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Question HELP broken laptop

BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
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Hi guys I am not good with computers and I was wondering if anyone here know what to do. So my LapTop has been working crappy for a month, its really old old so I kinda get why. One of my Steam friends told me he could fix it and had me download Zoho Remote Support software to scan for viruses and malware and remove it because I never bought any anti virus software. My PC is pretty old, its a Dell Window 7 so he said he can speed it up.

He helped me get Zoho Anti Virus running and it removed a lot of junk from my computer, it showed a black screen that deleted a lot of virus but now its even slower and theres all weird pop ups. He said it might be that the viruses that he was removing are "cluster malware" so when u remove one, it installs several more. I dunno what to do to get my computer back to normal speed. I mean, I know I need a new desktop but I just dont have money for it right now.

If anyone has any idea that can help me I will be really appreciative

Thank You.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,897
6,312
126
I'm not familiar with Zoho. My recommended solution is RKILL (if necessary), and then FreeFixer (www.freefixer.com), followed by Revo Uninstall to get rid of the leftover latent bits.

Yeah, "Cluster Malware" can be a PITA.

Maybe something even was riding in on Zoho.

Edit: Your post is unclear. You have both a laptop and a desktop? Both are having malware issues? Or just one?
 
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BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
8
0
6
I'm not familiar with Zoho. My recommended solution is RKILL (if necessary), and then FreeFixer (www.freefixer.com), followed by Revo Uninstall to get rid of the leftover latent bits.

Yeah, "Cluster Malware" can be a PITA.

Maybe something even was riding in on Zoho.

Edit: Your post is unclear. You have both a laptop and a desktop? Both are having malware issues? Or just one?
No just a laptop I accidentely typed desktop Im not a pro at computers. I dont know what the issue was, it was just super slow and the dudde helping me said it can be fixed by Zoho but now theres more weird stuff on it and its slower, so I dunno what to do. He logged out of steam now, so maybe tomorrow he can help, but I wanna see if I can figure it out cause it only got slower after he used the antivirus program.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,897
6,312
126
Well, two things:
1) Generally, installing an anti-virus that does real-time scanning WILL slow down the PC. Win10's built-in Windows Defender isn't too bad in terms of slowdown.
2) If you are seeing malware pop-ups, where you didn't before, could mean that malware piggy-backed on this Zoho A/V. What site did you get it from? CNet "bundles" adware on download.com.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,761
547
126
I would suggest creating an antivirus "rescue disk" so that you can try to clean the system from outside the installed operating system. This increases the likelihood you can get a clean OS.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

I'd recommend creating the media from a different computer if you have access to one. Download the file from the link on the above website. Burn the file to either a flash drive (requires 1GB or higher) or a DVD. If you go with the flash drive option, the flash instructions use a free piece of software called Rufus to create the flash drive. You can get Rufus here (again, I'd do it on another computer, and use the portable version so you don't have to install it on that computer). Once the rescue media is created, you'll need to start your laptop up using the media, then use the antivirus to disinfect the system.

Depending upon how badly the OS install is damaged, you need to accept you may have to do a wipe and reinstall of Windows 7.


EDIT: How well do you know this "Steam friend" that did this for you? Not trying to cast any aspersions to their character here, but unless this is someone you personally know and have absolute reason to trust, it is NEVER a good idea to give somebody remote access to your system as you truly have no way of knowing what they are actually doing to your system behind the scenes.
 
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BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
8
0
6
Guys how can I re-install Windows and all my thing on my computer. I think you are right this guy messed with me, I trusted him cause we talked and played together for like a year, but after he did this, he hasnt logged back into Steam and his Steam account is just free games we play Paladins a lot. I dont have any weird activity but I dunno what he could do if he is someone who is screwing with you. I havent done anything like log into banks or my personal emails but can he get that info from autocomplete my passwords?
Do I have to buy a new Windows? My computer came with Windows on it but there was never no DVD of Windows so how can I reinstall to make sure this guys stuff is gone.

Thank you so much everyone, I feel like an idiot to trust someone online.
 

BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
8
0
6
He wasnt doing virus scans, I just googled it and it was some trick using Command Prompt in MS Dos to put fake information on the screen about viruses. I am 100% sure he scammed me, I dunno how to undo the damage and I dont know if he can see what I type now. I dont have zoho running, so hopefully he cant but my computer is a lot slower so I dont know what he did else. If I post something weird like "everything ok" its not me, thank you.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,761
547
126
Yes, if you have saved autocomplete passwords that aren't encrypted, he can easily retrieve them. Change ALL of your passwords on ALL of your online accounts NOW, and do it from another computer. And, do not save them - write them down. If you feel the need to save them, sign up for a free LastPass account and save them there once you have this mess resolved.

