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Brave showing false "[website] not secure", lag, drive over-use


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W10 Toshiba Satellite laptop

Symptoms:

  • Excessive problems with lag: CPU, memory and/or drive over-use (100%). This is independent of whether or not I'm using the Internet and starts when I turn on/restart my PC.
  • Sometimes, if I open Task Manager, the lag eventually but temporarily stops.
  • The upload rate to my YouTube channel has dropped massively. When things are going well, it takes just 1-3 minutes to upload - now the same size videos are taking at least 30 minutes.
  • I just got a "website not secure message on Google and Facebook. The lock is shown after I continue to the website.
  • I am no longer able to access Facebook (I use 2FA). I wasn't logged into it on my phone. As part of my effort to free up space, I cleared my PC's browser cache. FB doesn't recognize my browser now and it's hard to get it to send a security code via the normal option. I have to use the option that requires showing ID, but it never gets beyond sending the ID in - the circle just turns forever.
  • I also see that sometimes excessive disk space usage happens when Phone Link (connected to my Samsung phone) is active. I have not been able to find a way to disable it on my PC or phone. Right-clicking in the start menu and clicking uninstall does nothing. Left-clicking on it and then on settings gives me a message saying it can't find it.
  • I noticed that my boot drive was down to about 50 GB (out of ~930 GB) and red, so I've deleted programs and moved files off so I have over 100 GB.
  • The problems started to get REALLY bad yesterday while I was using Windows Movie Maker (which I've used for a year or more).

 

Programs I've VERY recently installed via Microsoft Store:
Clip Champ (Microsoft)

Wondershare Filmora (free)

A few weeks ago:

FilmForth

I thought it was because of a waiting Windows update but, even after it installed yesterday, and even after I restarted it one more time today, the system is still lagging badly.

 

MBAM Premium threat scan didn't find anything.

FRST.txt Addition.txt

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  • Root Admin
Posted (edited)

Hello, @GlennM2

 

My screen name is AdvancedSetup and I will assist you with your system issues.
 

Let's keep these principles as we proceed. Make sure to read the entire post below first.

  • Please follow all steps in the provided order and post back all requested logs
  • Please attach all log files to your post, unless otherwise requested
  • Temporarily disable your antivirus or other security software first. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans have been completed.
  • Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download the software below if needed. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
  • Searching, detecting, and removing malware isn't instantaneous and there is no guarantee to repair every system.
  • Before we start, please make sure that you have an external backup, not connected to this system, of all private data.
  • Do not run online games while the case is ongoing. Do not do any free-wheeling or risky web-surfing.
  • Only run the tools I guide you to use. Please don't run any other scans, download, install or uninstall any programs while I'm working with you.
  • Cracked, Hacked, or Pirated programs are not only illegal but also can make a computer a malware victim. Having such programs installed is the easiest way to get infected. It is the leading cause of ransomware encryption. It is at times also a big source of current Trojan infections. If there are any on the system you should uninstall them before we proceed.
  • Please be patient and stick with me until I give you the "all clear". We don't want to waste your time, please don't waste ours.
  • If your system is running Discord, please be sure to Exit it while this case is ongoing.

 

The computer is a tad old and is experiencing issues with Windows Search and Explorer both faulting. That can produce the type of issues you're seeing.

BIOS: TOSHIBA 1.40 11/27/2014
Motherboard: TOSHIBA ZSWAA
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4005U CPU @ 1.70GHz
Percentage of memory in use: 46%
Total physical RAM: 16294.96 MB
Available physical RAM: 8700.15 MB
Total Virtual: 32678.96 MB
Available Virtual: 24685.83 MB

 

The system appears to be using Acronis Trueimage (at least at one point) but the version is quite old now. Nothing wrong with that as long as it's working for you properly, just want to bring that to your attention.

HKLM\...\Run: [Acronis Scheduler2 Service] => C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedhlp.exe [577080 2018-04-18] (Acronis International GmbH -> )

 

Please run the following fix below. When the fix has completed, please post back the FIXLOG.TXT file and we'll continue.

 

Please download the attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop or location where you ran FRST from.
NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST or FRST64, and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Please make sure you disable any real-time antivirus or security software before running this script. Once completed, make sure you re-enable it.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user, for use on this particular machine. Running this on another machine may cause damage to your operating system that cannot be undone.

Run FRST or FRST64 and press the Fix button just once and wait.
If the tool needs a restart please make sure you let the system restart normally and let the tool complete its run after restart.
The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt) or wherever you ran FRST from. Please attach or post it to your next reply.

