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How to remove PCoptimizer 2010 (Uninstall Guide)

By on December 4, 2010 @ 12:49 PM | Read 31,313 times.
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PCoptimizer 2010 is a rogue security program that pretends to analyze your computer for virus infections and system errors. When installed, PCoptimizer 2010 will issue an alert that states that one of your running processes is a security issue and will then prompt you to clean your computer. Regardless of what you press on the alert you will be brought to a screen where PrivacyGuard will pretend to scan your computer for viruses and other system errors. When finished it will state that it has fixed these errors and viruses, but that there are other issues it could not fix until you license, or purchase, the program. This is obviously a scam and you should not purchase the program regardless of what it tells you.

 

PCoptimizer 2010 screen shot
PCoptimizer 2010 screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 5 images you can view.

 

PCoptimizer 2010 will also randomly terminate programs when you attempt to run them. When it terminates a program you will be shown an alert that states that the program is trying to perform some sort of malicious activity. The text of these alerts include:

Warning!
Security alert
Name: taskmgr.exe
Location: C:\WINDOWS\System32
Attempt to modify register key entries is detected. Register entries analysis is recommended.
Deny or Enable Protection.

Warning!
Security alert
Name: taskmgr.exe
Location: C:\WINDOWS\System32
Potentially harmful script execution is detected. It is strongly recommended to run total System scanning.
Deny or Enable Protection.

Regardless of the button you press, you will be brought to the main PCoptimizer 2010 screen where it will prompt you to purchase a license of the program.

Without a doubt, PC optimizer 2010 was created to display fake security alerts in order to scare you into purchasing the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program, and if you have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that the purchase was actually a computer infection and a scam. To remove this infection and related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View PCoptimizer 2010 files.
View PCoptimizer 2010 Registry Information.

 

Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:

PCoptimizer 2010

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Protect] C:\Program Files\PC\PCoptimizer 2010\PCoptimizer2010.exe

 

Guide Updates:

12/04/10 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for PCoptimizer 2010 using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow you to download files on the infected computer. If this is the case, then you will need to download the files requested in this guide on another computer and then transfer them to the infected computer. You can transfer the files via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.

  3. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to PCoptimizer 2010 so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe download link. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

  4. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with PCoptimizer 2010 and other Rogue programs. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a message that RKill is an infection, do not be concerned. This message is just a fake warning given by PCoptimizer 2010 when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it. If you run into these infections warnings that close RKill, a trick is to leave the warning on the screen and then run RKill again. By not closing the warning, this typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that rkill can terminate PCoptimizer 2010 . So, please try running RKill until the malware is no longer running. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the guide. If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

    Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.


  5. Now you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)


  6. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  7. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  8. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  9. MBAM will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. As MBAM will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main program as shown below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

  10. On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for PCoptimizer 2010 related files.

  11. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scanning Screen

  12. When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scan Finished Screen

    You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the PCoptimizer2010 removal process.

  13. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

  14. A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  15. When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

  16. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  17. As many rogues and other malware are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

Your computer should now be free of the PCoptimizer2010 program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

 


 

Associated PCoptimizer 2010 Files:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\PCoptimizer 2010.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\PCoptimizer 2010\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\PCoptimizer 2010\PCoptimizer 2010.lnk
c:\Program Files\PC\
c:\Program Files\PC\PCoptimizer 2010\
c:\Program Files\PC\PCoptimizer 2010\1.ico
c:\Program Files\PC\PCoptimizer 2010\PCoptimizer2010.exe
c:\WINDOWS\Tasks\At1.job

 

Associated PCoptimizer 2010 Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PC
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PC\PCoptimizer 2010
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Protect"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Protection

 


 

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.


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