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Remove System Check (Uninstall Guide)

By on January 1, 2012 @ 06:33 PM | Read 195,259 times.
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System Check is a fake computer analysis and optimization program from the FakeHDD family of rogues. This rogue displays false alerts that are designed to make you think that your computer has hard disk problems that have lead to corrupt and missing data. It displays these alerts in order to scare you into purchasing the program so that you can fix these issues. In reality, though, there is nothing wrong with your hardware or data, so please ignore any error messages that this program displays. System Check is installed through hacked sites that exploit vulnerabilities in software that may be installed on your computer or through fake online scanner pages. Once installed, System Check will display false error messages and security warnings on the infected computer. These messages will state that there is something wrong with your computer's hard drive and then suggests that you download and install a program that can fix the problem. When you click on of these alerts, System Check will automatically be started.

System Check will be configured to start automatically when you login to Windows. Once started, it will display numerous error messages when you attempt to launch programs or delete files. System Check will then prompt you to scan your computer, which will then find a variety of errors that it states it cannot fix until you purchase the program. It will then prompt you to repair your PC, where it will pretend to fix fake problems on your computer and state that it was unable to repair some of them in order to make you feel there is a problem with your computer.

 

System Check screen shot
System Check screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 7 images you can view.

 

If you are infected with System Check it is important that you do not delete any files from your Temp folder or use any temp file cleaners. This is because when the infection is installed it will delete shortcuts found in various locations and store backups of them in the %Temp%\smtmp folder. It does this so that you when try to launch a program from your start menu, none of your shortcuts will appear and thus making you think that your computer has a serious problem. Therefore, you do not want to delete any of the files in your Temp folder as it will remove the backups that we will use later in the guide to restore your Windows Start Menu. For a list of folders that shortcuts are deleted and the corresponding directories where they are stored, please see this topic: Unhide.exe - A introduction as to what this program does.

To further make it seem like your computer is not operating correctly, System Check will also make it so that certain folders on your computer display no contents. When opening these folders, such as C:\Windows\System32\ or various drive letters, instead of seeing the normal list of files it will instead display a different folder's contents or make it appear as if the folder is empty. This is done to make it seem like there is corruption on your hard drive that is causing your files to not be displayed. It does this by adding the +H, or hidden, attribute to all of your files, which causes your files to become hidden. It will then change your Windows settings so that you cannot view hidden and system files. Once the rogue's processes are terminated you can enable the setting to view hidden files, and thus be able to see your files and folders again, by following the instructions in this tutorial:

How to see hidden files in Windows

System Check also attempts to make it so you cannot run any programs on your computer. If you attempt to launch a program it may terminate it and state that the program or hard drive is corrupted. It does this to protect itself from anti-virus programs you may attempt to run and to make your computer unusable so that you will be further tempted to purchase the rogue. The messages that will randomly be displayed are:

Hard drive clusters are partly damaged. Segment load failure.
Hard drive clusters are partly damaged. Segment load failure.

Critical Error
Hard drive critical error. Start a system diagnostics application to scan your hard disk for errors and performance problems.

Windows - Delayed Write Failed
Failed to save all the components for the file \System32\00004823. The file is corrupted or unreadable. This error may be caused by a PC hardware problem.

Windows detected a hard disk problem
A potential disk failure may cause loss of files, applications and documents stored on the hard disk. Please try not to use this computer until the hard disk is fixed or replaced.

Windows detected a hard disk problem
A potential disk failure may cause loss of files, applications and documents store on the hard disk. It's highly recommended to scan and solve HDD problems before continue using this PC.

Hard Drive Failure
The system has detected a problem with one or more installed IDE / SATA hard disks. It is recommended that you restart the system.

System Error
An error occurred while reading system files. Run a system diagnostic utility to check your hard disk drive for errors.

Critical Error
Hard drive critical error. Run a system diagnostic utility to check your hard disk drive for errors. Windows can't find hard disk space. Hard drive error.

Critical Error
Hard drive clusters are partly damaged. Segment load failure.

These are just further alerts trying to make you think your computer has a serious hard drive problem. It should be noted that if you attempt to run a program enough times it will eventually work.

