Smart HDD was first released to infect Internet users in December of 2010. Later on, another version appears using a new format but with similar goal. It aims to steal money from victims. Using deceitful tactics, it will lead you to a payment page forcing to input credit card data.
Smart HDD is a counterfeit Windows utility that is part of a large group of fake hard drive defragmentation program. Smart HDD or also known as the SmartHDD virus is continuously releasing a clone after the other as it focuses on spreading and infecting as many computers globally. This type of application does not require users own intervention to get itself installed inside a computer. Usually, a rootkit Trojan will be able to penetrate a computer without user’s knowledge and this activity is enough to install Smart HDD on to the PC. Once loaded into the computer, screen will be pounded with falsified information about system and hard drive errors.
Every start of Windows, a fabricated scan by Smart HDD will be completed as an instrument to mislead computer users. To have the errors fix, this unwanted application will advise victims to obtain the registered version of the software. After several diagnostics, it was found out that whether unregistered or licensed versions of Smart HDD are not equipped with enough functionality to detect and resolve hard drive and system errors. As a conclusion, one must immediately carry out a Smart HDD removal.
Update: May 28, 2012
There is a new version of Smart HDD. It represents a new console designated as S.M.AR.T. Repair or S.M.A.R.T. Check. Similar to older versions, this updated one will also seek for the purchase of the full edition by means of misleading tactics. Smart HDD also displays a warning with the following message:
Your computer is in critical state. Hard disk error detected.
As a result, it can lead to hard disk failure and potential loss of data. It is highly recommended to repair all found errors to prevent loss of files, applications and documents stored on your computer.
This new version also hides files and folders on the infected computer. It will also make your shortcut links to disappear. Smart HDD spoils your PC by making changes to system files and Windows registry.
Technical Details and Additional Information:
Damage Level: Medium
Systems Affected: Windows 9x, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7
How to Remove Smart HDD
Systematic procedures to get rid of the threat are presented on this section. Make sure to scan the computer with suggested tools and scanners.
Step 1 : Activating Smart HDD
The malware will block running of any programs. It also prevents access to Internet particularly anti-virus web sites. Execution of Windows tools like Task Manager, Registry Editor and Control Panel is similarly block by the rogue program. Activating the program using the registration key below will regain access to the mentioned services.
Once activated, downloading of necessary program to scan and remove Smart HDD is now possible. Use the registration code below. If it prompts for email address, you can input any email address.
Optional : Activating the Rogue Program
Smart HDD will block running of any programs. It also prevents access to Internet particularly anti-virus web sites. Execution of Windows tools like Task Manager, Registry Editor and Control Panel is similarly block by the rogue program. Activating the program using the registration key below will regain access to the mentioned services.
1. To activate the program, click on "Trial version. Click here to activate.," located on lower right part of Smart HDD interface.
2. It will prompt for registration code and email, you may use the following:
Activation Code: 15801587234612645205224631045976
Email Address: Use any email like firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Once activated, downloading of necessary program to scan and remove Smart HDD is now possible. You may proceed with automatic removal using the tool or perform manual procedure by following the guide below.
Step 2 : Scan the computer with recommended removal tool
1. First thing you should do is reboot the computer in Safe Mode with Networking to avoid Smart HDD from loading at start-up.
Remove all media such as floppy drive, cd, dvd, and USB devices. Then, restart the computer and please do the following:
Boot in Safe Mode with Networking on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 system
a) Before Windows begins to load, press F8 on your keyboard.
b) It will display the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select Safe Mode with Networking.
Start computer in Safe Mode with Networking using Windows 8
a) Before Windows begins to load, press Shift and F8 on your keyboard.
b) On Recovery interface, click on 'See advanced repair options'.
c) Next, click on Troubleshoot option.
d) Then, select Advanced options from the list.
e) Lastly, please choose Windows Startup Settings and click on Restart. When Windows restarts, you will be send to a familiar Advanced Boot Options screen.
f) Select Safe Mode with Networking from the selections menu.
2. Download the Removal Tool and save it on your Desktop or any location on your PC.
3. When finished downloading, locate and double-click on the file to install the application. Windows' User Account Control will prompt at this point, please click Yes to continue installing the program.
4. Follow the prompts and install with default configuration.
5. Before the installation completes, check prompts that software will run and update on itself.
6. Click Finish. Program will run automatically and you will be prompted to update the program before doing a scan. Please download needed update.
7. When finished updating, the tool will run. Select Perform full scan on main screen to check your computer thoroughly.
8. Scanning may take a while. When done, click on Show Results.
9. Make sure that all detected threats are checked, click on Remove Selected. This will delete all files and registry entries that belongs to Smart HDD.
10. Finally, restart your computer.
Note: If Smart HDD prevents mbam-setup.exe from downloading. Download the software from another computer. Renaming it to something like 'anything.exe' can help elude the malware.
Step 3 : Ensure that no more files of Smart HDD are left inside the computer
1. Click on the button below to download Norton Power Eraser from official web site. Save it to your desktop or any location of your choice.
4. Once the file is downloaded, navigate its location and double-click on the icon (NPE.exe) to launch the program.
5. Norton Power Eraser will run. If it prompts for End User License Agreement, please click on Accept.
6. On NPE main window, click on Advanced. We will attempt to remove Smart HDD components without restarting the computer.
