Most antivirus programs identify sample.exe as malware—e.g. Symantec identifies it as Trojan.Gen or Trojan.Klovbot, and TrendMicro identifies it as TROJ_SPNR.16HJ12 or TROJ_GEN.R0F3C0DDC16.
"sample.exe" is a file within Windows that is known to be a virus, often reported to be a variation of Nimda viruses. The file displays a pop-up when shutting down the computer that states that the "sample.exe" process is preventing Windows from shutting down. It prompts the user to select "End Task" in order for the system to continue. There have been some reports of people receiving emails from unknown senders with a blank Word doc labeled as sample content, and when opened; it activates the virus. However, viruses can infiltrate PCs by many methods and this file is no different.
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Description: Sample.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Sample.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 319,488 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 1,522,688 bytes.
There is no information about the author of the file. Sample.exe is not a Windows system file. Sample.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, monitor applications and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 100% dangerous.
Recommended: Identify sample.exe related errors
If sample.exe is located in the Windows folder for temporary files, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 236,032 bytes. There is no file information. The program has no visible window. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Run). The file is not a Windows system file. Sample.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications.
Important: You should check the sample.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: ASecurity Task Manager examines the active sample process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known Banti-malware tool tells you if the sample.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 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon 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 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.