2 Free Scareware (Rogue Software)Removal Tools – Norton Power Eraser and NoVirusThanks

I just took a second look at two free last resort malware removal tools, which I first looked at in June – Norton Power Eraser and NoVirusThanks. The developers of each tool makes reference to the fact that it is capable of detecting and removing Rogue Software, a scourge that currently infests the Internet.

The first tool – NoVirusThanks Malware Remover, (last updated August 23, 2010), according to the publisher, is “an application designed to detect and remove specific malware, Trojans, worms and other malicious threats that can damage your computer. It includes the ability to remove rogue software, spyware and adware.”

For a complex tool, the user interface is surprisingly simple, since it’s laid out in the familiar tabs and check boxes format, which makes it easy to follow.

Despite the publisher’s assertion that this tool “is very fast”, I didn’t find it particularly so. It took fully 15 minutes to complete the scan. Norton Power Eraser (described later), took less than 2 minutes.

No Virus Thanks 2

On the plus side though, NoVirusThanks Malware Remover did not return any false positives, which is a bit unusual for an aggressive specialty tool. This can be very positive of course, for those users unused to running such a high powered tool.

No Virus Thanks 3

Fast facts:

Accurate Disinfection Method
Remove Rogue Software and Unwanted Applications
Remove Trojans, Spyware and Worms
Quick Scan and Full Scan
Scan Processes
Scans Modules
Scans Registry
Backup Files and Folders
Easy to use

System requirements: Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download at: Novirusthanks.org

The second specialty malware removal tool I took a second look at, comes from a more familiar developer – Symantec, who’s free Norton Power Eraser, makes essentially the same claims as NoVirusThanks. Specifically, that it detects and removes scareware, or rogueware.

Symantec describes Norton Power Eraser in part, as a tool that “takes on difficult to detect crimeware known as scareware or rogueware. The Norton Power Eraser is specially designed to aggressively target and eliminate this type of crimeware and restore your PC back to health.”

Again, Norton Power Eraser’s user interface is simple, and easy to follow.

Norton Power Eraser 1

As opposed to NoVirusThanks, Norton did point out (for the second time), two issues that were in fact, false positives, as the following screen capture indicates.

Norton Power Eraser 2

Power Eraser, does offer the user additional information on suspicious files, so that the user can make a more accurate assessment as to the validity of the findings, as the following screen capture shows. You’ll note that in this case NoVirusThanks, is shown as a suspicious file.

It should be shown as a suspicious file, since its behavior replicates, in part, the familiar behavior of malware.

Norton Power Eraser 3

The second suspicious activity “advanced”, refers to my habit of hiding my Desktop icons, since I dislike that cluttered look. Besides which, on all my machines, my work applications are displayed in the Taskbar.

Norton Power Eraser 4

Note: According to Symantec – “You should use Power Eraser only when nothing else will remove the threat, and you are willing to accept the risk that the scanner may quarantine a legitimate program.”

System requirements: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download at: Symantec

These tools require advanced computer knowledge, and unless you feel confident in your diagnostic skills, you should avoid them.

Should you choose to add these applications to your antimalware toolbox, be aware that you will need the latest updated version for maximum efficiency.

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14 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Malware Removal, Manual Malware Removal, Norton, Rogue Software, Rogue Software Removal Tips, scareware, Scareware Removal Tips, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

14 responses to “2 Free Scareware (Rogue Software)Removal Tools – Norton Power Eraser and NoVirusThanks

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I remember your review on these a while back, I found both of them very beneficial. I consider them a good backup in case my current security software can’t get rid of something, which so far hasn’t happened, thank God.

    Cheers

  2. Cappydawg

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks again for the excellent review on these two pieces of software. I will put these two in my little black play book to combat malware and ativirus. They will be useful in the future. I was wondering one thing you mention, the NoVirusThanks, was last updated on August 23, is that the program or the update of viruses?

    • Hey Cappydawg,

      For this second test I installed the latest version, and then launched the update applet. It turned out, that both the application release date and the Virus database update, have coinciding dates. I noticed this during the prior test, and so I recommended installing the latest version, prior to a scan, in the event that the database is not updated except on the release of a new version. Clunky, but…..

      Good to hear from you.

      Bill

  3. Bill,

    As CappyDawg say’s, “I will put these two in my little black play book…”

    I’m glad we have you around to keep us (and me) up-to-date on these security products and utilities.

    Rick

    • Hey Rick,

      Well, I like being around – or should I say “round”. I’ve put on 20 pounds this summer, and if I don’t get off my butt soon, there will be even more of me around. 🙂

      There seems to be no end to these scareware applications – so yeah, these are two good apps to have on “emergency call”.

      Bill

  4. Liam O' Moulain

    Thanks Bill.

    Always good to have tools like this handy – just in case.

    Liam

  5. mark

    I’ve never had to resort to either of these but I’ll keep them in mind next time I’m removing a rogue antivirus.
    Good tip!
    Thanks
    Mark

    • Hey Mark,

      I report on this stuff only because tools like this provide more options. But, if I personally was infected by rogue software, there would be only one option – a disk wipe, followed by a format and OS reinstall. You and I both know, there is no way to guarantee complete removal of this type of infection.

      Best,

      Bill

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  7. Canlı Sohbet

    its good. thanks for it 🙂

  8. Thanweer Kishore

    That’s Grate. It’s a very big headache when running virus guard and taking too much of time. some times it takes more than 2 hrs to check and clean a hard disk. This is grate product to save our time.

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