Most antivirus programs identify mstinit.exe as malware—for example Symantec identifies it as Downloader.Trojan or Trojan.Lootseek.AV, and Kaspersky identifies it as Trojan.Win32.Scar.ecy or Trojan.Win32.Scar.dibz.
The free file information forum can help you find out how to remove it. If you have additional information about this file, please leave a comment or a suggestion for other users.
There are no author's data about the mstinit.exe process.
Description: Mstinit.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Mstinit.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 81,920 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 61,440 bytes, 339,456 bytes, 90,112 bytes or 86,016 bytes.
There is no description of the program. The program is not visible. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: win.ini). The mstinit.exe file is not a Windows core file. Therefore the technical security rating is 67% dangerous.
Recommended: Identify mstinit.exe related errors
If mstinit.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder, the security rating is 77% dangerous. The file size is 81,920 bytes (80% of all occurrences) or 356,864 bytes. The process has no file description. The program is not visible. The file is not a Windows core file. The mstinit.exe file is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The process starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: win.ini).
If mstinit.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 79% dangerous. The file size is 77,824 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 358,400 bytes or 61,440 bytes. There is no description of the program. It is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program is not visible. The file is not a Windows core file.
If mstinit.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 82% dangerous. The file size is 101,376 bytes (25% of all occurrences), 77,824 bytes, 95,232 bytes or 61,440 bytes.
If mstinit.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 90,624 bytes.
External information from Paul Collins:
Important: You should check the mstinit.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.
The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: Security Task Manager examines the active mstinit process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known anti-malware tool tells you if the mstinit.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.
Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.