9. On next window, select System Scan and click on Scan now to perform standard scan on your computer.
10. NPE will proceed with the scan. It will search for Trojans, viruses, and malware like Smart HDD. This may take some time, depending on the number of files currently stored on the computer.
11. When scan is complete. All detected risks are listed. Remove them and restart Windows if necessary.
Step 4 : Remove the Rootkit Trojan that installs Smart HDD
Rootkit Remover is a stand-alone utility developed by McAfee. It can be used to detect and remove rootkit Trojan that is associated with Smart HDD. This tool can detect rootkit that is part of ZeroAccess and TDSS family.
1. Download Rootkit Remover and save it to your desktop or any accessible location. Click the button below to begin download the tool.
2. Locate the file rootkitremover.exe and double-click to run the program.
3. When User Account Control prompts if you want to allow the program to make changes on the computer, please click Yes.
4. Rootkit Remover instantly scans the computer and look for presence of Trojans, viruses, and rootkit that is related to Smart HDD .
5. Once it finishes scanning the computer, the tool will require you to restart Windows.
Alternative Removal Procedures for Smart HDD
Option 1 : Use Windows System Restore to return Windows to previous state
During an infection, Smart HDD drops various files and registry entries. The threat intentionally hides system files by setting options in the registry. With these rigid changes, the best solution is to return Windows to previous working state is through System Restore.
To verify if System Restore is active on your computer, please follow the instructions below to access this feature.
Access System Restore on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
a) Go to Start Menu, then under 'Run' or 'Search Program and Files' field, type rstrui.
b) Then, press Enter on the keyboard to open System Restore Settings.
Open System Restore on Windows 8
a) Hover your mouse cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and wait for the Start icon to appear.
b) Right-click on the icon and select Run from the list. This will open a Run dialog box.
c) Type rstrui on the 'Open' field and click on OK to initiate the command.
If previous restore point is saved, you may proceed with Windows System Restore. Click here to see the full procedure.
Option 2 : Smart HDD manual uninstall guide
IMPORTANT! Manual removal of Smart HDD requires technical skills. Deleting system files and registry entries by mistake may result to total disability of Windows system. We advise you to perform a backup of registry before proceeding with this guide.
1. Kill any running process that belongs to Smart HDD.
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard.
- When Windows Task Manager appears, look for Smart HDD files (refer to Technical Reference) and click End Process.
2. Delete all registry entries that belong to this malware.
- Press [Windows Key]+R on your keyboard.
- In the 'Open' dialog box, type regedit and press Enter. This will open registry editor.
- Find and delete registry entries as mentioned in Technical Reference section.
- Close registry editor. Changes made will be saved automatically.
3. Scan the computer with antivirus program.
- Connect to Internet and open your antivirus software. Please update to obtain the latest database and necessary files.
- Restart the computer in Safe Mode.
- Just before Windows logo begins to load press F8 on your keyboard.
- On Windows Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode and press Enter.
- Thoroughly scan the computer with your updated antivirus software.
4. Delete all files dropped by Smart HDD.
- While still in Safe Mode, search and delete malicious files. Please refer to 'Technical Reference'. Make sure that you execute 'End Task' first before deleting the file. Otherwise, the system will not let you perform this action.
Technical ReferenceAssociated Files and Folders:Added Registry Entries:
Did Smart HDD blocks your Internet access?
It is usual that rogue program prevents user from downloading removal tools from the Internet. Thus, infected computer may be denied to access the Internet by making changes to computer's proxy, DNS, and Hosts file. To fix Internet connection problem, follow these steps:
1. Download the free program called MiniToolBox. Click the button below to begin. Save the file on your hard drive or preferably in your Desktop.
2. Close all running Internet browser and double-click on the file to run. It opens a window showing a list of features.
3. Make sure that you have a check mark on the following items : Flush DNS, Reset IE Proxy Settings, and Reset FF Proxy Settings.
4. Click on the GO button to start the process. The program automatically closes and displays a text file for your reference.
5. If the above solution does not work, you may try other method like fixing a virus-blocked Internet access. Also, make sure that your hosts file is free from any malicious entries. View steps in cleaning Windows host file.
Recover missing or hidden files and folders
To avoid manual execution of programs and files, Smart HDD will hide files and folders on the infected computer. Most victims think that files and folders are deleted, but it is not. The malware simply changed the attributes to hide the data. Follow this guide to show all hidden files and folders if it remains hidden after activating Smart HDD.
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. On top menu of upper left corner, click on Organize, then choose Folder and Search Options.
3. Folder Options dialog box will appear. Select the View tab.
4. On Advance Settings, mark 'Show hidden files, folders and drives.'
5. Click OK to save the settings. You can now view the folders and files, though, they are still concealed because Smart HDD sets the attributes to hidden.
6. While still on Windows Explorer, click on the drive (C: or D:). On right pane, mouse over on the folder or file you wanted to unhide. To select all folder, you may use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A. Right-click, then select Properties .
7. On the Attributes area, remove the markings on Hidden. This will change the attributes of affected files and folders. Click Apply.
8. If it prompts for confirmation, please select 'Apply changes to the selected items, subfolders and files'. Then, click OK to proceed.