I've used Avast! for about 3 years now, I learned a great deal about internet security and switched to Avast! after losing several various online accounts to keyloggers and whatever else was lurking on my HD back then. Since switching to Avast! I have not had a single issue with viruses whatsoever.
However, this week I did a regular manual virus scan (I scan at least once a month) and I received a very curious message in the results log which looked like this:
"C:\WINDOWS\winstart.bat is offline - it is currently not available (42006)"
I've never received that message before, and all attempts to find out what Winstart.bat is and why Avast! is saying it's "offline" and if Winstart.bat is even supposed to be present in Windows XP have only led me to become more confused, so I decided to come ask someone.
I am aware that Winstart.bat is associated with trojans, but is also a normal system file. But I have read more than once that this file shouldn't be present in Windows XP, but other opinions stated that it doesn't really matter, that it's not a threat, etc.... I'm so confused. :S
Also, when I try to locate Winstart.bat in C:\WINDOWS, I can't find it. Even when I have hidden folders shown.
One other thing I thought to be worth mentioning is that my computer has become increasingly sluggish lately, for example it takes between 10-15 seconds to open up a program such as Firefox. Even after running a full defrag, and cleaning the registry up regularly, my computer is slow. When starting up Windows, startup times vary. I do not have a medley of programs set to run at startup.
So far, Avast! is the only AV that has given me this message.
I use Windows XP Home/SP3
My firewall is Comodo, which is consistently at high security settings.
EDIT: I also cannot add winstart.bat to the chest.... for some reason I can't click the "Apply" button.
So my questions are:
1.) Why is Avast! showing me this message? (What is "offline" and how did it get marked as that?)
2.) What does Winstart.bat do exactly, and is it even normally part of Windows XP?
3.) If Winstart.bat is a threat to my security, how do I tell? And if it is determined to be a threat, how do I remove it?
I of course am willing to provide additional details as needed.
Thanks in advance for any information you can provide me!