Remove Data Recovery

What is Data Recovery?

Data Recovery is also known as Smart HDD, S.M.A.R.T. Virus or S.M.A.R.T. Check; all from the same malware family Win32/FakeSysdef. It is a fake software that causes terrible redirection errors. Usually you will be able to determine if your computer is infected with Data Recovery when you see an error that says "A Serious Disk Error Writing Drive C:/ "alert on your screen. Also, it will delete all your shortcuts and store them in your temporary folder (%Temp%smtmp), so that none of them will appear on your start menu, this way you will not be able to launch any program from the start menu, making you think that your system has serious issues.

Some Data Recovery screenshots:
Data Recovery

This fake software is usually from infected sites that you may have visited or from malicious software that you have downloaded. Data Recovery will instantly infect your system and will create false messages and pop ups that tell you your system has been threatened by a serious virus or there are hard drive errors detected. It will advise you to stop using the trial version and purchase a licensed full version of Data Recovery to activate threat removal functions but as soon as you click "Buy license now" you will place your personal and financial information at risk.

Some of the Data Recovery fake security alerts and warnings that users may get:
Hard Drive Boot Sector Reading Error During I/O system initialization, the boot device driver might have failed to initialize the boot device. File system initialization might have failed because it did not recognize the data on boot device.
System blocks were not found This is most likely occurred because of hard disk failure. This may also lead to a potential loss of data.

Data Recovery may use a TDSS rootkit to protect and hide its malware files, and also to stop you from launching any anti-malware software, thus making itself even harder to get rid of. There are fake registration codes to stop irritating pop ups but these will never remove the fake program. You need to use a reliable anti malware and anti spyware program to remove this threat. You also need to perform a full system scan to determine any damage that Data Recovery has caused.

Associated Data Recovery System Entries and files

Data Recovery Processes

Data Recovery Files

Data Recovery Registry Entries


How to Stop Data Recovery Fake Alerts

To register Data Recovery and stop its fake warnings, use the following fake license key.

Data Recovery registration code: 08869246386344953972969146034087 with any email address

NOTE: this code will NOT remove Data Recovery from your computer, it will JUST stop the annoying alerts and messages.


Data Recovery Removal Instructions

Step 1: Reboot in Safe Mode with Networking

To restart your computer in Safe Mode with networking:

  1. Restart your computer.

  2. When you see the computer manufacturer's logo, press and hold the F8 key.

  3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Networking, and then press Enter.
    Safe Mode with Networking Screen

  4. Log on to your computer with a user account that has administrator rights.


Step 2: Disable Data Recovery Proxy Server

Data Recovery may add a proxy to its package. Its goal is to get the information through the Web connection (password etc).
It also helps to block the connection to certain sites (eg malware removal help sites) or to block the download of trustworthy antispyware and antivirus programs.

The following steps reset the Internet Explorer proxy settings in the Windows registry so that you can access the Internet again:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run. (Keyboard Shortcut: Windows logo + R)

  2. Copy and paste or type the following text in the Open box in the Run dialog box:

    Run dialog box

  3. Click OK.

  4. click Start, and then click Run.

  5. Copy and paste or type the following text in the Open box in the Run dialog box:

  6. Click OK.

Now that you have disabled Data Recovery proxy server, you will be able to browse the web again with Internet Explorer.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run. (Keyboard Shortcut: Windows logo + R)

  2. Type in iexplore.exe.
    Run iexplore.exe


Step 3: Remove the Data Recovery rootkit

Data Recovery may be bundled with the TDSS rootkit. A rootkit is a program that hides the presence of malware in the system.
Kaspersky offers a free utility, TDSSKiller, that removes malware belonging to the family Rootkit.Win32.TDSS (aka Tidserv, TDSServ, Alureon).

So to find out if your system is infected with any rootkits that make Data Recovery hidden and very difficult to remove, follow the steps below:

  1. Download Kaspersky TDSSKiller to your desktop from the following link:
    Kaspersky TDSSKiller Download link

  2. Data Recovery may block all executable files, so when you launch the TDSSKiller file, it will execute itself.
    So Rename tdsskiller.exe to tdsskiller.com or winlogon.exe or iexplore.exe
    Rename tdsskiller.exe

  3. After you run TDSSKiller (or the renamed version), in the welcome screen click on Start Scan.
    Kaspersky TDSSKiller Start Scan

  4. TDSSKiller will now scan your computer.
    Kaspersky TDSSKiller Scan Progress

  5. If any infection was found, TDSSKiller will display a screen results like the following one:
    Kaspersky TDSSKiller Scan Results
    Then click on the Continue button and TDSSKiller will clean the infections.