Note: If the tool warned you about an outdated version please download and run the updated version.

NOTE-1:  This fix will run a scan to check that all Microsoft operating system files are valid and not corrupt and attempt to correct any invalid files. It will also run a disk check on the restart to ensure disk integrity. Depending on the speed of your computer this fix may take 30 minutes or more.

NOTE-2: As part of this fix all temporary files will be removed. If you have any open web pages that have not been bookmarked please make sure you bookmark them now as all open applications will be automatically closed. Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies will also be removed. The use of an external password manager is highly recommended instead of using your browser to store passwords.

NOTE-3: As part of this fix it will also reset the network to default settings including the firewall. If you have custom firewall rules you need to save please export or save them first before running this fix.

The following directories are emptied:

  • Windows Temp
  • Users Temp folders
  • Edge, IE, FF, Chrome, and Opera caches, HTML5 storages, Cookies and History
  • Recently opened files cache
  • Discord cache
  • Java cache
  • Steam HTML cache
  • Explorer thumbnail and icon cache
  • BITS transfer queue (qmgr*.dat files)
  • Recycle Bin

Important: items are permanently deleted. They are not moved to quarantine. If you have any questions or concerns please ask before running this fix.

The system will be rebooted after the fix has run.

fixlist.txt

Thanks

 

Edited by AdvancedSetup
Updated information
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I just want to let you know the following:

While I was waiting for a response on here yesterday, I ran chkdsk. I've attached the log for you.

I'm using Acronis (which is a minimal version like a trial) to back up my drive. It's the version that I downloaded last year when I got a license with a PNY SSD kit that I bought. I have been unable to find a way to update it from the 2018 version. Apparently, I would have to buy the latest version as it has never asked me (when I load the program) whether I want to download updates.  I guess PNY didn't figure it was important to offer something more current, or even a full 2018 version.

Once the backup you requested is done, I'll let you know and proceed with your instructions.

chkdsk.log

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  • Root Admin

Difficult to know for sure because infections damage all types of programs. Go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features and in most cases the MS Office has an option when you right-click to REPAIR the program. Please give that a try.

Please run the following

 

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Please make sure you Exit out of any other program you might have open so that the sole task is to run the following scan.   
That goes especially for web browsers, make sure all are fully exited out of and messenger programs are exited and closed as well
 

STEP 1

Please set File Explorer to SHOW ALL folders, all files, including hidden ones.  Use OPTION ONE or TWO of this article

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/7078-turn-off-show-all-folders-windows-10-navigation-pane.html

STEP 2

I suggest a new scan for viruses & other malware. This may take several hours, depending on the number of files on the system and the speed of the computer.

The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free Microsoft stand-alone virus scanner that can be used to scan for & remove malware or potentially unwanted software from a system. 

The download links & the how-to-run-the tool are at this link at Microsoft 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/intelligence/safety-scanner-download

 

Look on the Scan Options & select the FULL scan.

Then start the scan. Have lots of patience. It may take several hours.

  • Once you see it has started, take a long long break;  walk away.  Do not pay credence if you see some intermediate early flash messages on the screen display.  The only things that count are the End result at the end of the run.
  • The scan will take several hours.  Leave it alone. It will remove any other remaining threats as it goes along.  Take a very long break, do your normal personal errands .....just do not use the computer during this scan.

This is likely to run for many hours as previously mentioned  ( depending on the number of files on your machine & the speed of the hardware.)

The log is named MSERT.log  and the log will be at C:\Windows\debug\msert.log

Please attach that log with your next reply.

 

 

It is normal for the Microsoft Safety Scanner to show detections during the scan process. It is scanning for basically all bread crumbs or traces of files and registry entries that "might" be or have been part of some infection or previous infection.

That DOES NOT mean the computer is infected. Once the scan has been completed it uploads the log to their Cloud service which then uses Artificial Intelligence to determine if in fact any of the traces are an infection or not.

Then it writes into the log on your computer what it found.

 

 

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  • Root Admin

Please download and run the following Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 and save it to your Desktop.

(Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool version 20.0.10.0 was released on November 9, 2021)

Download: Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool

How to run a scan with Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020
https://support.kaspersky.com/15674

How to run Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 in the advanced mode
https://support.kaspersky.com/15680

How to restore a file removed during Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 scan
https://support.kaspersky.com/15681

 


Select the  image.png  Windows Key and R Key together, the "Run" box should open.

user posted image

Drag and Drop KVRT.exe into the Run Box.

user posted image

C:\Users\{your user name}\DESKTOP\KVRT.exe will now show in the run box.

image.png

add -dontencrypt   Note the space between KVRT.exe and -dontencrypt

C:\Users\{your user name}\DESKTOP\KVRT.exe -dontencrypt should now show in the Run box.
 
image.png


That addendum to the run command is very important, when the scan does eventually complete the resultant report is normally encrypted, with the extra command it is saved as a readable file.

Reports are saved here C:\KVRT2020_Data\Reports and look similar to this report_20210123_113021.klr
Right-click direct onto that report, select > open with > Notepad. Save that file and attach it to your reply.

To start the scan select OK in the "Run" box.

A EULA window will open, tick all confirmation boxes then select "Accept"

image.png

In the new window select "Change Parameters"

image.png

In the new window ensure all selection boxes are ticked, then select "OK" The scan should now start...

user posted image

When complete if entries are found there will be options, if "Cure" is offered leave as is. For any other options change to "Delete" then select "Continue"

user posted image

When complete, or if nothing was found select "Close"

image.png

Attach the report information as previously instructed...
 
Thank you
 
 

 

 

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This is strange. I accessed the (only) report as you instructed in the directory you gave, and it is essentially empty.

<Report>
    <Metadata Version="1" PCID="{CEB49921-0AEC-0E46-BE2B-78D12B60A6D4}" LastModification="2022.08.20 18:02:26.488" />
    <EventBlocks>
        <Block0 Type="Scan" Processed="1156521" Found="0" Neutralized="0">
            <Event0 Action="Scan" Time="133054786862443418" Object="" Info="Started" />
            <Event1 Action="Scan" Time="133055065463429180" Object="" Info="Finished" />
        </Block0>
    </EventBlocks>
</Report>

 

However, looking at the details given by this app, there's a list of items with red warning triangles next to them (without enabling showing the system messages). All but the last address says "LOCK" at the end, and the addresses are for Brave and Edge, except that last one, which seems to be the location of a specific file rather than a folder like the rest. I haven't closed that window yet, just in case you want me to screenshot it.

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Strange that it was blocked. At this point my suggestion would be to back up the bookmarks for Brave, check and export any other setting you need.

Then uninstall Brave and delete all the left over folders from the program.

Then before you reinstall Brave, let me get a new set of Farbar scan logs

 

FRST.TXT
ADDITION.TXT

 

Thanks

 

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Please run the following fix as before. Save the fixlist.txt file to your system.

When done, attach back the FIXLOG.TXT file.

 

Please download the attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop or location where you ran FRST from.
NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST or FRST64, and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Please make sure you disable any real-time antivirus or security software before running this script. Once completed, make sure you re-enable it.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user, for use on this particular machine. Running this on another machine may cause damage to your operating system that cannot be undone.

Run FRST or FRST64 and press the Fix button just once and wait.
If the tool needs a restart please make sure you let the system restart normally and let the tool complete its run after restart.
The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt) or wherever you ran FRST from. Please attach or post it to your next reply.

Note: If the tool warned you about an outdated version please download and run the updated version.

NOTE-1:  This fix will run a scan to check that all Microsoft operating system files are valid and not corrupt and attempt to correct any invalid files. It will also run a disk check on the restart to ensure disk integrity. Depending on the speed of your computer this fix may take 30 minutes or more.

NOTE-2: As part of this fix all temporary files will be removed. If you have any open web pages that have not been bookmarked please make sure you bookmark them now as all open applications will be automatically closed. Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies will also be removed. The use of an external password manager is highly recommended instead of using your browser to store passwords.

NOTE-3: As part of this fix it will also reset the network to default settings including the firewall. If you have custom firewall rules you need to save please export or save them first before running this fix.

The following directories are emptied:

  • Windows Temp
  • Users Temp folders
  • Edge, IE, FF, Chrome, and Opera caches, HTML5 storages, Cookies and History
  • Recently opened files cache
  • Discord cache
  • Java cache
  • Steam HTML cache
  • Explorer thumbnail and icon cache
  • BITS transfer queue (qmgr*.dat files)
  • Recycle Bin

Important: items are permanently deleted. They are not moved to quarantine. If you have any questions or concerns please ask before running this fix.

The system will be rebooted after the fix has run.

fixlist.txt

Thanks

 

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