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How to Remove Master Utilities

September 02, 2011



New Rogue: Master Utilities

Master Utilities, unlike its name suggests, is a rogue application belonging to the FakeHDD family that tries to sell its fake applications to innocent computer users. It is a fake computer analysis program that displays false alerts, warning you that your system’s hard disk is having problems, which must be fixed immediately to prevent further loss of data. Master Utilities claims that it can fix those problems fairly easy so as to dupe you into purchasing the license.

Installed through hacked sites, the Master Utilities application presents itself as a defrag program that displays fake security alerts and error messages on the infected computer. The fraudulent product appears to be legitimate with its simple interface divided into four sections, viz., "System Registry," "My Computer," "RAM Memory," and "System Drive."  Once the rogue infiltrates your system, it will start automatically every time the PC is turned on, running fake scans to warn you that your hard disk is not performing optimally and that this needs to be fixed. If you click on these alerts, it states that it is unable to fix some of the more “critical” errors, which can be fixed only if you purchase the program to finish the process. However, this is a lie and you don’t need to click on the Buy button.

Contrarily, if you tend to click so as to purchase the Master Utilities scam application, you could become a victim of identity theft and end up revealing your personal information to the makers of the rogue application, whose sole purpose is to fleece money and important bank and credit card details from you by sending you fake alerts that your hard drive has become corrupt and your system has been compromised, which is actually not the case. Further, to prove its point that your system is under attack, Master Utilities adds a hidden attribute to your files so that when you try to check a folder’s contents, you cannot view them; instead, it appears empty. The fake application changes your Windows settings to prevent you from viewing hidden files. It will also prevent you from running any program or application on your system, including security software, in order to convince you that your system is infected and to protect itself from being diagnosed with the antivirus application. Download and double-click on Unhide.exe program on your desktop to view all the files hidden by the rogue family.

Master Utilities Removal

If your system is infected with Master Utilities, do not use any temp file cleaners to delete files from your Temp folder. The sole reason behind this is that the rogue program infection deletes shortcuts from various locations when it is installed and stores a backup of each deleted shortcut in the %Temp%smtmp folder. This means when you try to launch a program from the start-up menu, you will not be able to locate any of the shortcuts, forcing you to think that your system has a serious problem. Therefore, to be on the safe side, do not delete any of the files from your Temp folder so as to prevent deletion of the backups, which will be used to restore the Start-up Menu.

To remove Master Utilities, first download and run “Rkill” from Bleepingcomputer.com or “Nuke-M” from SpywareHelpCenter.com to prevent the rogue application from interfering with the cleaning procedure. As Master Utilities comes with TDSS rootkit infection, run a legitimate antivirus program that has all the latest features against malware and viruses and is effective enough to eliminate Master Utilities .


Many of the latest infections cannot be removed by security software programs and require assistance from a professional. If you are having trouble removing Master Utilities on your own and would like the help of a Microsoft Certified Professional, click here.

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