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HIT with a MICROSOFT phone Call SCAM

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HP Desktop Model# 251-a123W

Mother-in-law (who was not aware of this) got scammed by a MICROSOFT error Phone Call...had her log onto the sight, they took over the computer and locked it or did something to the system. - she lives in FL I live in CT...she shipped the computer to me.


1: She said her computer guy could not fix it - however she walked out with a new computer in less then 15min

2: I am use to seeing computeres with Windows license key numbers on the side of the system, my HP has one, this one does not...even the HP laptop has one....

3: So my question....is this  -- is there a way to boot this computer in safe mode and have it reinstall the OS from the HD?

Also just as a side note I am very puzzled there is NO POWER box inside this sytem, its just a 9 volt power connector...is this something new...this box on the inside is alien to me....

Thanks for any suggestions on how to go about doing this....

I can do it, I have the skills ... but with out an OS and not wanting to repurchase the OS for it I think I might just be out of luck here.


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> Mother-in-law (who was not aware of this) got scammed by a MICROSOFT error Phone Call...had her log onto the site.

 

That site holds "screen-sharing" software, allowing the scammer to have full control of the victim's computer.

Obviously, that software has legitimate purposes, e.g., you logging-in to her computer, to fix things.

So, because it can be useful, most anti-virus products do not "flag" it as "malicious software".

 

> they took over the computer and locked it or did something to the system. 

 

Computers can have multiple passwords:

* when the computer is first powered-on,

* when entering BIOS SETUP,

* in the middle of Windows start-up, if the 'SYSKEY.EXE' program was executed by the scammer, to set a password. Of course, the scammer did not tell the password to her, or demanded ransom-money to reveal the password,

* Windows logon password.

 

> 1: She said her computer guy could not fix it - however she walked out with a new computer in less than 15min

 

It is time for her to find better computer-guy.

 

Note that none of the above passwords prevent you from mounting her disk-drive as a "slave" disk-drive on your computer, and copying her files/bookmarks/E-mails from the disk-drive.

 

> 2: I am use to seeing computers with Windows license key numbers on the side of the system, my HP has one, this one does not...even the HP laptop has one....

 

It depends on the age of your computer. 

Some new computers have the product-key embedded in the BIOS, so that the  HP-modified Windows Installer can retrieve that product-key. Interesting way to prevent the "loss" of the product-key.

 

Is this the computer: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c04798706

 

If so, it came pre-installed with Windows 10, which comes with a "digital entitlement" to reinstall Windows 10, at no cost, at any time.

Use: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

to download Windows 10, onto your computer, and to copy it to a USB memory-stick or to burn a few DVD-recordables.

 

Then, remove the original drive, and set it aside -- for later "recovery" of her personal files.

Purchase a new disk-drive, and connect it.

Boot from the newly-created media.

When installing Windows, it will ask for the product-key.  Click "I do not have one".

Installation will continue, and "activation" of Windows will be automatic, the first time that you connect it to the Internet, due to your "digital entitlement".

 

> 3: So my question....is this  -- is there a way to boot this computer in safe mode and have it reinstall the OS from the HD?

 

Probably.

The scammer could not use the "remote-administration" software to set a power-on password, or a BIOS SETUP password.

Turn the computer off.

Turn the computer on, and look for messages like "press <blah> to enter System Recovery".


> Also just as a side note I am very puzzled there is NO POWER box inside this sytem, its just a 9 volt power connector...is this something new...this box on the inside is alien to me....

 

Yes, some of the "small form factor" desktops have adopted the "laptop" scheme -- an external power-adapter, which can be tucked "out-of-sight", leaving the PC with a smaller "footprint" on the desk.

 

> I can do it, I have the skills ... but without an OS and not wanting to repurchase the OS for it I think I might just be out of luck here.

 

Go for it -- there is no need to purchase another copy of Windows 10.

I highly recommend that you install to a brand-new disk-drive, to avoid any mucking-up of her personal files.

 

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Thank you for the reply....

I tried to access the HD in the system which is only 6 months old....no luck

I had a HD here at the house with Windows 7 on it from an older computer....so I hooked that up to the system and well what do you know....Windows 7 booted up like a champ.....I am going to take out the old HD put in this one...and clean it up for her needs...

I am going to SAVE your information though because its useful ...I appreciate it very much

Thank YOU!!!!!

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>  I tried to access the HD in the system which is only 6 months old....no luck

 

Please elaborate.

What did you do, e.g., boot her computer?

Did it start to boot, and then ask for a password?

 

Or, did you pull the HD out of her computer, and attach it as a "slave" in your computer, and try to access each of the partitions? 

 

Is your computer running Windows 7? 8? 10?

It may require to be running the same (or newer) Windows that what's on her computer.

 

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