I am having a rather challenging time navigating the McAfee community site looking for information. The ONLY information I have been able to find out about my computer's infection is from Google and asociated finds outside of this site. But since I am a long-paying subscriber of McAfee products I would prefer to get my intel/advice about my infection from the folks who make my the product I am using. Will one of you kindly provide some assitance?
Here's the skinny:
- It seems that I have some sort of hoax malware running on my laptop. I receive a pop-up message from "Microsoft Windows" that has a banner, "System Error. Hard disk failure detected."
- I have performed both high and low level diagnostics on the drive. Each passes with 100% positive results (e.g. all good).
- I have lost visibility of much of my desktop icons and the personalization of my desktop.
- The error message provides buttons from which to select: one for a scan/repair and one to decline. I have not selected either option or button (nor will I).
In searching places like Malwarebytes and other free A/V sites I have become generally convinced that my symptoms are the result of malware and NOT from any sort of system or hardware failure. These websites provide convincing steps on how to remove the malware -- both in the services and in the registry -- but I am not experienced at recovering from registry booboos and am afraid that my malware may be a variant of the ones descrbed in those forums. IOW, I don't want to follow a recipe to remedy malwareX (e.g. random.exe) when I am actually infected with a slight variant of malwareX (e.g. random1.exe) and therefore potentially inflict harm on myself.
Additionally, I need to be able to discover which files/data stores have been hidden and then unhide or restore those files for normal use.
I am quite surprised that there was some decent information available in the public domain but none that I have found (so far) in hours of searching McAfee.com. Am I too much of a newbie to figure this out or is there no information about this exploit in the world of McAfee? Your assistance will be appreciated.
Finally, here are some specifics:
* I run Win7 home premium
* I have McAfee total protection 2012 installed, updated, and running on the laptop (it has always been set to auto update), but the malware appears to have disabled it or turned it off. The McAfee screen provides an "ATTENTION!" warning that the A/V is turned off but when I select "turn on" the window changes to a green/good status for one second then reverts back to a red danger color and is turned off again.
* In that one second window when the A/V is on I have clicked the full scan button. After an hour of scanning the entire drive McAfee reports no susicious events or detections (then it is turned off again).
* I have not yet run the McAfee Scan Plus utility. I am pretty well convinced of what the problem is so having a free utility tell me there is a problem is not nearly as helpful as leading me toward a safe cure.
I confess to being a bit frustrated by the idea that I pay money to McAfee to protect my computers but I get infected anyway (these things do happen, I fully understand). And it is not McAfee that alerts me to the infection, it is my own detective work. And when I run a scan McAfee says, "all good." And when I contact McAfee they tell me, "Give me your credit card number and $90 and we'll remote into your computer to fix what we failed to prevent or even identify in the first place." And when I hassle the chat representative for a FAQ page or something to further my own investigation he relents from his $90 sales pitch and sends me an email with links to this community but all of my searching here has been frutiless.
I just don't understand, but I am definitely willing to learn. My subscription is due to be renewed in two months and I have to seriously wonder how much worse the less expensive vendors can be. Hopefully that makes sense, not as a rant but as a reasoned statement of logic from a paying customer.
Message was edited by: Hayton - added description to the subject line - on 25/11/12 05:46:04 GMT