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Frederick S.
Frederick S., Computer Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 8694
Experience:  Computer technician and founder of a home PC repair company.
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My sons acer laptop got a trojan virus today and wiped out

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My sons acer laptop got a trojan virus today and wiped out his hard drive and all. There is nothing on his computer, except McAfee security scan which says there are no threats. How do we get back his computer? Oh, and he never backed up any of his files.
Hi! My name isXXXXX look forward to assisting you! Do not forget to rate my answer quality before you go. Let's get started!

It sounds like the files are just hidden. It's unlikely that it's a virus; probably just malware.

Let's work on making them visible again.

I need you to run a command for me from Command Prompt. Depending on your hard drive, this will take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour.

Please go to Start menu > Run (or press Windows key + R)



then click OK (or type CMD in the search box on the bottom and hit ENTER)

Then carefully type this command:

attrib -s -h -r c:/*.* /s /d

(It is better to highlight that then right-click it and select Copy, then go to the Command Prompt box and right click it and select Paste to paste it in the black Command Prompt window to make sure you don't miss any spaces)

then press [ENTER]

It is totally normal to see "Access Denied" repeatedly.

Let me know how it goes and if you then see those files. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm turning on the laptop now. When it's up I will do each step as you have asked.

I am standing by.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

window popped up while running says System Error. Hard disk failure detected. Scan and repair Scan later are choices


During which step, please?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

while I was typing in the command. Hit enter still there, command is running in background with access denied. new message just popped up Device initialization failed.

That's good; let me know once it's complete and if you see any files.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

still running, new message error cd: writer. looks like some of the files are coming back. not sure whats going on. thing r popping up the leaving. Critical Error Write Fault Error

Please disregard all malware messages that are coming up and keep me updated on what's going on with the scan; thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Still scanning....access denied.


In my response above, I did let you know that:

It is totally normal to see "Access Denied" repeatedly.

Please let me know once it's done and if you see any files; thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It seems to be done, the system shut down then came back up.

Please let me know if you see any files.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Some files came up, then they disappeared again except for McAfee and Recycle Bin. Now a User Account Control came up


Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer? Program Name Java Auto Updater



OK; so all of the files are hidden again? That's frustrating.

Please bookmark this page by pressing Ctrl+D so that you can easily return to it from your favorites/bookmarks menu (if you don't see Favorites or Bookmarks on top, press the ALT key), then boot up in Safe Mode with Networking; to do so, please follow these steps:

1. Turn off the PC

2. Turn on the PC and repeatedly press [F8] until Boot Options appears

3. Select Safe Mode with Networking with arrow keys and press [ENTER]

4. Log in to the PC

5. Attempt to follow the steps/links below.

Please click on (download) and run Rkill from the following link which will terminate known bad processes and reverse a lot of harmful/unusual settings changes:

You will want to click on the link that says “iExplore.exe Download Link” and select Open or Run. Once you start running it, it should take less than 1-2 minutes to run.

Then, please go to this page:
(Type exactly as it appears if you cannot click it)

and download Malwarebytes for free. Simply click on Download file under the download link and forum link. Download, save, and run (install) it. You do not have to pay for the program at any time. It may prompt you for a trial; click “Decline”. Malwarebytes will then download updates, and then run the Quick Scan (Perform quick scan > Scan) and "Remove Selected" if it finds any items.

Then, please run the same line from above in Command Prompt to un-hide files, then restart the PC.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

finished and restarting now. some files not all are up They started going away now they are back and the system is doing something. PC Optimizer Pro window popped up wanting us to install and update.


When I click on the start key nothing is there except ITunes.


Is the account you're logged into an administrator-level account?

Please try running the command again except this time, after going to Start menu and typing CMD, please RIGHT-CLICK on CMD and pick "Run as administrator"

Then try the command again.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

logged on as administrator

Great; let me know once the run of the command after you picked "Run as administrator" brings back the program files, too.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Nothing changed after running program again. Waiting for pc to restart. Same files came up nothing more. When I clicked on all programs it looks like they have been restored.I clicked on some folders but they are empty. Doesn't look like the files came back just the folders. Could I try system restore?


So what about the documents folder?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Documents is back so is music and pics and stuff. Looks like the skype folder is empty though.

I missed your previous question

System restore probably wouldn't affect system file permissions, and it is possible the virus is still within those system restore points.

Not every folder will have files. Skype may create a folder just to receive files.

Let's try something to get the start menu items back.

Please go to Start menu and copy/paste (or type) this:


Then please right-click on Start menu

Select Properties

Next to Attributes, is "Hidden" filled in, checked, or empty?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



OK; go to Start menu and type


Then right-click --> properties on the "Start menu" folder there (different location)

Still empty? Or filled in?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Please try checking it, then click Apply, then uncheck/clear it then click Apply then OK. Do the same thing to that folder as well the previous one (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows)

And it should restore anything that exists there.

Frederick S. and 4 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help.

You're welcome :) Have a great rest of your night, Judy!