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Windows 8 lock out after "a Microsoft call"

  1. #1

    Windows 8 lock out after "a Microsoft call"


    Hello all:
    First let me apologize if this is in the wrong place. I have no idea where to post it other than it deals with security.

    I have a customer that brought in his windows 8.1 machine because after responding to a "Call from Microsoft" he let them into his computer. I would like to preface this with the fact that in the pact he has indeed let the real Microsoft into his machine to assist with 8.1 setup so I don't think he realized until too late that it was a scam.

    I would be happy to post his specs if needed

    right now he is faced with a lockout screen (see screenshot)

    I haven't seen this type of lockout since the days of windows 2000. I cant even boot with a cd. I have checked and reset the bios to no avail.

    My question is has anyone else seen this? any suggestions?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG0729.jpg  

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    My guess would be you would need to pull the HD and stick it in an enclosure, docking station or otherwise connect it to a running machine to overwrite whatever they wrote on it as startup code. I doubt you can do anything while it's in the machine.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I'm wondering if the machine is in a 'Ransom' state and something like HitmanPro 'Kickstart' could break in. Just a thought.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by MohavePC View Post
    I cant even boot with a cd. I have checked and reset the bios to no avail.
    Apologies if this is obvious but just to double-check... if it's a PC which came with Windows 8 or 8.1 from new, then it would boot in UEFI mode by default, and you need a CD/DVD that's configured correctly to boot (eg. a Windows 8/8.1 Setup disc, but not some other Linux-based CDs), or you need to change the boot mode in BIOS (to Legacy or CSM or something).

    The other thought I had was that some computers which come with Windows 8.1 from new, and meet certain hardware standards (eg. boot from an SSD) will have device encryption turned on by default, as part of Windows 8.1. I don't know what dialogs that may generate, and whether it looks anything like that, but maybe that's the cause?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    @DavidY good point about the booting.

    Also it occurs to me these people may have set the power on password through code. If that's the case I would ask Brink if he has a suggestion as I'm not sure what qualifies as "password bypass" as far as forum rules are concerned.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MohavePC View Post
    I cant even boot with a cd. I have checked and reset the bios to no avail.
    Apologies if this is obvious but just to double-check... if it's a PC which came with Windows 8 or 8.1 from new, then it would boot in UEFI mode by default, and you need a CD/DVD that's configured correctly to boot (eg. a Windows 8/8.1 Setup disc, but not some other Linux-based CDs), or you need to change the boot mode in BIOS (to Legacy or CSM or something).

    The other thought I had was that some computers which come with Windows 8.1 from new, and meet certain hardware standards (eg. boot from an SSD) will have device encryption turned on by default, as part of Windows 8.1. I don't know what dialogs that may generate, and whether it looks anything like that, but maybe that's the cause?
    Thank you David for the idea but this isn't a uefi issue. This is a custom machine with an uefi Mobo that was upgraded to win 8.1 from 7 ultimate. I am booting with the uefi dvd rom using Kasperski rescue right now but when I tried to boot from the win 8 disk to do a backup it had the same box pop up.

    I will let KAS Rescue run tonight and see what it finds. I will then check for startup code as was suggested by MilesAhead (thank you). This box looks very old school as it were and I am of a thought that is it ransom ware especially after it appeared when my customer would not pay "Microsoft" to fix his supposedly Extremely Infected Machine.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    @DavidY good point about the booting.

    Also it occurs to me these people may have set the power on password through code. If that's the case I would ask Brink if he has a suggestion as I'm not sure what qualifies as "password bypass" as far as forum rules are concerned.
    as I am not a VIP member here yet (not enough post) would someone kindly ask in the lounge if Brink would look at this? I'll go ask in the 7 forums or in 9 forums. Thanks

    I am off here for the evening but will check in first thing in the morning. I am taking the missus out for a couple of drinks as she will be gone to Oregon visiting family all next week.
    Last edited by MohavePC; 21 Mar 2014 at 18:41. Reason: spelling (r skips on this cheap keyboad)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by MohavePC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    @DavidY good point about the booting.

    Also it occurs to me these people may have set the power on password through code. If that's the case I would ask Brink if he has a suggestion as I'm not sure what qualifies as "password bypass" as far as forum rules are concerned.
    as I am not a VIP member here yet (not enough post) would someone kindly ask in the lounge if Brink would look at this? I'll go ask in the 7 forums or in 9 forums. Thanks

    I am off here for the evening but will check in first thing in the morning. I am taking the missus out for a couple of drinks as she will be gone to Oregon visiting family all next week.
    I don't think there's any way you could be prevented from searching terms "PowerOn Password"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MohavePC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    @DavidY good point about the booting.

    Also it occurs to me these people may have set the power on password through code. If that's the case I would ask Brink if he has a suggestion as I'm not sure what qualifies as "password bypass" as far as forum rules are concerned.
    as I am not a VIP member here yet (not enough post) would someone kindly ask in the lounge if Brink would look at this? I'll go ask in the 7 forums or in 9 forums. Thanks

    I am off here for the evening but will check in first thing in the morning. I am taking the missus out for a couple of drinks as she will be gone to Oregon visiting family all next week.
    I don't think there's any way you could be prevented from searching terms "PowerOn Password"
    I know you might be thinking I am lazy on this but I have indeed researched this on here and google. Everything I see pertains to the normal login password in windows 8 and how to disable/enable it. I saw nothing that looks like the photo I posted. it is not a uefi pass as I can access that just fine.

    I did find one thread that deals with this and it is unsolved as well Link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Ok new information. Did not help me perse but might be usefull to others.

    Windows has a function called doskey.
    With this doskey you can encrypt your user password database and give a boot password.
    That is what the "guys from microsoft" did.
    You can even save your password on a external drive.
    The thing to do is put in a windows install cd, which I cannot get to boot.
    choose the recover option and try to reset your system to a earlier date
    and everything runs again,
    I my case the guys deleted the system restore backups too.
    Will have to pull data and Bootnuke then rebuild I guess as I see no options to disable the doskey.
    Last edited by MohavePC; 22 Mar 2014 at 15:45.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8 lock out after "a Microsoft call"
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