If you haven't done so, you might want to log in to your Steam account and back up whatever you can.

What specific make and model of Dell laptop do you have?
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,897
6,312
126
I think that Dell usually provides re-install images online, but being Win7 and Win7 is EOL, they may have pulled them thanks to MS.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,897
6,312
126
If you want a fresh copy of Win10 on there, I might just go ahead and search for "download windows 10", look for the microsoft.com page, download the media creation tool, OR upgrade advisor, and do an upgrade to win10, in-place, on top of your suspect win7.

that should leave you with a suspect win10, but once the activation is in ms's database, you can use a usb stick or dvd created with the mct to erase your partitions, and do a fresh installation of win10, which should be relatively clean, and re-activate when you get back online.

ALTERNATIVELY: Do you have a Win7 "recovery partition" on your HDD? You might be able to run the "factory restore" procedure for your OEM laptop, and end up with a relatively "fresh" copy of Win7, which you could then immediately upgrade in-place to Win10.

Edit: That laptopmag.com review says that that laptop came with Win8. OP, did you buy it new, or used?

Maybe use Belarc advisor or nirsoft key viewer to pull the Win8 BIOs product key for Windows. If there's a Win8/8.1 key in BIOS, a fresh install of Win10 from bootable media shouldn't ask what edition to install, if so, you can likely do a fresh install of Win10, and have it activate in the end.
 
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Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,761
547
126
This is it:


There should be an application installed on the laptop called "Dell Backup and Recovery". If you run this, it should give you the option to create an OS re-installation media. I also think it can be used to do a factory reset of the laptop as well.

Before you do these things, you need to manually back up anything you want to keep because the reinstallation process is going to wipe everything out.
 
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BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
8
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How do I find Windows 7 recovery partion if I have it?
I dont see Dell Backup and Recovery in my start menu, do u think he deleted it yesterday?
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,761
547
126
Dell provides Windows 10 drivers on their support website for the laptop, so the system is likely compatible with it. Larry's recommendation concerning the Windows 10 upgrade is probably your best bet provided you have enough free space on the OS drive to do the upgrade.

Has the laptop ALWAYS had Windows 7 on it? Did you buy it new or used, as Larry previously asked?
 

BillyKnowles

Junior Member
Oct 17, 2020
8
0
6
Dell provides Windows 10 drivers on their support website for the laptop, so the system is likely compatible with it. Larry's recommendation concerning the Windows 10 upgrade is probably your best bet provided you have enough free space on the OS drive to do the upgrade.

Has the laptop ALWAYS had Windows 7 on it? Did you buy it new or used, as Larry previously asked?
I bought it brand new and it had Windows 7, I never had any issues until now. I will look at getting Windows 10 upgrade right now. I will have to delete stuff from my drive but as long as I can get my computer back its not a problem, thanks so much.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,761
547
126

Again, if you have important files, make sure that you manually back them up before attempting the upgrade. If you create the installation media and then run the Setup.exe program from within Windows 7 running on your laptop, it will try to upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Also, the first things you need to install once Windows 10 is installed is as follows:

1) The free version of Malwarebytes. Run a full system scan with it.
2) Install the free version of any single antivirus package of your choice (Avast, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, etc) and run a full system scan. Only install one of them, you can even use the free trial most of them offer.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,897
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BTW, you shouldn't need to buy Win10, AFAIK, the free upgrade, although undocumented, may (likely) be still available.

I would go to microsoft.com 's "Windows 10 Download" page (Important - DON'T download it from anywhere other than microsoft), download the Media Creation Tool, and using a fresh USB flash drive of 8-32GB, download and write the appropriate version of Win10 to a USB flash drive (preferably using a different PC), and then plug it into your "problem" PC, and run SETUP.EXE off of the flash drive, and follow the prompts to upgrade in-place.

Before you do that, though, you MIGHT want to download "Activation Backup and Restore", and run that on the Win7 PC, just in case you need to re-install Win7 for any reason.

You might check if there's a Win7 product-key sticker anywhere on the laptop (bottom, or under battery), and write that code down.
 
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