Windows Error Scam

Also Known As: "Windows Error" virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Windows Error" virus removal guide

What is "Windows Error"?

"Windows Error" is a fake error window claiming that the system has been damaged and is unable to fix itself. This error message is displayed by various potentially unwanted (usually adware-type) programs (PUPs) that infiltrate systems without consent, or trick users to install by offering various "useful features". PUPs are also designed to generate intrusive advertisements and continually record various information relating to browsing activity.

Windows Error scam

"Windows Error" locks the computer screen and displayes a fake BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) with a pop-up stating that the operating system is unable to fix an error (which is not specified). Users are encouraged to contact Windows Technical Support via a telephone number ("1-855-266-4100") provided. They will then supposedly receive help in resolving the problem. This error also runs a malicious executable, which locks the screen on each system startup. Therefore, rebooting the system (as this error suggests) will never work. Bear in mind, however, that "Windows Error" is a scam. Cyber criminals simply aim to scare and trick users into calling and paying for technical support that is not required. Therefore, you should ignore this message. As mentioned above, PUPs deliver various intrusive ads (for example, pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.) These conceal underlying content (thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience) but might also lead to malicious websites or even activate scripts that download/install malware and/or PUPs. Therefore, clicking them can result in high-risk adware or malware infections. In addition, PUPs record various data that may be personally identifiable including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, URLs visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, geographic locations, etc. The information is sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who aim to increase their revenue by misuing the recorded data. For these reasons, uninstall all PUPs immediately.

There are a number of fake error messages similar to "Windows Error" such as, for example, Internet Security Damaged, Unknown System Failure!, Your Windows Licence Has Expired, and many others. Some are displayed via malicious websites and others lock computer screens. Despite these differences, however, all have an identical purpose: to extort money from unsuspecting victims. PUPs are also virtually identical. By offering "useful functionality", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, they merely deliver intrusive ads (using the "Pay Per Click" advertising model) and collect user-system information (which is later sold to third parties).

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

As well as via intrusive ads, PUPs are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Developers conceal bundled software within the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings of the download/installation processes. Many users rush these procedures and skip steps, and often click various ads. This behavior can lead to inadvertent installation of PUPs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Never click online ads, no matter how tempting they may seem. Intrusive ads often look genuine, however, it is virtually impossible to determine if they originate from visited (legitimate) websites. Furthermore, select the "Custom/Advanced" options, closely analyze each download/installation step, and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Download your software from official sources only using (if possible) the direct download URL. Most third party downloaders bundle software and, thus, using these tools is very risky. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented within the fake BSOD:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer
DRIVER_IROL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
If this is the first time you’ve seen this stop error screen, restart your computer, If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.
If problem continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shut downing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable component, restart your computer, press f8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.

Text presented within the pop-up:

Still the error occurs and windows was not able to fix it. Call Windows support for possible fixes.
If you call Windows support provide this Error Code: 0x000AAAA
Call TOLL FREE “1-855-266-4100”
Confirm to restart computer.

Quick menu:

"Windows Error" virus removal:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu". Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Networking Prompt.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the "Windows Error" virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.


Download remover for "Windows Error" virus
1) Download and install   2) Run system scan   3) Enjoy your clean computer!

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If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove viruses using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer starting process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt Mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the "Windows Error" virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remnants of the "Windows Error" virus.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some viruses disable Safe Mode making it's removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing "Windows Error" virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.

Other tools known to remove this scam: