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Hard Disk Failure Error Scam

Also Known As: Hard Disk Failure Error virus
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Hard Disk Failure Error?

Similar to BSOD Driver Problem, BSOD Error, Enter A Product Key, and a number of other fake errors, "Hard Disk Failure" is a false error message displayed by a rogue website. Victims are redirected to this website by various adware-type applications that infiltrate systems without users' consent.

Research shows that adware is also likely to monitor users' Internet browsing activity and display intrusive online advertisements. Developers often distribute these potentially unwanted programs using a deceptive software marketing method called "bundling".

Hard Disk Failure Error adware

"Hard Disk Failure" error states that the system has been infected with high-risk malware and that victims' personal data is at risk. To prevent permanent data loss, victims must call a "Microsoft-certified technician" within ten minutes. The error message provides a toll-free telephone number (+1888-245-8846).

It is also stated that other computers connected to the same network might become infected, and that closing the browser and/or restarting the computer could result in a hardware failure. This error message is a scam. All claims regarding infection are false - cyber criminals merely attempt to trick victims into calling and paying for technical services that are not needed.

Research shows that adware-type applications often display intrusive advertisements (pop-ups, banners, coupons, interstitial, transitional, full-page, search, and other similar ads) that conceal underlying content of visited websites (thereby significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience), and might also lead to malicious websites.

Clicking them is risky and can result in various computer infections. In addition, these potentially unwanted programs often record various data types such as IP addresses, Internet service provider, geo-location, operating system and browser types, unique identifier numbers, search queries entered into search engines, website URLs visited, pages viewed, and so on.

This collected information might be personally identifiable. This recorded data is shared with various people (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private data to generate revenue. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, all adware-type applications should be uninstalled immediately.

Most adware is virtually identical. By delivering fake promises to provide a number of 'valuable features', potentially unwanted programs trick users into believing that these applications are legitimate. In fact, these apps provide no significant value for regular users.

The only purpose of adware-type applications is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than enabling the functions promised, potentially unwanted programs cause unwanted browser redirects, collect personal data, and display intrusive online advertisements.

How did Hard Disk Failure Error install on my computer?

Adware is usually distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of PUPs with regular software. Developers know that users often rush and skip most/all of the download and installation steps. Aware of this, developers intentionally conceal bundled programs within the "Custom/Advanced" settings of these processes.

Skipping this section often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted programs. In doing so, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be cautious during the download/installation processes. Analyze each step using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Furthermore, all additionally-included programs should be cancelled and offers to download/install them, declined. The key to computer safety is caution.

Screenshot of Hard Disk Failure Error message:

Hard Disk Failure Error pop-up

Text presented within this error message:

WARNING!! HARD-DISK FAILURE OR SYSTEM CRASH IN PROGRESS, CALL TOLL FREE IN 10 MINUTES FOR HELP AND TO AVOID IT!! - +1888-245-8846.
Seeing these pop-up's means that you have Virus or Malware installed on your computer which puts the security of your personal data at a serious risk.
Please Call Windows Support technician immediately to Diagnose your PC Security status.
All other computers connected into your network can also get infected. To avoid kindly call the Microsoft certified network engineer immediately to diagnose your pc security status.
Toll free Number : +1888-245-8846
DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER or CLOSE BROWSER, to avoid any hardware failure.

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Quick menu:

Adware removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Hard Disk Failure Error adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove adware from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the hard disk failure error virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the hard disk failure error virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Hard Disk Failure Error ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with hard disk failure error virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the hard disk failure error virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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