Malware removal (SmokeLoader)Locked
first of all thanks for offering your help in these forums, this is great!
Over Christmas, my Laptop got infected with a Smoke Loader Trojan and I can’t get rid of it. Hence I am thankful for any advice!
Ok, I try to get it sorted and provide the history:
In order to burn an mp4 video file to DVD, I plugged my external WD hard drive into my mothers Laptop (a quite old Acer Aspire notebook). As the DVD failed to be played on her player I aimed to convert the file into a suitable format on my laptop using the VLC player. My system is a Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad P40 (no dvd player, hence the HDD) with Windows10 Pro.
After converting the video file, my Laptop showed symptoms like fully occupied CPU and a lot of jumping windows services in the task manager, symptoms that I afterwards also detected on the spreader laptop. I took both laptops from the net and tried to get rid of the malware that was identified as SmokeLoader by 2 antimalware softwares (
What I tried so far did not help:
1) Checking the system with Avira AntiVir, McAfee and Malwarebytes (in windows normal and safe mode)
–> I could quarantine the malware, but upon clearing the laptop crashed during restart (guess an escape mechanism of the trojan)
2) Restore the laptop using a restoration time point before infection –> failed
3) Restoring the laptop with and without deleting personal data
–> Malware still there on the restored Windows system
Is there another thing to consider before formatting the hard drive and running a clean install? I don’t have the key of my windows distribution and don’t want to reconnect the laptop to the internet or USB sources, so a readout from the laptop is no option (or is it?).
Regarding the HDD, is there a way to remove the malware? Can professional IT services provide a guaranteed removal of such malware in order to prevent reinfection or should it be trash-binned? As there is some non-backupped data on it I would prefer a professional rescue.
Sorry for the long post and many thanks in advance! Please let me know if more information is required!