This guide is for the Drive Backup and Verify Windows Scam program from the Trojan.Tech-Support-Scam family. This program is promoted as a backup utility for your computer, but what it does not disclose is that it also displays a fake verify windows alert to scare you into calling a remote tech support number.
When Drive Backup is installed it will also install an executable called currency.exe. Currency.exe, when launched, will display a fake Windows alert that is titled Verify Windows, which states that your copy of Windows is not activated. This alert will then prompt you to enter a Windows product key in order to close the alert.
In reality, though, it will not accept any valid keys and is just being displayed to have you contact the listed remote tech support number so that they can scare you into purchasing unnecessary software licenses. The text of this alert is:
Enter a product key to verify Windows
Your product key should be on the box that the Windows DVD came in or in an email that shows you bought Windows. You need to be signed in as an administrator to enter a product key for Windows activation.Support Helpline: 1-855-279-9028
To make matters worse, when you click on the image of a question mark, the program will automatically download and execute TeamViewer on the victim's computer so that the scammers can request to take over your computer.
How did the Drive Backup and Verify Windows Scam get on my computer?
It is important to note that this tech support scam is bundled with and installed by free programs that did not adequately disclose that other software would be installed along with it. Therefore, it is important that you pay close attention to license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers youÂ CustomÂ orÂ AdvancedÂ installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed. Furthermore, If the license agreement or installation screens state that they are going to install a toolbar or other unwanted adware, it is advised that you immediately cancel the install and not use the free software.
Without a doubt, this program is distributed for the sole reason of trying to scare a victim into calling the listed remote tech support number. For no reason should you call this number and buy tech support services, and if you have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Please use this guide to remove all remnants of the Drive Backup and Very Windows scam from your computer for free.
Self Help Guide
If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.
To remove Fake Verify Windows Alert, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- STEP 2: Use Task Manager to terminate a process and start Explorer
- STEP 3: Fix Shell Registry Configuration
- STEP 4: Uninstall programs via Windows control panel.
- STEP 5: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- STEP 6: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to Scan for Malware and Unwanted Programs
- STEP 7: Use AdwCleaner to remove adware from a computer.
- STEP 8: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for badware
- STEP 9: Run Secunia PSI to find outdated and vulnerable programs.
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
As Fake Verify Windows Alert may make it so you are unable to acces your Windows desktop, you need to open the Windows Task Manager from the Windows Security screen. To do this, press the CTRL+ALT+DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time to display the Windows Security Screen as shown below.
At this screen, click on the Task Manager option to start the Windows Task Manager.
You will now be at the Task Manager screen as shown below. If you are in Windows 10, you will need to click on the More Details option and the screen will look a little different. Make sure you are in the processes tab and search for the updater.exe process in the list of processes.
When you have found the process click on it once to select and then click on the End Process button in Windows 7 or the End Task button in Windows 10. The process should now be terminated. Do not close the Task Manager window, though, as we need it for the next step.
Now that the process has been terminated we want to start the Windows Explorer. Most of the time this will cause the Windows desktop to appear, but if not, you will at least be presented with a My Computer folder that you can to navigate the file system and launch applications.
In Task Manager, click on the File menu option and then click on Run. You will now be at the Run dialog as shown in the image below.
In the Open: field, type explorer.exe and then press the OK button.
Your normal desktop should now appear and you can continue with the rest of the instructions. If the desktop does not appear, then a My Computer window will open that will allow you to navigate the file system to launch programs or delete files.
We now need to download a Registry file that will fix the Shell registry configuration that prevents your desktop from loading automatically.
To do this, open Internet Explorer from the Windows Start Menu. If you are not able to see your desktop, then you can navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer folder and double-click on the iexplore.exe file.
Internet Explorer should now be open and you should go to this link: https://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/FixShell.reg. When you visit this link, it will prompt you to save the FixShell.reg file.
Please save this file on your computer and double-click on it when it has finished downloading. When it asks if you would like to merge the contents of the file with the Windows Registry, please allow it to do so.
Once this file is executed, your Windows Shell will be configured to use your normal desktop.
As Fake Verify Windows Alert sometimes has a usable Uninstall entry that can be used to remove the program, we want to try that first. To do this, click on the Start button and then select Control Panel.
When in the Control Panel, double-click on one of the options below depending on your version of Windows
- For Windows XP double-click on the Add or Remove Programs icon.
- For Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 double-click on the Uninstall Program option.
When the Add or Remove Programs or the Uninstall Program screen is displayed, please scroll through the list of programs and double-click on each of the entries listed in bold below to uninstall them.
When you double-click on the above entries to uninstall them, please follow the default prompts and allow it to remove all files and all configuration information related to this program. If any of the programs ask you to reboot your computer, do not allow it to reboot until you have uninstalled all of the programs listed above.
When you are done, you can close the Control Panel screens.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Fake Verify Windows Alert and other malware. 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 a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have 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.
At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-188.8.131.522. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.
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 Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.
MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.
You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the selected items. 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.
You can now exit the MBAM program.
Now please download AdwCleaner and save it to your desktop. AdwCleaner will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download AdwCleaner from the following URL:
When AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon the AdwCleaner program will open and you will be presented with the program's license agreement. After you read it, click on the I agree button if you wish to continue. Otherwise, click on the I disagree button to close the program. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
If you selected to continue, you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Scan button in AdwCleaner. The program will now start to search for known adware programs that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display all of the items it has found in Results section of the screen above. Please look through the results and try to determine if the programs that are listed contain ones that you do not want installed. If you find programs that you need to keep, then uncheck the entries associated with them.
For many people, the contents of the Results section may appear confusing. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed,please continue with the next step.
To remove the adware programs that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button on the AdwCleaner screen. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to close any open programs before it starts to clean.
Please save your work and then click on the OK button. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.
When your computer reboots and you are logged in, AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer.
Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.
Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:
When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.
Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.
Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
As many malware and unwanted programs 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:
Your computer should now be free of the Fake Verify Windows Alert program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured 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:
Are Your Protected?
While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.