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scrib1
Level 7
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Message 1 of 11

hard disk problem caused by malware?

I apologize if this is not the right forum to address my problems.

Disclaimer: I am a Mac user without much technical knowledge. I use a PC at work and we have a couple at home.

We bought a Toshiba laptop a few months ago with Windows 7 and put McAfee Plus on it. We have been buying McAfee for the past 5-6 years since we felt Norton was bogging down the PCs.

We got a message saying Windows detected a hard disk problem and it told us to backup our files and contact the manufacturer to see if it needed repair or replacement. My wife backed up and called Toshiba. They walked through it with her, took over the computer, ran some program and said there were serious registry problems caused by a rogue virus. We said we had McAfee and they said they had a large increase in problems with computers protected by McAfee. They recommended we sign up with Microsoft for some type of Windows protector? for $170 and then $80 a year and if we did we could then delve further into the problem with the technical people. I asked if doing a fresh reinstallation of Windows or just replacing the hard drive would fix the problems and they said neither would be a sure fix because the virus had screwed up the registry throughout the computer. (this may not be verbatim since it was translated through my wife who was on the phone with them)

I went on your website and learned more about the differences between viruses and malware. I admit we have gotten the fake alerts before but I had thought that if I did not click them, I was safe. Did not realize that meant I was already infected. Tried to find Singer but could not access the McAfee website. Finally found it on CNet. I ran stinger 10.2.0.267 in the safe mode, restarted and got the same hard drive warning so I ran it again as suggested. It left a text message indicating the number of clean files. There is also a .opt file but couldn't open that. Restarted and still get the same warning.

Could someone answer a few questions based on this info?

Hard drive damaged or not? If so, caused by virus/malware?

Are the registry issues fixable by me or a professional? Would a reinstall of Windows 7 or changing the hard drive fix the issues?

Since we never saw these type problems running XP; is Windows 7 more vulnerable to either malware & viruses or more prone to registry problems?

The more I read on the net the more I wonder if our old PC was bogging down because of registry problems and could I have dealt with that rather than buy another computer. Once this is dealt with; is there something I should run on a regular basis to keep things aligned?

Any help would be appreciated. Words with one syllable are not necessary but...

10 Replies

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

Hello -

This is a scam, windows never warns you about an impending hard-drive failure. Are you sure it was Toshiba that wanted to charge you $170 and then another $80 on top of that per year - they should be ashamed of themselves if that is the case... there is no need to spend that type of money for this problem.

To answer your questions.

More than likely your hard-drive is fine, its the rogue software that is trying to get you to part with your money, it`s generally what we call scareware.

If these registry entries relate to the scareware rogue, then once the files have been removed all that is left is orphaned registry entries which cannot make any changes or damage your system, only files can write to the hard-drive.

Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP by default, however any system is only as secure as the user makes it. The difference today is the amount of new virus/malware/trojans/rookits and others has increased exponentially since the XP came onto the market, some vendors can see up to 170,000 new samples per day. It was not that long ago that vendors saw an average of 300 per week.

Please download//install/update and run a scan with malwarebytes:

http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html?part=dl-10804572&subj=d...

Do not activate the 30 day trial of Malwarebytes, leave it in the free version mode.


on 14/09/11 17:02:48 IST
newjack
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Message 3 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

scrib1, Is this what it looks like?If not you may want to give this a try anyhow.A lot of these are similar Here is the uninstall guide from the good folks at Bleeping computer.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-disk-repair

Message was edited by: newjack on 9/14/11 8:14:13 PM EDT

Message was edited by: newjack on 9/14/11 8:15:50 PM EDT
scrib1
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Message 4 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

I ran Malwarebytes and it showed no infected files in both quick and full scans.

So, what now?

Could the windows warning be real and correct and the hard drive is failing?

Could this be a registry issue like the Toshiba rep suggested and if so, how do I correct it?

There seem to be specific versions of Malwarebytes for specific problems like "system Tool" or "disk repair" like newjack suggested. Should I try that or would the regular program I already used have covered the problem already?

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

Hello -

More than likely there are still some malicious files on your system that are not detected by Malwarebytes at this time. You can try Superantspyware`s free version if you wish:

http://www.superantispyware.com/

If that does not resolve the problem i would suggest going to the security forums, they will be able to see what is running in your system and if any malicous files are found they can then target them for removal. Make sure you follow their inital steps before posting a log for assistance - please choose any one of the three below.

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f50/new-instructions-read-this-before-posting-for-malware-rem...

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic34773.html

http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/2852-malware-and-spyware-cleaning-guide/

Please be patient, as they can be extremely busy. Also system tool and disk repair are rogues and nothing to do with Malwarebytes.

Good luck.

on 20/09/11 00:09:12 IST
SamSwift
Level 12
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Message 6 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

Hi,

Have you tried running our fake alert stinger program?

Kind regards,

Sam

scrib1
Level 7
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Message 7 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

I ran stinger 10.2.0.267 in the safe mode, restarted and got the same hard drive warning so I ran it again as suggested. It left a text message indicating the number of clean files. There is also a .opt file but couldn't open that. Restarted and still get the same warning.

I did this before running Malwarebytes.

scrib1
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Message 8 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

Should I try running Malwarebytes "Disk Repair" malware removal as indicated above? The warning I get seems different in that it does not suggest running a program, it just says backup and contact the manufacturer.

Reliable Contributor Hayton
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Message 9 of 11

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

If you download and run a free utility called Speccy, from Piriform, it will automatically run some tests on your hard disk - the same tests, as I found, that some more specialised tools will run. The output will look like this -

Speccy HDD page.JPG

The numbers are a guide to expected HDD performance. Look for large deviations, but most of all look for the Status line. My HDD status is Good, apparently.

Re: hard disk problem caused by malware?

Hi,

It seems that the error is caused by virus, but that rarely happens. the most common causes of this problem is system error or hard disk problem.

either can cause server data loss, so you need to make a backup of data, if files on the drive are important to you.

then you can carry out Chkdsk for the drive which can check and fix system errors and check bad sectors.

There are many tutorials about how to perform chkdsk.

Windows detected a hard drive problem can't be ingnored.

good luck

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