogueKiller.exe to start this utility and then wait for the Prescan to complete.This should take only a few seconds, then click on the Scan button to perform a system scan.
    [Image: RogueKiller scaning for
  3. After the scan has completed, press the Delete button to remove “this file contained a virus and was deleted” malicious registry keys or files.
    [Image: RogueKiller Detele button]

STEP 4: Remove “program contained a virus and was deleted” virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” malicious files from your computer.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process, then at the last screen click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, and then click on the Scan button to start searching for the “file contained a virus and was deleted” malicious files.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for file contained a virus and was deleted
  5. When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malwar removing
  7. Once your computer will restart, open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform a Full System scan to verify that there are no remaining threats.

STEP 5: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a cloud on-demand scanner, which will scan your computer with 5 antivirus engines for the “[filename].exe contained a virus and was deleted” infection.

  1. Download HitmanPro from the below link, then double-click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
    IF you are experiencing problems while trying to start HitmanPro, you can use the Force Breach mode.To start HitmanPro in Force Breach mode, hold down the left CTRL-key when you start HitmanPro and all non-essential processes are terminated, including the malware process. (How to start HitmanPro in Force Breach mode – Video)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro scanner
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for “[filename].exe contained a virus and was deleted” malicious files as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scan after file contained a virus and was deleted infection
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove this malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

STEP 6: Fix the Windows Defender with Service Repair by ESET

The ZeroAcess rootkit will corrupt the Windows Defender, Windows Update and Windows Firewall services. To restore these services to their initial configuration, we will run the Service Repair utility by ESET

  1. You can download Service Repair utility (from Eset) from the below link.
    ESET SERVICES REPAIR DOWNLOAD LINK (This page will automatically download on your computer ServicesRepair.exe utility from ESET)
  2. Double click on ServicesRepair.exe to start this utility, then click on Yes button and allow for your computer to be restarted.
    [Image: Eset Service Repair]

STEP 7: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” adware from your computer with AdwCleaner.

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and browsers for “file contained a virus and was deleted” adware files and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    [Image: AdwCleaner Icon]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Search button as shown below.
    [Image: AdwCleaner scanning for file contained a virus and was deleted
    The program will now start to search for adware files that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the adware extensions, files, and registry keys that have been detected. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed, please close the Notepad window and continue with the next step.
  4. To remove the “file contained a virus and was deleted” malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Delete button on the AdwCleaner screen.
    [Image: Adwcleaner removing adware]
    AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
  5. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
    Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

OPTION 2: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus with with HitmanPro Kickstart

In this step we will need to create a bootable USB drive that contains the HitmanPro Kickstart program.
We will then boot your computer using this bootable USB drive and use it to clean the infection so that you are able to remove this infection.
You will also need a USB drive, which will have all of its data erased and will then be formatted. Therefore, only use a USB drive that does not contain any important data.

  1. Using a “clean” (non-infected) computer, please download HitmanPro Kickstart from the below link.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro Kickstart)
  2. Once HitmanPro has been downloaded, please insert the USB flash drive that you would like to erase and use for the installation of HitmanPro Kickstart. Then double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows).
    To create a bootable HitmanPro USB drive, please follow the instructions from this video:
  3. Now, remove the HitmanPro Kickstart USB drive and insert it into the “file contained a virus and was deleted” infected computer.
  4. Once you have inserted the HitmanPro Kickstart USB drive, turn off the infected computer and then turn it on. As soon as you power it on, look for text on the screen that tells you how to access the boot menu.
    [Image: Windows Boot Menu screens]
    The keys that are commonly associated with enabling the boot menu are F10, F11 or F12.
  5. Once you determine the proper key (usually the F11 key) that you need to press to access the Boot Menu, restart your computer again and start immediately tapping that key. Next, please perform a scan with HitmanPro Kickstart as shown in the video below.
  6. HitmanPro will now reboot your computer and Windows should start normally. Then please Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro, and scan your computer for any left over infections.

OPTION 3: Remove “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus with Kaspersky Rescue Disk

If any of the above methods did not clean your infected computer, we can use a Kaspersky Rescue Disk Bootable to clean the Windows registry and to perform a system scan to remove the “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus.
To create a bootable Kaspersky Rescue Disk, we will need the following items:

  • A clean (non-infected) computer with Internet access
  • A blank DVD or CD
  • A computer with a DVD or CD burner

STEP 1: Download and create a bootable Kaspersky Rescue Disk CD

  1. You can download Kaspersky Rescue Disk utility from link below:
    KASPERSKY RESCUE DISK DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download Kaspersky Rescue Disk (kav_rescue_10.iso) on your computer.)
  2. To create the bootable rescue disk, we will need to use the ImgBurn program. You can download ImgBurn from the below link, then install this program.
    IMGBURN DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new page from where you can download the ImgBurn program)
  3. Insert your blank DVD or CD in your burner, then start ImgBurn and click on the Write image file to disc button.
  4. Under Source click on the Browse for file button, then navigate to the location where you previously saved the Kaspersky Rescue Disk utility (kav_rescue_10.iso), then click on the Write button.
    [Image: Bootable Kaspersky Rescue CD]
    That’s it, ImgBurn will now begin writing your bootable Kaspersky Rescue Disk.

STEP 2: Start your computer using the Kaspersky Rescue Disk

  1. Once you’ve got the Kasperky Rescue Disk in hand, insert it into the infected computer, and turn off and then turn it on again.
  2. As soon as you power it on, you will see a screen that tells you to press any key to enter the menu, so please tap any key to boot your machine from the Kaspersky Rescue Disk.
    [Image: Starting infected computer from Kaspersky Rescue Disk]
  3. In the next screen, you will need to chose a language, then you click on Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Graphic Mode and press ENTER, to start the Kaspersky Rescue Disk.[Image: Kaspersky Rescue Disk Graphic Mode screen]

STEP 3: Scan your system with Kaspersky Rescue Disk

  1. Within a few short seconds you should see the full working environment, with the Kaspersky Rescue Disk screen front and center as shown below.
    [Image: Kaspersky Rescue Disk scanner]
  2. Switch tabs over to the My Update Center, and then click the Start update button to load the latest anti-virus definitions. Please be patience while this process its completed.
    [Image: Updating Kaspersky Rescue Disk antivirus definitions]
  3. Switch back over to the Objects Scan tab, select the drives you want to scan, and then click the Start Objects Scan button.
    [Image: Kaspersky Rescue Disk scan]
  4. When Kaspersky Antivirus will detect the “file contained a virus and was deleted” virus, you’ll be prompted to select an action. When this happens, please select Quarantine or Delete to remove this infection from your computer.
    [Image: Kaspersky Rescue Disk prompt]
  5. When the antivirus scan has completed, you can restart back into Windows regular mode, by clicking on the Kaspersky Start button [Image: Kaspersky Rescue Disk Restart button] (lower left corner), and selecting Restart.
    Once your computer will start in Windows regular more, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro, and scan your computer for any left over infections.

Your computer should now be free of the “file contained a virus and was deleted” infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove “[filename].exe contained a virus and was deleted” from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

You can follow me on Google+ , and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.

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