Most antivirus programs identify sample.exe as malware—e.g. Symantec identifies it as Trojan.Gen or WS.Reputation.1, and TrendMicro identifies it as TROJ_SPNR.16HJ12 or TROJ_GEN.R01TC0GA315.
"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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The process sample.exe has no data about its author.
Description: Sample.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Sample.exe is located in the Windows folder for temporary files.
The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 236,032 bytes.
There is no information about the author of the file. The program is not visible. The process starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run). Sample.exe is not a Windows core file. Sample.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 64% dangerous.
Recommended: Identify sample.exe related errors
If sample.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 65,536 bytes. The program has no file description. The program is not visible. The sample.exe file is not a Windows core file.
If sample.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 100% dangerous. The file size is 1,522,688 bytes. The program has a visible window. There is no information about the author of the file. Some people think it is dangerous. The program starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run). Sample.exe is not a Windows system file. Sample.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, monitor applications and manipulate other programs.
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: Security Task Manager examines the active sample process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known anti-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 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.