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Adwcleaner erased NCH accounting software


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#1 anacondon

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:44 PM

Hello everyone.  Please see my erroneously-placed additional-comments (should have started a new thread, I apologize) at:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/532120/ran-adwcleaner-and-accidentally-cleaned-everything/#entry3357181. 

 

To be hopefully somewhat concise:  In running my usual routine scans on a customer's virus-crippled laptop (HP running Windows 7), adwcleaner flagged & removed this individual's "NCH software" (which I've seen listed repeatedly on scan results in the past as suspect - and with my current nightmarish experience, I understand why).  Upon reboot and uninstall of adwcleaner, reading the notepad scan results, I realized too late what happened.  This included his daily and supposedly 3-years worth of archival "Express Invoice" data (for his busy farming operation).  I did a system restore and was able to reinstall all software but all data appears to be irretrievably lost and/or overwritten.  I'm in the process of restoring everything that was found on a recent "undelete plus" scan and will try to restore relevant entries into program but, failing that.....?  I've got absolutely zero experience with this software, their supposed 'tech support' is downright criminal (had to cough up significant nonrefundable $$ simply to speak to someone....who basically told me 'we accept no responsibility' [can i have my money back then?).  As I get only vague answers out of the guy, I honestly don't believe he KEPT a formal backup save for what was extant within the program itself.  Again and again I see the majority of computer users who fail to either backup at all or keep everything on their primary C drive vs external drive and are furious when data is irretrievable due to their own lack of preparedness.  If Undelete Plus avails me of nothing, will try sysinternals, part magic or Hiren's.

 

I will post back once Undelete Plus has finished restoring data - whether successful or not.  I apologize again to all forum members for not initiating a new thread in this regard.



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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:59 PM

You can try Recuva too... It is very effective at retrieving recently deleted items.



#3 quietman7

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:42 PM

If you removed (uninstalled) AdwCleaner, all sub-folders including those for Backup and Quarantine will have been deleted and there will be no way to retrieve anything that had been placed in those folders even if you reinstall the AdwCleaner. You can attempt recovery by using a third-party data recovery tool as suggested by TsVk! but there is no guarantee doing that will be successful.

NCH Software provides a variety of software programs for audio, video, editing, ripping, graphics, and AVI/Mp3/Sound converters. They also have released a program called Warp Speed PC Tune-up which purports to clean and optimize Windows registry. There is no statistical evidence to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are a marketing ploy intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product. It has also been reported that during installation, NCH Software installs Google Chrome Toolbar by default and is known to bundle/install other on-demand components such as codecs. For those reasons it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) which is why AdwCleaner detected it.

You can ask the developer (Xplode) a question, report an issue or suggestion at his home site: AdwCleaner Feedback <- there is a drop down menu at the top right to "Select language" (English)

He most likely has been asked about this before and may have another suggestion to offer.
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#4 TsVk!

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:07 PM

It would appear that your customer is trying to have one over on you.

 

It's a hard way to learn, that you need to have a written disclaimer that the customer must sign before you will touch their machine...



#5 quietman7

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

Yes...the owner is responsible for what they install and for backing up data...one of the most important maintenance tasks users should perform on a routine basis, yet it's one of the most neglected areas.

Data can be deleted by accident, lost due to catastrophic hard drive failure, power failure and power surges (which damages internal hardware components) or lost due to severe malware infection. In some cases, the system can be rendered unbootable and they may not have access to the computer to back up any data.

The current widespread outbreak of crypto malware ransomware has brought to the forefront the importance of backing up all data on a regular basis.
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#6 anacondon

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:23 PM

Hello again everyone and sorry for the delay (away for the entire day yesterday on an out-of-town project).  The 'undelete plus' was a rarely-used, no-frills program I had lying around which works fine for small quantities of data (SD cards, flash drives) but got the irresolvable 'out of memory' error message on this particular beast.  Initiated and successfully ran Recuva (thanks to Tsvk - had forgotten about this program) upon returning late last night and am now attempting to restore all .dat files found into Express Invoice.  If this ultimately fails, will attempt yet another, earlier system restore (which is the sole advice the NCH genius offered).  Having utilised adwcleaner routinely with 100% excellent results prior to this catastrophe, I will continue to do so but did tell the callous and indifferent NCH rep (when suddenly able to get hold of him after paying for an outrageous 'premium tech support plan') they should alter their deceptive ways re: offering as unsolicited bloatware/PUP to unsuspecting users (eliciting no comment).  Thank you one and all for your genuinely helpful comments and suggestions.  I agree that going forward I will definitely lay down the unequivocal caveat of 'not responsible for lost data due to failure to back up on external media'....it certainly will save me a ton of grief.  I'll keep you posted on the results of this current restore process (been running for hours).



#7 quietman7

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:56 PM

Sometimes persistence pays off. Thanks for the update.
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#8 TsVk!

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:24 PM

:tvhorror:



#9 quietman7

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:26 PM

:hysterical:


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#10 anacondon

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:18 PM

Did I miss something with the emoticons?  Sorry for my seemingly-noob post(s) but the end result is the data retrieved by various recovery programs was unusable within the program in question and no more restore points were available prior to the event.  The individual showed up unannounced this morning as needed access to another program on his laptop (for his business).  When pressed he confessed he never made back-ups - even at his (shall we say 'unpleasant') wife's nagging insistence; nor did he keep any hard copy documents to piecemeal re-do his database.  He understands it was an honest, albeit catastrophic, mistake.  I consider the case closed and am hoping there are no further recriminations from he & the surly wife.  Sorry for all the bother and thanks for the many suggestions.  If nothing else, have learned a valuable lesson re: NCH software.



#11 TsVk!

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

Thanks for letting us know the outcome anacondon. I'm glad it all turned out for you.

 

Like I said before, please do up a disclaimer for your customers... without it you "could" be held responsible. Though luckily not this time. But it would take just one small disaster like this and one litigious client and you would suffer for a long time. Verbally confirming backups of essential data, and then offering a backup as a paid service (add on sale) could be considered professional and thorough. It also will force non paying customers to cough up, legal documents in black and white are quite persuasive. Win win for you... :thumbup2:



#12 quietman7

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:35 PM

Before assisting someone with removing a serious malware infection...this is what I tell them.
 

The process of removing Malware is a potentially hazardous undertaking. Before doing anything further, if you have not already done so, you should back up all your important documents, personal data files and photos to a CD or DVD drive as some infections may render your computer unbootable during or before the disinfection process. If that occurs there may be no option but to reformat and reinstall the OS or perform a full system recovery. The safest practice is not to backup any files with the following file extensions: .exe, .scr, .bat, .com, .cmd, .msi, .pif, .ini, .htm, .html, .hta, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.

And if they refuse to back-up, then just advise up front there is no guarantee any data loss will be recoverable.
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