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Thread: Error Messages

  1. #1
    Senior Member kaylagrl's Avatar
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    Default Error Messages

    So I know a little about computers,most Ive learned on my own. This one has me stumped. My father has a fairly new laptop and he pretty much knows nothing about computers. He can make it to FB and hotmail and thats about it.lol He has this warning that keeps popping up and it locks his computer and tells him to call a number. So I figure he has downloaded something that has a virus in it. I went over to his place the other day and ran a scan that showed no virus. I checked add on programs and there appeared to be nothing new there. Now a few days later its hit again.He says he hasn't downloaded anything so how is this imp still locking his laptop? Anyone deal with this before and how can I nix this for good?

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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by kaylagrl View Post
    So I know a little about computers,most Ive learned on my own. This one has me stumped. My father has a fairly new laptop and he pretty much knows nothing about computers. He can make it to FB and hotmail and thats about it.lol He has this warning that keeps popping up and it locks his computer and tells him to call a number. So I figure he has downloaded something that has a virus in it. I went over to his place the other day and ran a scan that showed no virus. I checked add on programs and there appeared to be nothing new there. Now a few days later its hit again.He says he hasn't downloaded anything so how is this imp still locking his laptop? Anyone deal with this before and how can I nix this for good?
    You are right: It's a virus. Embedded. Good job in not calling number. Ask your same question through google. In fact, include some of the words in the popup. So do a search, others have had the same problem. Just be careful. Take computer to store and they may have a means of rooting it out. Wish my knowledge and experience had more to offer.
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  3. #3
    Siberian_Khatru
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Pretty much what TraySir said.

    Worst case scenario is that Windows will need to be reinstalled, meaning your father will have to reinstall any software (minus the virus) he wants/needs.

    Side note: I don't recommend paying for anti-virus software (whether you/your dad has or hasn't) unless you just really want to support the developer. Plenty of "protected" systems still end up with malicious software ("malware").
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  4. #4
    Senior Member kaylagrl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Thank you both for the info! Hope I can get this fixed for him. We have a Best Buy close,perhaps we should go there.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member blue_ladybug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Spidey, my Norton is almost expired. I like it, but it's horribly expensive. What free anti-virus do you recommend? I have the Avira browser plug-in and it works really well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian_Khatru View Post
    Pretty much what TraySir said.

    Worst case scenario is that Windows will need to be reinstalled, meaning your father will have to reinstall any software (minus the virus) he wants/needs.

    Side note: I don't recommend paying for anti-virus software (whether you/your dad has or hasn't) unless you just really want to support the developer. Plenty of "protected" systems still end up with malicious software ("malware").


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  6. #6
    Siberian_Khatru
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by kaylagrl View Post
    Thank you both for the info! Hope I can get this fixed for him. We have a Best Buy close,perhaps we should go there.
    They might try to push a paid antivirus program. Just a heads up. I worked for Staples EasyTech for about a year, and my experience is that the big box retailers will try to nickel and dime you.
    Quote Originally Posted by blue_ladybug View Post
    Spidey, my Norton is almost expired. I like it, but it's horribly expensive. What free anti-virus do you recommend? I have the Avira browser plug-in and it works really well.
    Avira is good. You can get their anti-virus monitoring software for free.

    I hear/read good things about BitDefender and Avast!, also.

    Windows 7 - 10 have Windows Defender (formerly "Microsoft Security Essentials"), and that's okay. It's built into Win 10, so make sure it's not active while you have another anti-virus program monitoring things for you.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Desertsrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    If you get your wireless from Comcast, they give you Norton for free.

    Personally with the experiences I've had in the past and things are getting even worse, I'd go for a paid virus protection - not free. Some of the free doesn't pick up the latest viruses.

    Also, Kayla - my husband has used best buy geek squad for work. He gives them a thumbs up.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member kaylagrl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertsrose View Post
    If you get your wireless from Comcast, they give you Norton for free.

    Personally with the experiences I've had in the past and things are getting even worse, I'd go for a paid virus protection - not free. Some of the free doesn't pick up the latest viruses.

