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Don’t Do This To Your Computer Number 6743

You Don’t Need A Bunch of Add-Ons

For Your Browser

Ever

Yesterday a client brought me a computer that from the description had the browser hijacked.

Well that was just the tip of the iceberg.

This poor computer took 5 minutes to load.  It is a Dell Inspiron 23 all-in-one running Windoze 10.  It’s an Intel i5 2.90 GHz processor with 8 GB of ram, so it should be plenty fast and boot in less than 90 seconds.

But NO.

It took around 5 minutes to fully load.

The machine was protected by Bitdefender Endpoint Security which had stopped him from running 5 different downloads of Supremo – a remote desktop control software popular with scammers.

And Then There’s This…

All the following were also installed on this computer since the last time I saw it:

  • Norton 360
  • McAfee Security Scan +
  • MyCleanPC (borderline malware)
  • Advanced System Repair Pro  (borderline malware)
  • GoTo Opener (used for remote access)

Google Chrome was infested with this laundry list of add-ons:

  • Browsing Security Checker
  • Bytefence Secure Browsing
  • Directions Found
  • Driving Directions and Maps
  • Easy and Quick Maps
  • Easy Speed Test App
  • Email Helper App
  • Hide My Searches
  • Map Directions Pro
  • Map Finder Online
  • Map My Journey
  • Maps and Driving Directions
  • Maps and Directions
  • Maps Now
  • Safety Search by Safely
  • Search Defender Live
  • Search Defender Now
  • Search Encrypt
  • Search Extension by Ask
  • Search Manager
  • Security for Chrome
  • Speed Check
  • Speed Test ads
  • Web Privacy by Safely
  • Your Maps and Directions

NONE of these should ever be installed.
There as a tab search hijacker that had taken over all the search functions.

These hijackers look like legitimate search, but harvest your credentials as you log in to other sites.   If you log into a financial institution BLAM!  — they now have everything they need to empty your account.


The good thing about the outcome:

After I removed all this crapware and scrubbed it for PUPs it was still slow to boot. Over 3 minutes. The file system had corrupt files that could not be repaired because the source files were also corrupt. A sure sign of a bad hard drive.  This caused me to go search the event logs and sure enough, the drive had bad blocks.  You cannot fix this.  Any repair shop that tells you otherwise is either lying or they are not smart enough to be working on your computer.

Period.

So new SSD time for this machine.
It is an order of magnitude faster now that it is finished.

It boots in 30 Seconds.

Runs like a jackrabbit.

Now if I can just keep my client from wrecking it again.

He’s good for business though…

But don’t y’all start doing this OK?

Name of author

Name: Wizard

Short Bio: The Computer Wizard (TCW). TCW was founded by Warren P. Harris in 1994 to service and repair computers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Relocating the business to Plano, Texas in 1999, TCW continued to flourish when an unfortunate loss of data for a wedding Mr. Harris photographed, caused him to research data recovery options. Realizing he would have to either pay someone to recover the photos or find out how to do it himself, the rest, as they say "is history". Approached by a friend who was a Private Investigator in 2006, Mr. Harris studied for his Investigator's license and began honing his skills in Computer Forensics. The company was renamed DFW Computer Integration in 2015.

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