What is precomp.exe?
precomp.exe belongs to a cryptocurrency miner that consumes a lot of your system’s resources. Users have started noticing this process running in their Task Managers, and it uses a lot of resources, which negatively affects the computer. It’s one of the less serious malware you could encounter as its intention is not to harm your device, but rather use it to make money. A computer infected with a miner is easily distinguishable because of the effect it has on it. Your computer will suddenly slow down, program will not launch or act crash constantly, and everything will feel sluggish. The most noticeable sign is a weird process appearing in the Task Manager. It would appear at the top and would be using more than 30-40% of your CPU. Generally, programs do not use such amounts of resources, so it should be an immediate red flag.
According to some users, the miner spreads together with pirated games, such as GTA V, Call of Duty and Sims 4. Others claim that it appears in legitimate programs’ directories, such as WinRAR or Winamp. By placing itself in legitimate program folders, it’s probably aiming to disguise itself and delay detection as much as possible.
The miner is not going to damage your computer, but you should make sure to get rid of it as soon as possible. It’s illegally using your computer to make money for malware developers, and you should not allow that to happen. As soon as you notice the process running, you should delete precomp.exe. In order to fully get rid of it, we would suggest using anti-malware software. The majority of legitimate anti-malware programs should detect it.
How to avoid such malware?
While it probably spreads via other methods, it seems to be encountered the most when downloading pirated games. So the answer to the question about how to avoid this particular malware is simple: don’t download pirated games. It’s not a secret that downloading such content is not only illegal but likely also harmful to the computer. Malware developers often insert malware into downloads for popular games, films, TV series, etc. It’s particularly common in torrents. So not downloading this kind of illegally distributed content can go a long way towards keeping your computer safe.
What does it do?
If you got it along with a pirated copy of a game, the miner will launch together with the game installation. Even if you aren’t aware of cryptocurrency miner symptoms, you will definitely notice that something is not right. Your computer will slow down immediately, programs will start lagging or crashing, and a weird process will appear in your Task Manager. These symptoms can also be signs of other infections, so don’t immediately assume you are dealing with mining malware. The way to be sure is opening your Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del -> Task Manager) and looking for a process using a lot of your CPU. Processes with the biggest CPU usage will appear at the top so you won’t need to look far. If you notice a process using more than 40% of your CPU, you more than likely have a miner on your computer. According to some users, killing the process would immediately cause an error in the game’s installations.
It’s unlikely that the miner will actually harm your computer, as it’s not created for that. It will certainly cause disruption but it will not harm it. However, the sooner you get rid of it, the better. While the miner is present, it’s essentially using your system’s resources to mine for digital currency. Because that requires a lot of resources, it results in a sluggish computer. We should also note that the miner makes your CPU run at high temperatures, which is not good. In the long run, it could result in a shorter CPU lifespan. Thus, the sooner you uninstall precomp.exe, the better.
Simply killing the process and deleting the file may be enough to remove precomp.exe in some cases. If you have done that but the process reappears, you’ll need to use anti-malware software. Most of the popular security programs do detect the malicious file so you should be able to get rid of it fairly easy.
Here’s how precomp.exe is detected:
- Win32:Malware-gen by Avast and AVG
- Gen:Variant.Zusy.274755 by BitDefender
- a variant of Win32/CoinMiner.GC potentially unwanted by ESET
- Trojan.Win32.Miner.tlia by Kaspersky
- Trojan:Win32/Bluteal!rfn by Microsoft
- PUA.Gen.2 by Symantec
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