Solved Why does PunkBuster start with Windows?


rzn6jw

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Win 11Pro v22H2 build 22621.2428
I noticed in task manager that PnkBstrA.exe was running every time Windows 11 starts. Looking at the file location, I see that it's in Windows/SysWOW64. I also noticed that there are 5 other variations of the PnkBstrA.exe application: A1.exe, B.ex0, B.exe, B.xtr, and B1.exe.

Is this part of the Windows 11 security? It's not in any startup group I can find but it still starts with Windows.
 

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  • OS
    Win 11Pro v22H2 build 22621.2428
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    AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
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    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro WIFI
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    Soundblaster
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    3480 x 2160
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    Corsair 850W
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    GameMax
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    Deepcool LT720
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    Corsair
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    Razor
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    Norton 360
Delete it, it is no longer needed. It will be in a Game folder that may be in Steam. Just search for it and uninstall it.
 

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System One System Two

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    Win 11 Pro 22631.3155
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    Digital Storm Velox
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-10940X
    Motherboard
    MSI X299 PRO (Intel X299 Chipset) (Up to 4x PCI-E Devices)
    Memory
    128 GB DDR4 3200 MHz Corsair Vengance LPX
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    EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Black
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    CORSAIR XENEON 32QHD
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    VELOX
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    H20: Stage 2: Digital Storm Vortex Liquid CPU Cooler (Dual Fan) (Fully Sealed + No Maintenance)
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    Firefox 123.0
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    Logitech
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    1GB
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    Slimjet 43.0.1.0
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    quiet & fast
Punk Buster is a multiplayer anti cheat utility, it is probably installed as part of an old game setup and is a blast from the past. Very doubtful is of any use these days, but may be needed for compatibility with some older games.
As Josey says, you can probably remove it, or at least stop it starting with Windows, if you find it hard to get to, try Autoruns from Sysinternals which should allow you to disable it rather than un install it, which will also prevent it loading on start up, just in case. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2, build: 22621.521
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scan 3XS Custom 1700
    CPU
    Intel i7-12700K 3.6GHz Base (5.0GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Asus ProArt Creator B660 D4
    Memory
    64GB DDR 3600Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Tuff RTX 3080 10GB OC
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Gigabyte G32QC 32inch 16:9 curved @2560 x 1440p 165Hz Freesync Premium Pro/ Dell SE2422H 24inch 16:9 1920 x 1080p 75Hz Freesync
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p & 1920 x 1080p
    Hard Drives
    WD SN570 1TB NVME (Boot), Samsung 870QVO 1TB (SSD), SanDisk 3D Ultra 500Gb (SSD) x2, Seagate 3Tb Expansion Desk (Ext HDD), 2x Toshiba 1Tb P300 (Ext HDD)
    PSU
    Corsair RM1000X Modular
    Case
    Corsair 4000D Airflow Desktop
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H150i RGB Pro XT 360mm Liquid Cooler, 3 x 120mm fans, 1x Exhaust
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Ergonomic
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    800Mbs
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Defender, Malwarebytes
Only place I could find it was in the Windows/SysWOW64 folder. Will try to delete it and see what happens on a reboot.

OK, removed PnkBstrA and rebooted and it didn't start with Windows. Will keep an eye on whether it runs again and what app starts it and list it here.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11Pro v22H2 build 22621.2428
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro WIFI
    Memory
    64G DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS RTX 4070 Super OC
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 24"
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    PSU
    Corsair 850W
    Case
    GameMax
    Cooling
    Deepcool LT720
    Keyboard
    Corsair
    Mouse
    Razor
    Internet Speed
    Gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton 360

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