When you perform the scan or use the fake System Check it will state that there are numerous problems on your computer, but that you first need to purchase it before it can fix any of them. Some examples of the fake problems it detects on your computer are:

Requested registry access is not allowed. Registry defragmentation required
Hard Drive rotational speed decreased by 20%
Disk drive C:\ is unreadable.
System files are damaged. System is unstable.
The problem may cause errors while loading operating system.
Ram memory speed decreased significantly and may cause system failure.

Read time of hard drive clusters less than 500 ms
32% of HDD space is unreadable
Bad sectors on hard drive or damaged file allocation table
GPU RAM temperature is critically high. Urgent RAM memory optimization is required to prevent system crash
Drive C initializing error
Ram Temperature is 83 C. Optimization is required for normal operation.
Hard drive doesn't respond to system commands
Data Safety Problem. System integrity is at risk.
Registry Error - Critical Error

While System Check is running it will also display fake alerts from your Windows taskbar. These alerts are designed to further scare you into thinking that your computer has an imminent hardware failure. The text of some of the alerts you may see include:

Critical Error!
Damaged hard drive clusters detected. Private data is at risk.

Critical Error
Hard Drive not found. Missing hard drive.

Critical Error
RAM memory usage is critically high. RAM memory failure.

Critical Error
Windows can't find hard disk space. Hard drive error

Critical Error
Windows OS can't detect a free hard drive space. hard drive error.

Critical Error!
Windows was unable to save all the data for the file \System32\496A8300. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware.

Critical Error
A critical error has occurred while indexing data stored on hard drive. System restart required.

System Check
The system has been restored after a critical error. Data integrity and hard drive integrity verification required.

Activation Reminder
System Check Activation
Advanced module activation required to fix detected errors and performance issues. Please purchase Advanced Module license to activate this software and enable all features.

Low Disk Space
You are running very low disk space on Local Disk (C:).

Windows - No Disk
Exception Processing Message 0x0000013

Critical Error
Hard drive clusters are partly damaged. Segment load failure.

Just like the fake corruption messages and fake scan results, these alerts are only designed to scare you into purchasing the program.

To make matters worse, recent variants of this family have been know to install the TDSS or ZeroAccess rootkits as well. These rootkits will attempt to stop you from using security programs that may help you to remove this infection. If you are infected with System Check and are unable to update your Malwarebytes's Anti-Malware definitions then you most likely have this rootkit installed. If this is the case, this guide will not be able to help you and you should instead follow the instructions in this topic in order to receive one-on-one help in removing this infection.

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

Without a doubt, the methods used by this program are fraudulent and criminal. Therefore, do not purchase System Check for any reason, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and state that the program is a computer infection and a scam and that you would like to dispute the charge. To remove this infection and related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View System Check files.
View System Check Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [<random>.exe] %CommonAppData%\<random>.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [<random>] %CommonAppData%\<random>.exe

 

Guide Updates:

01/01/12 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for System Check 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. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you see anything on the screen, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

    Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter on your keyboard. If you are having trouble entering safe mode, then please use the following tutorial: How to start Windows in Safe Mode

    Windows will now boot into safe mode with networking and prompt you to login as a user. Please login as the same user you were previously logged in with in the normal Windows mode. Then proceed with the rest of the steps.

  3. 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.

  4. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to System Check 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.

  5. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with System Check and other Rogue programs. If you cannot find the iExplore.exe icon that you downloaded, you can also execute the program by doing the following steps based on your version of Windows:

    For Windows 7 and Windows Vista, click on the Start button and then in the search field enter %userprofile%\desktop\iexplore.exe and then press the Enter key on your keyboard. If you Windows prompts you to allow it to run, please allow it to do so.

    For Windows XP, click on the Start button and then click on the Run menu option. In the Open: field enter %userprofile%\desktop\iexplore.exe and press the OK button. If you Windows prompts you to allow it to run, please allow it to do so.

    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 System Check 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 System Check . 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.



