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Wittmann

AdwCleaner Crashes Windows 10 Laptop

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I have used this program around 40 times with great success and no problems.
 
I removed two stubborn PUP virus/trojans to perfection with it plus a Sync reset.
 
A friend of mine ran this program on their new Windows 10 laptop and it wrecked their PC.
Nothing worked or showed and they were totally devastated.
 
I have no more details, but do know they tried a system restore and 
it did not work. The PC was useless.
A second system restore ran for quite a while, but eventually finished and the PC
was restored back to its 3 days ago status and now works perfectly.
 
My friend is not technically minded  but is reasonably IT experienced.
I do not know more details of what exactly they did, but they did say that after downloading
AdwCleaner there was no shortcut on their desktop ??
 
How can a popular program issued by a reputable source like Malwarebytes
do such a thing ?
 

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***This is an automated reply***

Hi,

Thanks for posting in the AdwCleaner Help forum.

Someone will reply shortly, but in the meantime here are a few resources which may help resolve your issue:

Thanks in advance for your patience.

-The Malwarebytes Forum Team

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Greetings,

From the sound of it there was most likely either some kind of infection that damaged the system in the process of either trying to prevent itself from being removed or that damaged the system during removal (such as corruption of the registry; a definite possibility).  Such occurrences, while rare, unfortunately do happen which is why it's very important to prevent threats as much as possible and to keep regular backups of important data.

Obviously without analyzing an image of the system no one can say for certain precisely what went wrong or what caused the issue, so this is just my speculation based on your description, however if incidents like this were common we'd have far more users complaining about it as ADWCleaner and Malwarebytes other tools and products are used every day by millions of people around the world and I assure you that if something like this were at all common, the tool would be pulled for analysis and correction immediately because the last thing anyone at Malwarebytes wants is for their users to suffer issues like this.  If you are able to gather any more data about the incident please don't hesitate to either post it here or if you prefer to keep it private, contact Malwarebytes Support directly to submit it.  They may be contacted via the form on the bottom of this page if you do decide to contact them.

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I am sorry i cannot give you more details, my friend is not close,

they live 60 miles away. i would love to know the details for my own satisfaction

and confidence in the program.

It looks suspiciously like a poor download or some error in running the program.

It was downloaded from Filehippo, an extremely reputable site.

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Yes, unfortunately without more details there really isn't much to go on, but my suspicion is that either it is as I suggested that the threat had done some damage at some point, or possibly it could have even been an underlying issue with the system that was already present but only manifested once put through the process of scanning/removing the threats with ADWCleaner (for instance some kind of problem with corrupt disk sectors or something similar, though again, this too is merely speculation).

Yes, FileHippo is a legit site.  I refer users to it often whenever one seeks an older build of Malwarebytes as they keep a long running archive of past software versions for the programs they host.

If you are able to get into contact with your friend it might shed light on the situation if he were to run the following tool and submit the resulting ZIP file containing logs that it gathers to Support for analysis; though honestly after the OS has been reinstalled there is not likely to be any evidence of whatever caused the issue anyway so it might not be worth it, but in case your friend is interested in doing so here are the instructions:

  1. Download and run the Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Accept the EULA and click Advanced tab on the left (not Start Repair)
  3. Click the Gather Logs button, and once it completes, attach the zip file it creates on your desktop to your next reply

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Thank you for your explanations.

The shock of having their laptop (it is brand new) having been totally wrecked by running AdwCleaner was so traumatic

that they will never run another test or cleaning program again. Now that their laptop is back to normal after this devastating experience

which spoilt their Easter, they will unfortunately steer well clear of Malwarebytes or any other such program.

 

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This being a brand new system raises my suspicions.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if something like this happens to them again as it may well be due to some underlying hardware fault from the manufacturer.  I hope I'm wrong, but just in case I would strongly recommend they keep regular backups of anything important that is stored on that device on some kind of external media or in the cloud online or both.

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I myself am very experienced, having 14 years of all kinds of problems.
I have used Malwarebytes all that time and hold it in very high regard like
the rest of the computer world.

I strongly suspect that something went wrong with the download as there
was NO shortcut on their desktop, plus their inexperience.

I recently ran Adwcleaner and it found two dangerous virus/trojan PUP's -
PUP.Optional.22ChromeEXT
PUP.Optional.Legacy
These PUP's are not easy to remove.

With the help of your program plus a Sync reset, these two infections were 
completely deleted and never came back.

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Sounds like a malicious Chrome extension.  Those have been getting pretty nasty these days.  Some of them, like SmartService/Yelloader are even accompanied by rootkits.  Extreme measures for a PUP/adware infection, but with a pay-per-click/pay-per-install affiliate model it's no wonder that the bad guys are leveraging such tactics to get these PUPs installed and keep them there.  I've even seen one that used an actual worm to spread throughout any network connected to an infected device just to install the PUP on every system it could infect.  Really nasty stuff.  Chrome's become a popular target because it's used by so many these days (even more frequently targeted than IE ever since Google overtook MS in browser market share).

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My friend does not have Chrome on her laptop, they use Opera and Firefox.

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In my case, AdwCleaner found PUP.Optional.22ChromeEXT under "Bookmarks",

which is where the Sync reset came in.

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Finally I would add that - Avast, Superantispyware, Emsisoft Emergency Kit and Spywareblaster

all never found two difficult to remove dangerous virus/trojan PUP's 

PUP.Optional.22ChromeEXT
PUP.Optional.Legacy
but AdwCleaner did !
With the help of ADWC and a Sync reset, these PUP's were completely removed.

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QUESTION ?

Does Adwcleaner place all deletions in Quarantine so that if deletion

has an adverse effect on normal PC operations, they can be restored.

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Yes, just like Malwarebytes, ADWCleaner places everything it removes in quarantine so that if necessary it can be restored later.  The quarantined items are encrypted so that they are rendered harmless/can't execute and are decrypted and restored to their original locations if restored from quarantine.

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