Computer Recovery – post Hacked

What to do after your computer is hacked to near destruction

Looking at my Windows 10 system machine I could almost see the worms racing through the screen, trojans smashing the innards, and keyloggers recording everything with a sadistic smirk. Sigh. How did they get there – I let them in, believe it or not.  I allowed criminals access to the machine, and, as they say, I was fair game from then, on.

Well, I tried everything available – ran Bitdefender Total Security, found a bit, but the problems were still there. Ran Malwarebytes Anti-malware, got some results, but problems continued, so ran again in “safe mode”. Ahh, more trash and smelly stuff, but still not satisfied, so ran

Malwarebytes | Anti-Rootkit BETA – Free Rootkit Scanner & Remover  in “safe mode” Really got a result, but I was clearly running into system slowdown and hesitation, now.

Checked the microsoft.com site for assistance. Was directed to the microsoft endorsed engineers who, after a negotiated fee, helped me understand how bad the damage was to the machine system.

Yes, I sat on my hands and did a silent scream!

The answer was to completely replace the win 10 O/S, so after some frantic backing up of stuff I really wanted to keep, it was time to pull the plug.

On a side note, it always amazes me that even though I do regular backups, there is always stuff I really need but had not included in the backups – little stuff like the desktop file with all those program references… 🙂

OK, so to the main purpose of Computer Recovery  – to recover the PC (These instructions were carried out on a Toshiba Laptop running the latest version of Windows 10)
First, make sure your machine is connected to the internet. Regardless of all the bumph that Microsoft offers as how to start, I had to hold down the shift key (keep it down, while the computer restarts), and use the mouse to click on power/restart.

OK, now I have a blue screen: Choose the option “Troubleshoot”

Clicking on “Troubleshoot” gives you an option. Click “Reset this PC” and you have another option: Clicking “Just remove my files” will remove all of your files and re-install a fresh Windows O/S
A better choice would be “Clean the Drive Fully”

 

  • Next step, more choices: Click “Remove everything”, and you get the final set-up screen:

 

 

 

 

Machine recovery - clean the drive fully
Machine recovery – clean the drive fully

Yes, the moment has arrived – click “Clean the drive fully”!

Now the system will clean the disk data, re-install Win10 (in this case) and prepare the computer for you to begin the task of re-installing all your programs and data files. Just take a careful look at anything you are going to re-install – do I need it, or better still, what is it – maybe a foreigner???

Images you will see as things progress:

The wait begins
The wait begins
Machine clean starting
Machine clean starting
Machine rescue - ready to go!
Machine rescue – ready to go!

You will have plenty of time to think about your programs you may or may not want – the system re-install will take a while, and your machine will re-start more than once or twice…

Machine rescue - several minutes, or more...
Machine rescue – several minutes, or more…

OK, good luck with your future efforts. If you find these instructions do not work for your system or brand of computer then I suggest you search the web to discover what works for you. Just remember, don’t trust anyone who approaches you unbidden, don’t let anyone have access to your machine except those who you have good reason to trust, and make sure you have protection in place as well as a regular backup system. All good practices to help ensure you don’t need to do computer recovery again.

My recommendations for protection:

Bitdefender Total Security Malwarebytes (free edition) – the paid version conflicts with Bitdefender. Option, here, perhaps is to simply use the paid version only – your decision.

My recommendation for backup:

Goodsync (folders and files are saved in a form that you can read and select from when it comes to restore)

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