Remove “Windows Efficiency Master” virus (Removal Guide)

Windows Efficiency Master is a computer virus, which masquerades as genuine security software, while actually reporting non-existent malware threats in order to scare the user into paying for this rogue security software.
[Image: Windows Efficiency Master virus]

What is Windows Efficiency Master?

Windows Efficiency Master is a rogue anti-virus program from the Rogue.FakeVimes family of computer infections. This program is classified as a rogue because it pretends to be an anti-virus program, but will instead displays bogus scan results, report non-existing computer infections, and does not allow you to run your normal applications.
In this case, not only is Windows Efficiency Master going to disrupt your system, it’s going to try and trick you into making a purchase using your credit card.
Windows Efficiency Master appears in the form of a fake Windows warning on your computer system that reads you have a specific number of viruses on your computer (usually in the hundreds) and that this software has detected those viruses. To get rid of them you must purchase the full-version of Windows Efficiency Master. It’s important to remember that by purchasing the “claimed full version to remove the viruses” you will be submitting your personal information to unscrupulous persons and may also end up being a victim of credit card or identity fraud or theft.

To protect itself from being removed, Windows Efficiency Master will also terminate any application you try to run on your computer. It does this to protect itself from being removed by legitimate security programs and to scare you into thinking your programs are infected. When this infection terminates a program it will display a message similar to the following:

Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet
c:\windows\system32\taskmanger.exe
is suspected to have infected your PC.
This type of virus intercepts entered data and transmits them
to a remote server.

How did Windows Efficiency Master virus got on my computer?

Windows Efficiency Master is distributed through several means. Malicious websites, or legitimate websites that have been hacked, can infect your machine through exploit kits that use vulnerabilities on your computer to install this rogue antivirus without your permission.
Another method used to propagate Windows Efficiency Master is spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the Windows Efficiency Master virus.
The threat may also be downloaded manually by tricking the user into thinking they are installing a useful piece of software, for instance a bogus update for Adobe Flash Player or another piece of software.
The Windows Efficiency Master infection is also prevalent on peer-to-peer file sharing websites and is often packaged with pirated or illegally acquired software.

Am I infected with Windows Efficiency Master virus?

Some examples of the interface, fake alerts, fake scanning results, and pop-ups displayed by Windows Efficiency Master virus are shown below:
[Image: Windows Efficiency Master]
[Image: Windows Efficiency Master malware]

[Image: Windows Efficiency Master Firewall Alert]


How to remove Windows Efficiency Master virus (Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove the Windows Efficiency Master infection from your your computer. Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance. Please keep in mind that to perform this removal guide, you will need a clean (non-infected) computer and a CD or USB stick.

OPTION 1: Remove Windows Efficiency Master virus using its activation code
OPTION 2: Remove Windows Efficiency Master virus by fixing your Windows Registry

OPTION 1: Remove Windows Efficiency Master virus using its activation code

STEP 1: Use the Windows Efficiency Master activation key to stop its malicious behavior

Windows Efficiency Master has hijacked your Windows Registry to launch itself before any application and stop you from running any other program. To prevent this from happening, we can use the below code to register Windows Efficiency Master.

  1. Open Windows Efficiency Master interface, click on the question mark button in the right top corner, then click on Register button.
    [Image: Click on the question mark and select Register]
  2. When the Windows Efficiency Master registration box will pop-up, enter any of the below registration codes to activate this rogue antivirus.
    Windows Efficiency Master: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0001
    0W000-000B0-00T00-E0002
    0W000-000B0-00T00-E0003

    [Image: Windows Efficiency Master Activation Code]
  3. Windows Efficiency Master should now allow Windows to start, and you should be able to open your browser and any other programs.
    Please keep in mind that entering the above registration code will NOT remove Windows Efficiency Master from your computer, instead it will just stop the fake alerts so that you’ll be able to complete this removal guide without being interrupted by this infection.

STEP 2: Remove Windows Efficiency Master virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove Windows Efficiency Master malicious files from your computer.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process, then at the last screen click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, and then click on the Scan button to start searching for the Windows Efficiency Master malicious files.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for Windows Efficiency Master virus as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for Windows Efficiency Master
  5. When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malwar removing Windows Efficiency Master virus]
  7. Once your computer will restart in Windows regular mode, open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform a Full System scan to verify that there are no remaining threats.

STEP 3: Remove Windows Efficiency Master infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.).

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    HitmanPro scanner
    Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Windows Efficiency Master trojan.
    HitmanPro detecting for Windows Efficiency Master virus
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove Windows Efficiency Master virus.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro 30 days activation button]

OPTION 2: Remove Windows Efficiency Master virus by fixing your Windows Registry

In some cases the above registration may not work, so we will need to fix your Windows Registry so that we can boot the computer without being blocked by the Windows Efficiency Master infection.

STEP 1 : Start your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
  2. When the computer starts you will see your computer’s hardware being listed. When you see this information start to gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with the Windows XP, Vista or 7 Advanced Boot Options.
    [Image: F8 key]
    If you are using Windows 8, press the Windows key + C, and then click Settings. Click Power, hold down Shift on your keyboard and click Restart, then click on Troubleshoot and select Advanced options. In the Advanced Options screen, select Startup Settings, then click on Restart. Alternatively, you can read this guide to start Windows 8 in Safe Mode.
  3. If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7 in the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Command Prompt , and then press ENTER.
    [Image: Starting computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt]
    If you are using Windows 8, press 6 on your keyboard to Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
    Windows will start in Safe Mode with Networking.

STEP 2: Fix your Windows Registry to remove Windows Efficiency Master and scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro

Windows Efficiency Master has hijacked your Windows Registry to start automatically before your Windows desktop is shown, which makes your computer unusable until the infection is removed.

  1. While your computer is in Safe Mode with Command Prompt, the Command Prompt allows you to type commands and then press Enter on your keyboard to execute them.
    In this Command Prompt window, please type explorer.exe and then press Enter on your keyboard.
    [Image: Type explorer.exe in Command Prompt]
  2. The Windows desktop will now appear. When the desktop appears you can then close the Command Prompt window by clicking on the X.
  3. Using a clean (non-infected) computer download onto a CD or USB stick the below program to fix your Windows Registry:
    REGFIX DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download the registry fix for the Windows Efficiency Master infection)
  4. Now insert your CD or USB drive into the infected machine and open up the drive letter associated with your inserted media. You can access this drive letter by opening the Computer icon on your desktop or from the Start Menu. Once the drive letter is open, double-click on the RegFix.reg and allow the data to be merged when you are prompted. Once the data has been merged, you can press the OK button and remove the removable media from your computer.
    [Image: Run RegFix.reg in Safe Mode with Networking]
  5. Please reboot your computer into the normal Windows mode and login as the infected user. When you are back at your normal Windows desktop perform a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as seen in OPTION 1.

Your computer should now be free of the Windows Efficiency Master infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Windows Efficiency Master from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

You can follow me on Google+ , and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.

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  • Zack

    Thanks alot! This information helped and the threat is now gone.