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Remove “Windows has encountered a problem” Scam

This article aims to help you by displaying more information about how to remove the “Windows has encountered a problem” tech support scam virus.

Windows has encountered a problem scam

“Windows has encountered a problem” Scam

A new Windows scam has been detected by researchers. It displays a blue lockscreen message that is designed to look like a legitimate Windows message that claims “Windows has encountered a problem”. The end goal of this scam message is to convince victims that they must update their Windows product key and click OK. In addition, the scam presents a customer support number +1-123-456-9986 claiming that a Microsoft technician can provide further help for the fix of the detected issue. This scam message happens as a result of the installation of malware classified as a screen locker. According to researchers, this malware is able to access the webcam so that cybercriminals can see what their victims are doing in front of the infected PC.

If you have been infected by the “Windows has encountered a problem” virus, it is strongly inadvisable to enter any type of information for your product key. Fraudsters may steal the key from you. What we advise you to do is to read this article thoroughly and learn how to remove this nasty scam completely from your computer system.

"Windows has encountered a problem" Scam Summary

Name “Windows has encountered a problem” / DRIVER_VERIFIER_IOMANAGER_VIOLATION (ndis.sys)
Type Tech Support Scam / Trojan
Short Description Infects your computer, after which modifies the computer settings to lock you out of your computer and ask you to call a suspicious tech support number.
Symptoms A Windows-like lockscreen appears on the computers of the victims, claiming it is the original one.
Distribution Method Via bundled installers, fake software setups or via other unwanted software that has already been installed on your PC.
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More Details About the “Windows has encountered a problem” Scam

The “Windows has encountered a problem” tech support scam primarily aims to make you believe that you should enter your product key but it is still a malware that endangers the overall system security. Typically, malware is spread via files or other objects, such as JavaScripts or web links.

Oftentimes, the main technique that installs the “Windows has encountered a problem” lockscreen virus is a setup of a free program. Unfortunately, there are lots of bogus apps that come with malicious software embedded as one of the files that are installed by the setup.

Another method that could deliver the lockscreen virus on your computer is a web link shared somewhere online that executes a drive-by download and infects your PC after clicking on it.

As soon as the malicious program associated with “Windows has encountered a problem” scam (a Trojan or a ransomware) infects your computer it may drop and execute additional files that heavily modify Windows Registry Editor. The registry entry which may be modified is the one that is responsible for the Screensaver feature. The virus may add the lockscreen as a modified screensaver which is interactive in order to display the “Windows has encountered a problem” virus message.

Once there, the message will prevent you from accessing your Windows Desktop and even a system restart may not help you to bypass it. The lockscreen reads the following:

Windows has encountered a problem

Your PC ran into a problem and need diagnostic.

If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this
erro: DRIVER_VERIFIER_IOMANAGER_VIOLATION (ndis.sys)

Please Enter Updated Product Key
Windows Defender prevented an unrecognized and malicious software on your computer. Please update your windows product key.

If you call a support person give them this info:
Stop Code: RDR File System
Serial Key:

Please contact support team on toll free : +1-123-456-9986

In addition to this, since this scam may be caused by a running Trojan Horse, the latter may be configured to perform multiple other activities including:

  • Install other malware on your computer.
  • Delete different system files from your PC.
  • Extract different information from your computer.

Luckily for victims, this virus is solvable and it can be unlocked with the help of a set of steps that remove the malware and secure the system.

>How to Unlock Your Computer and Remove “Windows has encountered a problem” Scam

Since the “Windows has encountered a problem” lockscreen is most likely with a malicious software that is running on the system, it is recommendable that you follow the removal instructions down below. They are specifically created to help you remove this virus either manually or automatically. Be advised that experts often advise for automatic removal, since this malware may create multiple different objects on your computer that may make manual removal tricky. The best method to automatically remove the “Windows has encountered a problem” scam is to download an advanced anti-malware software which will detect all the files and objects that cause harm to your computer and remove them.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate "Windows has encountered a problem" Scam from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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