  6. As this infection is known to be bundled with the TDSS rootkit infection, you should also run a program that can be used to scan for this infection. Please follow the steps in the following guide:
    How to remove Google Redirects or the TDSS, TDL3, or Alureon rootkit using TDSSKiller
    If after running TDSSKiller, you are still unable to update Malwarebytes' Anti-malware or continue to have Google search result redirects, then you should post a virus removal request using the steps in the following topic rather than continuing with this guide:

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

  7. 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)


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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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 System Check related files.

  13. 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

  14. 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 System Check removal process.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  19. This infection family will also hide all the files on your computer from being seen. To make your files visible again, please download the following program to your desktop:

    Unhide.exe

    Once the program has been downloaded, double-click on the Unhide.exe icon on your desktop and allow the program to run. This program will remove the +H, or hidden, attribute from all the files on your hard drives. If there are any files that were purposely hidden by you, you will need to hide them again after this tool is run.

  20. As this infection changes your desktop background to a solid black color, we now want to change it back to the default Windows theme or to modify it to your preferences. If you are using Windows XP, please click on the Start button and then select Control Panel. When the Control Panel opens, please click on the Display icon. From this screen you can now change your Theme and desktop background so that it no longer shows the black background.

    If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, please click on the Start button and then select Control Panel. When the Control Panel opens, please click on the Appearance and Personalization category. Then select Change the Theme or Change Desktop Background to revert back to your original Theme and colors.

  21. This rogue will also disable various menu items from appearing on the Windows Start Menu. To add these items back, please right-click on the Start button and select Properties. The start button for Windows XP looks like Windows XP Start Button and the Windows Vista and Windows 7 start button looks like Windows 7 Start Button. You will now be at the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties screen. Select the Start Menu tab and then click on the Customize button. If in Windows XP, you will now need to click on the Advanced tab. You will now be presented with a variety of menus and shortcuts that can be added back to the Windows Start Menu. Please select the various items you would like to add and then click on the OK button. Then press the Apply button and close the Start Menu properties screen.

  22. You can now reboot your computer out of Safe Mode and back into your normal Windows Mode. When Windows has started and your back at your normal desktop, please continue with step 22.

  23. Finally, 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 System Check 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 System Check Files:

%CommonAppData%\~<random>
%CommonAppData%\~<random>
%CommonAppData%\<random>
%CommonAppData%\<random>.exe
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\System Check.lnk
%Desktop%\System Check.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\System Check\
%StartMenu%\Programs\System Check\System Check.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\System Check\Uninstall System Check.lnk
%Temp%\smtmp\
%Temp%\smtmp\1
%Temp%\smtmp\1
%Temp%\smtmp\2
%Temp%\smtmp\3
%Temp%\smtmp\4

File Location Notes:

%Desktop% means that the file is located directly on your desktop. This is C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\<Current User>\Desktop\ for Windows 2000/XP, and C:\Users\<Current User>\Desktop\ for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%Temp% refers to the Windows Temp folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\Temp for Windows 95/98/ME, C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\<Current User>\LOCAL SETTINGS\Temp for Windows 2000/XP, and C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Local\Temp in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder for the All Users Profile. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP and C:\ProgramData\ in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%AppData% refers to the current users Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming.

%StartMenu% refers to the Windows Start Menu. For Windows 95/98/ME it refers to C:\windows\start menu\, for Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Start Menu\, and for Windows Vista/7/8 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder in the All Users profile. For Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\, and for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 it is C:\ProgramData.

 

Associated System Check Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Use FormSuggest" = 'Yes'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "CertificateRevocation" = '0'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnonBadCertRecving" = '0'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ActiveDesktop "NoChangingWallPaper" = '1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Associations "LowRiskFileTypes" = '.zip;.rar;.nfo;.txt;.exe;.bat;.com;.cmd;.reg;.msi;.htm;.html;.gif;.bmp;.jpg;.avi;.mpg;.mpeg;.mov;.mp3;.m3u;.wav;.scr;'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Attachments "SaveZoneInformation" = '1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer "NoDesktop" = '1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableTaskMgr" = '1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>.exe"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "DisableTaskMgr" = '1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "CheckExeSignatures" = 'no'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced "Hidden" = '0'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced "ShowSuperHidden" = '0'

 


 

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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