Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Unlocking a computer after scammer has locked it?

  1. #11


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    Sometimes if you slowly tap the required key starting when you first switch on ( once a second or so), you may get it to work but as has been said this looks like it could be a BIOS lock which is much more difficult to solve, so a visit to a reliable local tech may be the best ...

    As for the battery it normally some form of lithium cell these days

    have a look at a CR2032 or CR2025 but could be others

    this is a pic search that may or may not work ...

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cr...=1920&bih=1010

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
    Sometimes if you slowly tap the required key starting when you first switch on ( once a second or so), you may get it to work but as has been said this looks like it could be a BIOS lock which is much more difficult to solve, so a visit to a reliable local tech may be the best ...

    As for the battery it normally some form of lithium cell these days

    have a look at a CR2032 or CR2025 but could be others

    this is a pic search that may or may not work ...

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cr...=1920&bih=1010
    Thanks, Nigel. I have seen a CR2032 before - and even replaced one on a desktop - but I don't know if they are using a similar size and shape of battery on this Gateway laptop. I watched a 14 minute video that showed a similar model being dissassembled but didn't see anything that looked like a CR2032 in that video. The video lacked any narration or subtitles so there was no "guidepost" to the effect that the CR2032 was in a particular frame or a specific part of the computer. I don't know whether I simply missed it - which is entirely possible - or if a laptop uses a smaller battery or one that is a different shape, which would also explain why I missed it.

    The bottom line is that I can't remove the battery if I can't find it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    I know what you mean, I've been in this business for more years than I care to admit but recently I went looking for a battery for a car key-less entry system and knew I needed a type 2025 - at the store I was stood at the large display rack for batteries mostly lithium for ages checking each hook on the rack and confused as all the packages seemed to contain type 2027 batteries I noticed that the actual batteries were different types and finally realised that the 2027 I had assumed was the type was actually the expiry date - the type number was in much smaller type at the bottom corner of each pack.

    I think that if you can find a specialist that you can trust and is reasonable in charges that may be your best option in this case Someone offering free estimates would be my first choice as the may remove the battery/reset the BIOS as part of the estimation process
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
    I know what you mean, I've been in this business for more years than I care to admit but recently I went looking for a battery for a car key-less entry system and knew I needed a type 2025 - at the store I was stood at the large display rack for batteries mostly lithium for ages checking each hook on the rack and confused as all the packages seemed to contain type 2027 batteries I noticed that the actual batteries were different types and finally realised that the 2027 I had assumed was the type was actually the expiry date - the type number was in much smaller type at the bottom corner of each pack.

    I think that if you can find a specialist that you can trust and is reasonable in charges that may be your best option in this case Someone offering free estimates would be my first choice as the may remove the battery/reset the BIOS as part of the estimation process
    I am regularly exasperated with how difficult they make it to find things and how poorly they label things. I could do quite a rant about it but I'll spare you ;-)

    I've referred the couple with the laptop to a local computer repair service that my friend has always been happy with; I expect they'll be okay there.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to mark this as the solution just to close out the thread.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    Marking as solved does not close the thread as we find that sometimes later information will come to light or you may wish to keep others informed of the final outcome
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Fair enough. :-)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by grizzlyaddams View Post
    A virus that sets a BIOS password? Very rare and unlikely. Any that exist are proof-of-concept and vendor specific.

    In fact, I found another thread on Google that has a Windows Dialog box with the exact same wording requesting a password as what you indicated:

    Attachment 68193

    Virus put bios password on computer. - General Security
    Yes, that is the exact dialog I'm getting on my friend's computer. Do you have a way to get around this dialog so that we can use the computer again? If you do, I'd love to hear it.

    As for this being a virus, it seems highly unlikely. The computer's owner took a phone call from someone who insisted that he wanted to help him repair a problem on his computer; being a trusting soul, he let the stranger on to his computer. As soon as he did, this dialog appeared and the stranger insisted on receiving $3000 in iTunes gift cards before he would give him the password. The computer had been working fine until that moment so I think that pretty much disproves the virus theory.

    There's no doubt that it was *very* foolish to let a stranger on to his computer but it happened. I'm trying to help him get use of the computer back.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    Classic ransomware

    The only place I can suggest is Bleeping Computer where they specialise in this sort of attack

    BleepingComputer.com - News, Reviews, and Technical Support

    You will need to join the site (it's Free), and give them all the information you have and any extra you may be asked for - It may be usefully to have the actual owner present when doing this
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    The issue here is that the lock occurs before the boot routine has a chance to work, so a Re-install is not an option - this type of attack also encrypts the data so a backup of the data even from a removed drive is unlikely

    Even adding a completely new unused HDD will not remove the BIOS lock

    Bleeping Computer are specialists and although we prefer to solve all issues on this forum sometimes the best thing for the user is located elsewhere
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 634
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]


    There is one more place to also try: hddguru.com -- if you post in both BC and hddguru, make sure you admit that upfront.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 06 Aug 2016 at 06:38.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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