generaltel.dll???

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bellgamin, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I have my antiexecutable program set so that it gives me an alert whenever something on my computer calls rundll.exe. Just now I was notified that rundll.exe was called to execute generaltel.dll. At the moment, I was viewing a USPS email that I receive daily to inform me of all mail & packages that they will deliver to me that day.

    I checked the internet and generaltel.dll is a legitimate Microsoft file that has something to do with telemetry. Also, I checked to see that the generaltel.dll file is exactly where it's supposed to be on my computer, & that my copy thereof is "clean" according to VirusTotal.

    So I am merely curious as to what might have called this mysterious (to me) dll, & why. If anyone has any ideas or comments, I would love to *further my education*.
     
  2. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    hi, bill. process explorer is your friend. run pe, click "view - lower pane view - dll's".
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer
     
  3. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @imdb -- I always use Process Explorer vice M$'s Task Manager. The only in-front process I was running when generaltell.dll got called was PopPeeper, my email client. I verified that PopPeeper did not make the call.

    Of course, I have a number of in-background processes running all the time (security stuff plus many M$ svshost.exe's etc) -- sifting through all that stuff would be a PITN.

    Besides, I'm was running the same old stuff I always run after first boot in the morning, but generaltel.dll has never before showed itself until today. It just seems odd to me -- so I was wondering if anyone had more info concerning the possible *what & why* of it.
     
  4. itman

    itman Registered Member

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  5. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    "pe - find - find handle or dll - generaltel" might narrow it down.
     
  6. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    As itman said above, the dll is called by CompatTelRunner to do a full inventory scan -

    Code:
    CompatTelRunner.exe -m:generaltel.dll -f:DoCensusRun
    Source

    What's calling CompatTelRunner is a scheduled task.

    @bellgamin
    go to "Application Experience" section of Windows' Scheduled Tasks and check if the "Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser" task is enabled.
    If you don't want this telemetry sent to Them, disable the task.
     
  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @itman I knew that because, in addition to being located at its home base (C\windows\system32) it's also at several iterations of ...
    C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-a..de-compat-telemetry

    As to your second link (hybrid analysis) I find it interesting that that site takes note that: (a) It possibly checks for the presence of an antivirus engine, and (b) It possibly tries to implement anti-virtualization techniques.

    @imdb -- I did the find. It came back "0 matching items" on the 12 most obvious process possibilities.

    @Seer -- First time I've ever looked at the Task Manager. Good grief! I never before realized how many nosy parkers were sniffing around in my computer's BVDs. :confused:

    Well, I found the task you mentioned and disabled it. Why did I disable it? Because I could. But --- should I have done so?

    Okay, let's not waste any more time. I had my antiexecutable block that thing & everything still functions normally so ---- end of story.

    Thanks to all for the helpful comments! It was very educational to this old curmudgeon. I love this forum!!! :-*
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  8. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    IMO yes, as well as other 2 tasks in that category.
    The only ones who will miss out is MS, since they won't get your personal data on application compatibility (who knows exactly what's in there, I'm not aware that anyone actually analyzed what compatibility telemetry data really contains) in their efforts to 'improve customer experience'. They still get a ton of these reports.
    What I can say for sure is that the OS is not crippled in any way by disabling these tasks.
     
  9. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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  10. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    As of the above ghacks article (2016), 2 more telemetry tasks were added under "Customer Experience Improvement Rrogram".
    They can be disabled without 'System' privileges (not all tasks can) but it should be noted that all customized tasks revert to defaults after a feature upgrade. Every 6 months.
    Something to keep in mind.
     
  11. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    Which Windows version ?
     
  12. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @Seer Thanks a heap for your help!

    @FanJ --Good catch! I followed their instructions, fixed the gizmo, & learned some new stuff about Windoze.

    I roll with a natural 7, naturally. Doing 10 would be a sin.
     
  13. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    @bellgamin You're welcome :thumb:

    @blacknight All supported Windows versions should have telemetry tasks present. So the dll should be there as well.
     
  14. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    I think and do the same !
     
  15. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    Yes, but I didn't know if that DLL was peculiar of 10 or not.
     
  16. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Per my online research, that dll is NOT unique to win10.
     
  17. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    @bellgamin
    you may want to keep an eye on that 3 tasks you disabled. Woody (of Woody fame) has been blabbering on about telemetry possibly being bundled in this month's updates for W7. If it's true, that wil most likely reenable the tasks.
     
  18. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Windows updates are a bit like a chess match, with the goal of deciding who gets to control one's computer. I made a move (a Queen's Gambit, thanks to you folks). Now it's Microsoft's turn.
     
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