Exterminate It! Antimalware


Known threats:700,085 Last Update:August 24, 10:09


My browser was taking 10 to 15 seconds to load up instead of being instant. Three of the top anti spyware programs insisted all was well. However a few simple instructions from your team and the problem was magically solved.

Nelson S.

File: hardware.url

Location of hardware.url and Associated Malware

Check whether hardware.url is present in the following locations:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 specific hardware.url file locations:

  • C:\Documents And Settings\USER_NAME\Favorites\computers\hardware.url
  • C:\Documents And Settings\USER_NAME\Favorites\ computers and tech\hardware.url

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8 specific hardware.url file locations:

  • C:\Users\USER_NAME\Favorites\computers\hardware.url
  • C:\Users\USER_NAME\Favorites\ computers and tech\hardware.url

If you find hardware.url file in any of these locations, your computer is very likely to be infected with the following malware:

IMPORTANT: Malware files can be camouflaged with the same file names as legitimate files. The hardware.url file is associated with malware only if found in the locations listed above.


Different Variations of hardware.url File^

File SizeFile Md5Last Seen
140975CDBCA2BE0C2A985E066F61CA4D20AJun 13, 2010
84E2376B39BCF1C60F46904CEBCBD6EB46Jul 11, 2010
80E4F7273172D2BEF66C55FFB21D0665CCSep 17, 2010
18818053FBC20249AB0272B60E0BB08823BSep 27, 2010
250FE79EF28D333E34026DA509E3292E80BOct 3, 2010
1065F5F5BAD39565FCB4368E90E5C6C4402Dec 1, 2010
80F917A306592232A993C07730D30F8AA2Mar 13, 2012
1886C4BA7068B2E51D42665C1DC9EF8192EMay 30, 2012
17032061047F317C40A5ACD538B11923561Dec 15, 2013
125996657855EB81A7A1B53373D5E5CA83ESep 3, 2014
3822860B28E990B0C1CD78FD1A6B4225C97Sep 29, 2014
757B56E05C4DA95D9A0BF76EB456C6663A3Nov 13, 2014
804E20B749B4A4AD7E5B3B0C8C21464825Mar 12, 2015
7631A25E1A6626CC9CE1B1A74E43706B96Jun 29, 2010
555D817BB40D7155A0710910DFBF169328Aug 10, 2010
83F2C22D49BDD5A0D776083182E2794626Aug 13, 2010
54719E563E5584F2312FE883370770E57BAug 30, 2010
55BDA1C0627F346973A84EDF648FD52AF6Jan 31, 2011
51859332F7F43A4FDF45D22982FA413781Mar 17, 2011
77CE5EA43F3CF471B3578D1076F7117044Oct 14, 2011
74AEA7999BD1372F991C356F2C9D126C99Aug 17, 2012
53C6890635168AF1B14392FD66506FE560Sep 11, 2012
512AB307119FB9BD87FF1E959374990B2BApr 19, 2013
84F83597E04C4E2CF54CDD237A16448535Jan 9, 2010
73958541C75713C702BD6ADF4FD7EDA39AApr 20, 2010

Why Is It Important to Remove Malware Files?^

It is imperative that you delete malware-associated files as soon as possible because they can be used - or are already being used - to inflict serious damage on your PC, including:

  • Disrupting the normal functioning of the operating system or rendering it completely useless.
  • Hijacking valuable private information (credit card numbers, passwords, PIN codes, etc.)
  • Directing all your Web searches to the same unwanted or malicious sites.
  • Dramatically slowing down your computer.
  • Gaining total control of your PC to spread viruses and trojans and send out spam.

How to Remove hardware.url^

  1. To enable deleting the hardware.url file, terminate the associated process in the Task Manager as follows:
    • Right-click in the Windows taskbar (a bar that appears along the bottom of the Windows screen) and select Task Manager on the menu.
    • In the Tasks Manager window, click the Processes tab.
    • On the Processes tab, select hardware.url and click End Process.
  2. Using your file explorer, browse to the file using the paths listed in Location of hardware.url and Associated Malware.
  3. Select the file and press SHIFT+Delete on the keyboard.
  4. Click Yes in the confirm deletion dialog box.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each location listed in Location of hardware.url and Associated Malware.
  6. Notes:

    • The deletion of hardware.url will fail if it is locked; that is, it is in use by some application (Windows will display a corresponding message). For instructions on deleting locked files, see Deleting Locked Files.
    • The deletion of hardware.url will fail if your Windows uses the NT File System (NTFS) and you have no write rights for the file. Request your system administrator to grant you write rights for the file.

Deleting Locked Files^

You can delete locked files with the RemoveOnReboot utility. You can install the RemoveOnReboot utility from here.

After you delete a locked file, you need to delete all the references to the file in Windows registry.

To delete a locked file:

  1. Right-click on the file and select Send To -> Remove on Next Reboot on the menu.
  2. Restart your computer.

The file will be deleted on restart.

Note: In the case of complex viruses that can replicate themselves, malware files can reappear in the same locations even after you have deleted those files and restarted your computer. Exterminate It! Antimalware can effectively eradicate such viruses from your computer.

To remove all registry references to a hardware.url malware file:

  1. On the Windows Start menu, click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor window opens.
  3. On the Edit menu, select Find.
  4. In the Find dialog box, type hardware.url. The name of the first found registry value referencing hardware.url is highlighted in the right pane of the Registry Editor window.
  5. Right-click the registry value name and select Delete on the menu.
  6. Click Yes in the Confirm Value Delete dialog box.
  7. To delete all other references to hardware.url, repeat steps 4-6.
IMPORTANT: Malware files can masquerade as legitimate files by using the same file names. To avoid deleting a harmless file, ensure that the Value column for the registry value displays exactly one of the paths listed in Location of hardware.url and Associated Malware.