    Also, Kayla - my husband has used best buy geek squad for work. He gives them a thumbs up.



    Thank you! I reset all the settings and removed an add on that looked suspicious to me.If that doesn't work Im going to have to go for help.
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  9. #9
    Siberian_Khatru
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertsrose View Post
    Some of the free doesn't pick up the latest viruses.
    Paid or not, this is the crux with AV software in general. Typically there's no definition for a virus until it has been reported. Once the AV developers are aware of it, they roll out an update.

    For the record, I don't have anything against Geek Squad, either. I was speaking only to my experience working in the big box retailer industry, on the tech side of things.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tourist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by kaylagrl View Post
    Thank you both for the info! Hope I can get this fixed for him. We have a Best Buy close,perhaps we should go there.
    I recommend that you sign up for Geek Squad while you are at Best Buy. I think it cost $45 a year for unlimited software diagnostic service and repair. Whatever you do don't call that number. This is most likely a scam. Geek Squad can probably fix it so that message doesn't pop up anymore.
    M & M's melt in your mouth and not in your hands.

  11. #11
    Senior Member maxwel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Best thing is to reinstall windows unless he has a lot of important stuff on the computer.

    There are ways to surf without getting viruses... but first things first.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    coughLinuxcough

    My Windows computer is offline permanently and totally. If I want a file I download it with my Linux computer and transfer it. I've been online for years and years and not one virus yet.

    What's that? You're not a nerd and you don't know anything about that techy stuff? No problem. Linux Mint is so easy a child of four could install and use it. I know because I can install and use it, and if I can then any child of four can.

    And you don't have to give up Windows. You can dual boot, where both Windows and Linux are installed on your hard drive and you choose which to use at startup. You can also do what I do and install Linux on a flash drive, leaving your whole hard drive for Windows.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    But yeah, if it comes back and you just can't do Linux I would recommend reinstalling Windows. There's a brand new copy of Windows already on your computer, just waiting for you to call it up and tell it to reinstall itself. And it doesn't cost you a dime for tech support.

    Strongly recommend saving personal files to a flash drive beforehand, because they will be wiped out in the reinstall. And when you reinstalled Windows, install an antivirus FIRST, then use it to scan the flash drive before you copy your files back over.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member maxwel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    coughLinuxcough

    My Windows computer is offline permanently and totally. If I want a file I download it with my Linux computer and transfer it. I've been online for years and years and not one virus yet.

    What's that? You're not a nerd and you don't know anything about that techy stuff? No problem. Linux Mint is so easy a child of four could install and use it. I know because I can install and use it, and if I can then any child of four can.

    And you don't have to give up Windows. You can dual boot, where both Windows and Linux are installed on your hard drive and you choose which to use at startup. You can also do what I do and install Linux on a flash drive, leaving your whole hard drive for Windows.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Magenta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Reinstalling windows may not get rid of it especially if it is a virus connected to some image or something else he has on his computer. I know because I had had the same problem and windows shut down on me last week at one point, and my computer would not restart after many tries, even after attempting a reset to previous date when windows was working. Finally after many attempts to restart, a page with multiple options came up, and reloading windows was one of the options, and so I did that, and the virus was still on my computer, the talking one with a message saying please call this number, or your computer is going to be locked yada yada just go away already LOL.

    Your dad may also get pages with words enlarged and maybe underlined with a big green arrow pointing at the word, some link to an advertiser who has targeted key words Another way the virus manifested was every time I tried to copy something from a page, even a Bible page, an about blank page would open. I would close it right away, and try again, sometimes having to try four or five times before I could copy the verse I wanted

    I used a number of virus programs and they would work for a while but as I said, as soon as I reloaded windows the message was back, but only that one time. Reloading windows kept my images, music, and movies but deleted all my bookmarks and any apps I had downloaded and changed a few other things, nothing too major, but I am still getting used to how my start menu bar has changed. And my u torrent won't work now either.

    Have you tried Herd Protect?


