A recent experience confirms suspicions about Reimage Repair’s dubious nature and I explain how a client installed no less than seven different antivirus products during the past 12 months.
I spend a fair amount of time repairing computers and, on most occasions, the process is mundane and unremarkable. However, every so often a case comes along which, for one reason or another, bears sharing. This is one of those occasions.
The Order of Things
An elderly gentlemen, who also happens to be a good friend, brought his computer to me complaining that it was running like a hairy goat (that’s a bad thing) and he was unable to open some of his applications and system locations. The worst thing you can do, in situations such as this, is attack the problem haphazardly, randomly trying this and that. However, I suspect that most experienced computer repairers would follow their own logically ordered to-do list. Mine goes as follows:
- Check through installed programs and uninstall any adware, scareware, crapware, or other dubious software
- Scan the system for malware with at least two reputable scanner/removers
- Check through startup items and non-Microsoft services for any dubious entries
- Cleanup the system using a reputable disk cleaning software, such as CCleaner or PrivaZer.
- Restart the system
- Run the “sfc /scannow” command to check for integrity violations
- Restart the system and test to see if the issues are resolved
In my friend’s case, step 1 passed muster so I moved quickly on to step 2. The first scan, with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, flagged 1358 items, the vast majority of which were associated with a software called “Reimage” (aka Reimage Repair). A secondary scan with Zemana AntiMalware flagged a further 5 items associated with the same software. Strangely, Reimage Repair did not appear in any list of installed programs; not in Programs and Features, nor in either Revo or Geek Uninstaller.
I first wrote about the dubious nature of Reimage Repair a little over 12 months ago – Is Reimage Repair Legitimate? If you’d care to browse through the comments posted, and still being posted, in response to that earlier article, you’ll see that the vast majority support the notion that Reimage Repair is indeed extremely dubious.
During the course of navigating around my friend’s system I came across numerous folders bearing the names of various popular antivirus solutions, with each folder containing no more than half a dozen files. It soon became apparent that during the past 12 months, which was the last time I worked on his computer, he had installed and uninstalled just about every antivirus known to mankind – AVG, Avast, Comodo, Sophos, Adaware, PCMatic, Panda, and Avira – I kid you not!
While, clearly, this is unusual behavior, it does serve as a timely reminder that antivirus software should not be treated the same as other software. By necessity, antivirus software hooks deep into the system and traditional uninstall methods will almost certainly leave behind traces, which can, and sometimes do, cause conflicts. So much so that most antivirus vendors provide specialist tools to assist users with complete uninstallation – more information here: How To Completely Remove Antivirus Software
After removing all traces of Reimage Repair and deleting all remnants of the previous antivirus installations, I proceeded through the remainder of the steps without incident and rebooted the system. Everything was tickety-boo, with all programs and system locations now opening as they should, and the system running like the wind.
Bottom Line: If you are experiencing issues with your operating system and don’t possess the know-how to fix it yourself, it would more than likely be more economical in the long run, and potentially a lot safer, to place it in the hands of your friendly neighborhood computer repairer rather than relying on something like Reimage Repair.