General Question

Pandora's avatar

My computer just got ransomware from an article on facebook. Can anyone offer advice on how to possibly retrieve it.

Asked by Pandora (32252points) 3 weeks ago

I’m not too worried because I have all my important stuff uploaded to the cloud and it’s not my only computer. Right now I am using my laptop.
But I would like to know if my ransomware computer is now trash? Is there a way to save and and use it again in the future? Or just chuck it?

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16 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

At worst you can toss the hard drive and reuse the rest. The technology shop can erase the hard drive, and put your computer almost as good as day one. Minus all apps and programs , and passwords. Should cost around $250.

filmfann's avatar

Do you remember what article did this?

Brian1946's avatar

My desktop was hit by ransomware when I clicked on an article titled something like, “25 Famous People Who Drank Themselves to Death”.
I saw it in my Yahoo news feed.

I switched off the power to my PC at the surge suppressor.
I waited about a minute, and then restored power.
I then ran a full anti-viral scan, which included my browser (Firefox), and no viruses nor malware were found.

I subsequently reopened everything from before, and my comp has been trouble free ever since.
I think this happened about a year ago.

I removed power at the suppressor, because I thought the ransomware would interfere with or become even more embedded, (by) an attempt to remove power by depressing the computer’s power control button or by requesting a shut down.

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann It was a story about a famous actress that died in a house fire. No name, thats why I clicked on it to see who it was. Usually, I know better.

Pandora's avatar

Seems that this is a common tactic they use. Articles saying Look who died. I wish I knew that before.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

You can always just nuke (reformat) your hard drive and reload Windows. There are ways not to have to go to that extreme but this is the easy, novice method.

Zaku's avatar

I would first determine the actual situation. My first suspicion would be that it’s probably not actual ransomeware, but something pretending to be ransomware. I’d do an approach like @Brian1946 described above to try to identify any actual malware on my computer, and remove any found.

gorillapaws's avatar

I agree with @Zaku. A lot of times there are ads that run pretending to be alerts from your system telling you that you’ve been hacked, when in fact it’s just the text of an ad trying to fool you into doing something stupid. I’m on a Mac, so it’s kind of funny to see popup ads saying stuff like: “Alert, Windows has detected a Virus!”

seawulf575's avatar

What operating system are you running on your laptop? If it is a Windows system, it might be possible to restart the computer in safe mode. That would allow the computer to start only the bare essentials for starting the computer. From there you could potentially find the offending virus and delete it. Not always successful and really a pain in the ass, but it could be tried.

snowberry's avatar

“Articles saying Look who died” And it turns out your computer did!

I’ll take that lesson to heart!

Pandora's avatar

@Brian1946 and @Zaku and @seawolf
I made the mistake of turning it off and turning it back on. It went straight to the lock page. I could not access anything. Not even turn it on safe mode.

Pandora's avatar

My daughter said she’s going to just replace my drive with a new one. Found one new for 55 bucks. Same storage as my current and she was able to download the OS for my computer. Once she gets the new driver she will put it in my computer.
She said its the safest way to approach it and not have to worry if it was completely wiped out. Plus its old, and had been giving me problems, so she thinks it was going to need to eventually be changed sooner rather than later.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Pandora If it’s an older physical drive you would be shocked at how much faster your PC will be if you get an SSD. I’d strongly advise going that route. Cost is about the same these days.

Pandora's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Thanks, I’ll ask my daughter.

seawulf575's avatar

@Pandora Starting in Safe Mode on a Windows computer is not a selection once the computer is already booted up. You do it while it is booting up.

Turn the computer off and wait at least 30 seconds.
Restart your computer holding down the F8 key while you do.

When your computer starts up, it should be just the basics running. Depending on where the ransomware is located in your computer, it may or may not be active. If it is not, you have a chance to find it and eradicate it. If it is active, it is located somewhere deep in the programming and you will not be able to get rid of it without reformatting the computer or swapping out the hard drive.

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