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  16. #16
    Siberian_Khatru
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
    Reinstalling windows may not get rid of it especially if it is a virus connected to some image or something else he has on his computer. I know because I had had the same problem and windows shut down on me last week at one point, and my computer would not restart after many tries, even after attempting a reset to previous date when windows was working. Finally after many attempts to restart, a page with multiple options came up, and reloading windows was one of the options, and so I did that, and the virus was still on my computer, the talking one with a message saying please call this number, or your computer is going to be locked yada yada just go away already LOL.
    You're comparing restore points and a recovery to a format + reload.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Magenta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian_Khatru View Post
    You're comparing restore points and a recovery to a format + reload.
    Recovery restore point would not work. I had to completely re-install windows.


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  18. #18
    Senior Member G4JC's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Error Messages

    As other mentioned, you're probably going to need to reformat using the OEM disk that came with the computer/laptop.
    It probably has a ransomware infection, in which case there are very few recovery options. Consider the operating system officially damaged.

    Anti-Viruses do very little to protect you.
    Comparison of AV's: AV-Test Chart

    Yes, they help a little, but most modern malware infections render them completely useless now.

    Take this recent example which is now in the wild and unpatched by Microsoft: DoubleAgent: Taking Full Control Over Your Antivirus

    I strongly do not recommend upgrading to Windows 10, and for anyone who already has your operating system is also damaged beyond repair. So you can reformat and install GNU/Linux also.

    Linux Was Once Hard to Install and Use — Now It’s Easy

    Last edited by G4JC; March 25th, 2017 at 03:09 AM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member ForthAngel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages

    Something with that much control is probably a rootkit and they only get worse with time. You can try a rootkit removal program, but they can cause even more harm to the OS if the virus is deeply embedded. They often replicate themselves as well or integrate themselves into core functions of the OS, so getting rid of them usually ends in a format.

    The best practice in getting rid of viruses is to prevent them from ever finding a way on the PC in the first place and with safe browsing practices.

    A good setup I found is:

    Avira, AVG, or Avast (free versions, skip AVG if you're a gamer)
    Malwarebytes Antimalware (worth getting the full version, it's cheap for a lifetime subscription)
    Superantispyware (free version to run once or twice a month)

    A solid browser (Firefox is the best), with good plugins:
    Adblock Plus
    BetterPrivacy
    Ghostery
    WOT (Web of Trust)
    NoScript (requires some knowledge of how it works, or you can set it to allow top level sites by default and block 3rd party scripts. There is a whitelist you can use if your dad is like me and only visits the same few sites like YouTube or Facebook regularly)

    I also like to install my OS on a solid state drive and have any kind of other drive for my programs and other files. Makes formatting easy. I also backup and format my files and reinstall my OS twice a year.

    Stay away from OEM versions of Windows as they are filled with bloatware, spyware, and other unwanted programs. Get a clean copy of Windows.

    Stay away from torrent sites, free TV or movie sites, and the like.

    Ignore spam or fishy looking e-mails and don't follow any links in them.

    Even if you just get the Web of Trust plugin for your dad, it will show site ratings via colored circles before clicking any links and allow you to read user comments about them. This is especially important if he is on Facebook a lot since a lot of links shared there are malware sites (those little quizzes and fun things people post are often malware sites).

    Also stay away from unpopular browser plugins, including antivirus (like AVG) plugins as they tend to cause more problems than they are worth when it comes to functionality.

    Web of Trust is my favorite plugin because I tend to type site addresses in wrong and get redirects to phishing and other nasty kind of sites. Like, you can type facebook.com or youtube.com in your browser and make a typo, you might get a redirect to a duplicate fake site or another site with really bad malware. Web of Trust and NoScript will warn you, before allowing the site to load, that it is a dangerous site. Same if you click a bad link on Facebook or a link from an e-mail.

    Hope this helps.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Error Messages



    And when I think about it, "things I want to do" are often just learning about and discussing new tools for tinkering with the chain.
    blue_ladybug likes this.
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