ransomware / virus (Dec 2016 update) - Removal Instructions virus Removal Guide

What is ransomware virus?

How should you treat c ransomware? virus is regarded as another version of XTBL ransomware series. This file-encrypting malware delivers the destructive payload via guardware.exe file, and as a result, all victim’s personal files get strongly encrypted [1]. What is more, it uses RSA and AES encryption algorithms to securely lock victim’s files so that one could not access them in any way. Following a successful data encoding procedure, the ransomware marks each corrupted file with a file extension. Not a long time ago we said that files encrypted by XTBL/Crysis ransomware variants cannot be decrypted with the help of any data recovery products, however, recently the long-anticipated decryption tool has been published [2]. Therefore, if ransomware attacked you, you can decrypt all your files for free. Before you implement data recovery, do not forget to get rid of malicious files that this virus dropped on your computer system. To completely remove, use anti-spyware or anti-malware tools like FortectIntego. ransomware virus

The fact that your files can be decrypted means that you are lucky, because typically ransomware viruses appear to be undefeatable, which means that reverse-malware engineers cannot find a way to build a free decrypter for victims, and consequently the only way to recover files is to pay an enormous ransom. Guardware ransomware leaves How to decrypt your data.txt and .html files on the desktop and also changes desktop wallpaper with a picture that contains the same information – files have been encrypted, to decrypt them, contact criminals via It is not recommended to pay ransoms because in many cases criminals never reply to the victim as soon as they receive the ransom payment [3]. Since your files can be decrypted using a special decrypter, start taking care of removal.

The distribution methods of the malware malware spreads via email [4]. It is the most popular way to deceive victims and make them open the malicious file that contaminates the entire computer system. Alternatively, criminals may use advanced malware distribution techniques, such as malvertising or exploit kits. However, such techniques require criminals to go an extra mile, so typically they just send out malicious emails with some attachments. Such letters often appear to be legitimate and safe, because scammers typically pretend to be Amazon, Paypal, or some other reputable company’s representatives. Scammers often make a lot of grammar mistakes, so if you see them in the vague message that you have received, better do not open links or attachments it contains. In general, avoid opening letters that are sent by unknown parties. In short, remain vigilant while browsing the Internet [5].

Is there a way to eliminate

It is extremely hard to remove virus manually. You should not underestimate the power of anti-malware tools, e.g. FortectIntego or Malwarebytes, because they can efficiently remove malicious programs and files that pose a risk to your computer’s safety, whereas it can be very hard to detect such problems manually. If you do not know how to start the removal procedure, do not worry. Our experts have prepared an informative tutorial for this matter. You can find removal guidelines below.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove using System Restore

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by, you can use several methods to restore them:

How effective is Data Recovery Pro?

This program was originally designed for locating damaged files after a system crash. However, the latest versions of the program are capable of recovering some of your files. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by ransomware;
  • Restore them.

ShadowExplorer and its functionality

Windows OS creates automatically volume shadow copies of your files. They are stored in a remote folder. Usually, ransomware does not access nor deletes them. ShadowExplorer helps you retrieve your files by recreating them from these patterns. 

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Use decryption tool to decrypt your files

There are two different tools that can help you to decrypt your files. Before you use them, we suggest creating a backup of encrypted data. Then download Rakhni & Friends decryptor and, using provided instructions, decrypt your files.

If this tool fails to work, navigate to this page and use another suggested decryptor.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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