I encounter a problem that happened when you right-click a program. As soon as you right-clicked a program, a pop-up box appeared that said “There was a problem starting C:\users\owner\AppData\local\Temp\[random letters]\[different random letters]\wow.dll. A dynamic link library (DLL) initialization routine failed”. Or something like that.

Repeated searches of the registry for wow.dll found absolutely nothing. There was no trace of wow.dll in any of the startup entries. Internet searches weren’t very helpful either. I had already cleared all the temporary files, or so I thought, and so I thought the malware was removed.

It turns out there was a hidden, system folder that had its permissions taken away so that it was difficult to find and delete. After using Explorer to show hidden and system files, I had to right-click to get the permissions of the folder and take ownership of the now visible folder with the random letters. The error message came back, but I was still able to select the folder properties. After changing permissions and taking ownership of the folder, I discovered there was a wow64.dll file in that folder. Very sneaky. I deleted all those files and folders and the error message went away. Next I checked the registry for any references to wow64.dll and cleared those out.

The lesson is to always check for hidden, system files when you cannot figure out where the malware file is.

After I cleared out the malware, I did find this article which is also helpful. http://weirdwindowsfixes.blogspot.com/2013/06/wowdll-right-click-error.html