Canít remove searchscopes: is doing a clean install a good idea?

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  1. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Canít remove searchscopes: is doing a clean install a good idea?

    Canít remove searchscopes: is doing a clean install a good idea?

    My friend has a Win10 HP (x64) desktop and it has become seriously affected by searchscopes.
    The computer is as slow as molasses. Iíve tried to use
    Remove virus (Easy Removal Guide) but no luck.
    Running AdwCleaner finds 3, sometimes as many as 7 searchscopes and removes what it finds. But upon restart, searchscopes returns.
    Installed Malwarebytes 14-day free trial: no threats found.

    Also he has Norton 360 and he tells me it either hasnít found searchscopes or doesnít remove it even after running a full scan

    Iíd like to do a clean install if itís a good idea.
    Even though searchscopes is still somewhere in the computer, can I do clean install?
    Iím not sure about creating install media on an ďinfectedĒ computer.
    His computer originally had Win10 HP (x64) and has Legacy BIOS

    Can I create Win10 install media on my computer and then use that media to do the clean install on his computer?
    I have Win 10 Pro instead of HP: and itís a 64-bit system like his.
    Can I create Win10 HP (X64) install media on my computer?
    I was looking at but Iím not sure if either one would do what Iíd like to do
    Clean Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    I also ran sfc /scannow and it reported Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708

    Yes, you can use the Media Creation Tool to make a bootable USB drive (or a DVD, which is not my preferred medium).

    You can do it to directly make a bootable USB drive. I have always downloaded the .ISO, and used the diskpart command line utility to prepare a bootable USB drive. (It's simple, but, if you're careless, you could erase a drive or partition on the wrong drive.)
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    The process to download the MCT onto my Win 10 Pro laptop & then burning the ISO to DVD & "install" Win 10 Home x64 completed on the Win10 Home x64 desktop. However winver as well as System reports Version 1703 OS Build 15063.0 (Is that the Creators build?). I was expecting to see Version 1607 OS Build 14393.x. My Win 10 Pro laptop has 1607 OS Build 14393.953. In the notification I was requested to reply with how satisfied I was with my Win10 upgrade so it appears I did an upgrade instead of a clean install. I was never requested to enter the product key during the process of what I thought was an install. On the System page there is a link to "Change the product key or upgrade your edition of Windows". That doesn't sound good to me.

    Can I start over or fix that? Would calling Microsoft would help? There's already a valid Win10 Home that had a validated product key.

    Now some background. On the Win10 Home x64 desktop I ran into multiple performance problems. MBAM Premium Trial found 3 rootkit threats but it did clean them. But Searchscopes wasn't found by MBAM but was found by AdwCleaner and was never removed. AdwCleaner reported 3 registry entries but upon rebooting Searchscopes always returned.

    At that time I tried resetting Win10 but the screen froze on the page where I was supposed to select U.S (I don't recall what the request was for: maybe keyboard layout). After that I couldn't do anything. Hard shutdown, start back up. Wanted to try the Remove virus (Easy Removal Guide) mentioned in post #1 again but couldn't even try it now. The start page had some differences, Internet Explorer kept "shutting down" and EDGE wasn't available anymore. So I guess this is where Searhcopes really starting to wreak havoc on this computer. So on the next Shut down, start up I pressed F11 and factory restored back to Windows 7. That went ok, did a number of WU's but stayed on IE 8 I think it was. If I would have waited a few more days I suppose it would have reached IE 11 but because I had a "clean Win10 ISO" I decided to go with it. Maybe that's why it was considered an upgrade. Even if I would for it to reach IE11, I believe it still would have been considered an upgrade.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708

    To do a clean install, you have to boot from the DVD. If you run the installer from an existing Windows installation, you can only upgrade.

    As of April 5, the latest version of the MCT downloads build 15063 (the Creator's Update). You may as well go wit that.

    Skip the product key during the clean installation. Make sure that you install the version that matches your "digital entitlement". If you had Win 10 Home, before, install that. You could install Pro, but it wouldn't activate.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Thanks bobkn the clean install is completed but I will have a few more questions about if I can get the following problem fixed.
    Upon booting back up the Microsoft password doesn't work. I saw one of the tutorials on how to reset the password.
    However, how can I do that if I can't log in and get on the internet?
    My friends wife can access their email account the Microsoft account is based on using her Kindle: can they work from that?
    How about me using my laptop: I'll let my friend use it.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708

    I guess that you have set up the new Windows installation as a local account. You can switch to use a Microsoft account instead:

    Switch to Microsoft Account in Windows 10

    It's pretty straightforward.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    The account is a Microsoft account. I would have set up a local account but I didn't see where the option was to do so. The password I used is the same one he was using before and I have used many times myself. However, since it isn't being accepted now most likely I did a typo but there wasn't a requirement to retype the password a 2nd time to verify the first entry. So it's my fault for that but I equally blame Microsoft. They want our information and go through great pains to know who we are and I do not have a problem with that; however, I don't know if I've ever seen creating a password without verifying that a 2nd password entry matches with the first entry. If there isn't a way around this I'll try the clean install again but I sure would like to keep the setup the way it is now. BTW, I was going to set up a local account as administrator also but hadn't gotten to it yet. Is there anything I can try?
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708

    I'm confused.

    The account has the wrong password, but you can log in to the PC?
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    I cannot log in to the PC.

    EDIT I just started back up and the time is off by 3 hours: it's 1:49 PM Eastern time for me. The time on the screen is 10:49 and I imagine that means it's on Pacific time for some reason. I'll see if I can get into the BIOS to correct that. I'll let you know how that goes.

    2nd EDIT:
    The time on the screen was 2:36
    By the time I got Into the BIOS, the time was 02:38:ss and I changed it to 14:38:ss.
    --- Does that mean the time is on 12-hour or 24-hour format?
    Now I get the following message ďYou canít sign in to your device right now. Go to to fix the problem, or try the last password you used on this device.Ē Instead of something like ďyour password is incorrectĒ.
    --- Is there a limit to how many times to try?

    It sounds like I do have the correct password to sign in with after all but because I tried so many times, itís probably locked out now. I suspect the best course of action is to contact Microsoft.
    --- Maybe just do a new clean install: it might go faster than trying to deal with Microsoft?
    Last edited by MeAndMyComputer; 09 Apr 2017 at 14:24.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 17,370
    Windows 11 Pro

    I would do a clean install and this time start with a local account. Another advantage with starting with a local account is that you get to pick the name of the user folder that will appear under \Users - it will be the same username you specify for the local account. Then change the local account to a Microsoft account login after the install is done.
      My Computer


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