Microsoft – Windows Media Player (WMP) & TotalCodec Virus
I know it is supposed to be a restful day of rest. It is Sunday and Mother’s Day for crying
But, what options does one have, when a family member calls and says I can not play my
I know my brother loves music and he has always fancied himself a DJ.
And, try as I did to avoid another long day in front of computers, he just kept telling me
that he could not play music.
So connected over to his computer and tried to play music. Windows Media Player (WMP)
launched. I accessed his music player and as I tried to play regular wma I kept getting told
that the codec needed to play the music was not accessible.
I was being prompted and asked if I wanted to download the needed codec. And, so I
wanted to know if the music was prepared with a different codec than the one used in
preparing normal WMA files.
Asked my brother as to how the music files were “ripped” and he did not quite know.
So the next things I tried to do was to download “codec” inspectors. Codec Inspectors
allow one to “inspect” a file and determine which codec was used to prepare them.
The dictionary of all things, wikipedia, defines codec as “(A codec) encodes a data stream
or signal for transmission, storage or encryption, or decodes it for playback or editing”.
Popular Codec Inspectors includes:
1) KC Softwares (http://www.kcsoftwares.com)
a] VideoInspector (http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb)
2) Media Info ( http://mediainfo.org/)
3) Codec Installer ( http://www.jockersoft.com/english/codecinstaller.php)
4) AVICodec ( http://avicodec.duby.info/ )
5) GSpot (http://www.headbands.com/gspot/)
And, so downloaded both “Video Inspector” and “Media Info” and they pointed to the fact
that the file is a simple WMA file and that additional codecs should not be needed.
Also, downloaded VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) and that Application
once a quick & very trouble-free install was completed, was able to play the music file.
I even emailed myself a copy of the music file in question and was able to play same on my
Did a Windows Media Player un-install and Install. Those steps were performed by using
the steps published by howtogeek.com. The specific post is
But, still no joy. So returned to WMP and proceeded to try to download the Codec. And,
that led me to totalcodec.com. Upon reviewing that web site and seeing how nice it looked
decided that my brother’s PC had a virus after all.
So using all things unknown, that is Google, tried to find & determine how others had
solved the problem.
But, not much was available. Again, like “Patti Labelle” said I am “on my own” here.
Thankfully, we had a previous version of a MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
That app quickly detected the codec helper \ troubler.
The specific log entry is:
Memory Modules Detected: 1
C:\Users\Owner\AppData\Local\Temp\1F8.tmp (Trojan.FakeCodec) -> Delete on reboot.
Once the AV Tool completed his work, I rebooted the computer.
But, still WMV will not play the file. It complained of missing files. I think that the
malware does his havoc by placing a pointer of some sorts inside the main app. And, now
that the pointer is missing, I might need another re-install.
1) How To Enable and Disable Installed Codecs On Your System
2) How to find out what AVI Codec is needed
3) How to Re-Install Windows Media Player in Windows 7
4) Temporary disable a Codec