  6. A reboot might require after disinfection. In this case, click on Reboot Computer
    Kaspersky TDSSKiller Reboot Computer

  7. After the reboot, start your computer again in Safe Mode with Networking and then disable any Data Recovery Proxy Server (See Step 1&2).


Step 4: Stop Data Recovery processes

In order to stop Data Recovery from interfering with our removal procedure, we need to end and kill its processes. For this, we will use a FREE powerful utility called RogueKiller.

RogueKiller (by Tigzy) is a tool written in C++, which scans the running processes, and kills those which are malicious. This tool was developed based on speed execution, which will clean the running processes before being killed.

To terminate Data Recovery process:

  1. Always in Safe Mode Download RogueKiller to your desktop from the following link:

    RogueKiller Download link
    RogueKiller Setup Icon
    RogueKiller is a portable application, so you don't need to install anything.

  2. Data Recovery may block all executable files, so when you launch the RogueKiller file, it will execute itself. So Rename RogueKiller.exe to RogueKiller.com or winlogon.exe or iexplore.exe

  3. At this point a "pre-scan" will complete and stop any malicious process. Also a list of options will appear along the right-hand side.
    RogueKiller Pre-Scan


Step 5: Remove Data Recovery registry keys

To remove Data Recovery malicious registry entries, we will need RogueKiller again.
RogueKiller also checks for rogue Registry entries, rogue drivers, and Master Boot Record (MBR) issues, so rootkits will be cut.
RogueKiller can also fix and restore a Host file, delete any Proxy entries, repair shortcut problems and unhide files.

CAUTION: This tool is not for beginners. In this step we will ONLY use the Registry tab.

To Delete Data Recovery Registry entries:

  1. Always in Safe Mode run a scan, open RogueKiller and click on Scan.
    RogueKiller Scan Progress

  2. After a while, you should see a screen with scan results like the following one:
    RogueKiller Scan Results

  3. Click on the Registy tab, then click on the Delete button.
    RogueKiller Delete Registry Entries


Don't Reboot you computer yet, please stay in Safe Mode.


Step 6: Remove Data Recovery files

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is simply the best known FREE malware removal tools online.

To remove Data Recovery files:

  1. Download Malwarebytes to your desktop from the following link:
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download link
    MBAM Setup Icon

  2. Just Follow the easy setup process. Do not make any changes to the default settings
    When the setup is finished, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked.
    You can check or uncheck the Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO as the malware removal is FREE.
    Then click on the Finish button. If Malwarebytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard

  3. When Malwarebytes is launched, it will ask you to update the databse. Just click OK.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Updating

  4. On the Scanner tab,select Quick scan and then click on the Scan.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan Screen

  5. When the scan is finished a message box will appear, click OK to continue.
    Then the screen results will show the various malware infections including Data Recovery that Malwarebytes has found on your computer.
    the image below is just an example, your results will be different.
    Click on the Remove Selected button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan Results Screen

  6. After Malwarebytes has finished the removal of Data Recovery, you will get a message stating that you need to reboot your computer.
    Just Do so, and restart your computer in Normal Mode.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Reboot Message


Step 7: Unhide your files

As Data Recovery is from the family of FakeHDD, it will make you shortcuts unsuable and hide your files from your desktop, Start menu and discs.

To Fix this issue:

  1. In Normal Mode run a RogueKiller scan.

  2. When the scan is complete, go to the Shortcuts tab, and click on the Fix Shortcuts button on the right.
    RogueKiller Unhide Fix


Step 8: Check for any Data Recovery left over

To make sure that your computer is now completely free of Data Recovery, redo a Malwarebytes scan in Normal Mode.
After your are finished, Reboot your PC as asked by Malwarebytes anti-malware.


About

Sarah MelbenchI am Sarah Melbench and I am an Anti-Malware Enthusiast! I created this website to spread the word about the lastest malware infections. I write guides and tutorials about malware removal as well as reviews of anti-malware programs.Follow me on G+

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Posted in Manual Malware Removal

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