Question about prefetch

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by Originality, Jun 16, 2011.

Jun 16, 2011

Question about prefetch by Originality at 4:12 PM (705 Views / 0 Likes) 7 replies

  1. Originality
    OP

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    In the last week, I've had a few calls from "Windows technical support" saying my computer (of which there are five in regular use, but they couldn't tell me that) has been sending them error messages related to corrupted files and malicious programs. Said files and programs are apparently "dangerous" to my OS and my HDD and could be/are damaging them. By this point, I'm skeptical but whatever - I hear them out and go through their instructions.

    They make me open up the event manager, see all these warnings and errors (mostly related to iScsiPrt - telling me that the iSCSI logong request had an error because the NAS isn't even switched on). They tell me this is all because of corrupted files and malicious programs. The first time I questioned them for a while asking what malicious file can cause me iSCSI errors, and a minute later he hung up in mid-conversation.

    The most recent time, after going through the same routine, he made me bring up the Prefetch folder, then told me that all the files I see there are corrupted and told me to delete them. Now I don't know that much about prefetcher, just that it pre-caches files to make Windows/programs load up faster. Just like ReadyBoost with flash drives. I know that all the files in the prefetch folder are temporary and can be removed without causing any problems to the computer (aside from making it slower to boot up next time until the prefetch folder is rebuilt).

    My question is, what could possibly be dangerous about the files in the prefetch folder? What could possibly damage my OS/HDD that Kaspersky, Windows Defender and MSE on various scanning schedules would not pick up? And also, is there any reason for me to spend another 5 minutes listening to them if they call again, or should I just tell them that they don't know what they're talking about and hang up?
     
  2. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    there are 2 way of damaging a hdd through software: 1. flash the hdd firmware with a bogus one, 2. mess with the head/cylinder/sector parameter in your bios.
    both situation would make your hdd unreadable, but you can recover from the the second situation.

    the prefetch folder is supposed to be auto-cleaning and erasing the content shouldn't cause any problems.

    iscsi command are used for local and remote NAS, but considering that you aren't alarmed by that and the fact that you are knowledgeable about hardware, I wouldn't be surprised that you actually have a NAS.
     
  3. Strider

    Member Strider Next to the mainstream

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    Imagine the effort of calling END CONSUMERS of a Windows product. You'd be the first person who is being called by MS.

    They propably only told/asked you stuff you'd see on ANY windows system, trying to get you to do or say stuff for their needs, whatever they are.
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Although you seem to know this the "Windows technical support" thing is a scam (think how annoying it is for anti torrent companies to link an IP to a name let alone a phone number) that has been gaining popularity- I had one the other day that wanted me to open MSconfig at which point I was told having services that were stopped was a bad thing.
    They then tried to get me to download teamviewer but sadly I had no VM in a condition to have allow them and myself to have a bit of fun. I did think about sending him the test account but it did not come to that.

    Back on topic the prefetch thing is mostly a myth. Indeed I do not bother checking there by hand.
     
  5. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Yeah it sounds like he's going to try to goad you into giving him remote access to your PC.
     
  6. Originality
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    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    That's what happened the first time a similar call came (roughly a year ago, maybe more). After going through the hoops over the phone, they eventually wanted me to download a remote management program so they can help me "find and clean the viruses". That's the point where I stopped being "cooperative" and explained that the firewall of my home network is specifically configured to block any and all "remote access" attempts, and that such programs wouldn't work. I had a fun conversation after that of explaining to someone who didn't know what remote access meant how the program they wanted me to install actually worked and why such programs would not work on my network.

    However it's not the same with the people this week. They hang up before I can really begin having my fun. Specifically, in the last call, he hung up when I pointed out that the items shown in the event manager are simply events, whilst he insisted they were files, and that you should be able to scan and/or delete those "files", but since the option wasn't there (because they're not freakin' files), my Windows files has become corrupted, therefore... blah (didn't pay attention to the BS that followed). That's probably the part where he realized I knew more about computers than he did.

    Anywho, good to get some confirmation that it's a scam (or a pathetic attempt at one).

    @marcus, whilst I do have a NAS (Synology DS210j), I never got around to setting it up properly beyond creating a iSCSI partition for shared storage over the network. I had hoped to turn it into a low-power server (multimedia sharing and overnight torrenting), but after spending a couple days with it resisting my attempts to tame it, I gave up and shelved it for a later date. End-result of my laziness - piles of daily errors in the event manager (although it doesn't slow anything down so I don't worry about it).
     
  7. fuzzybunny

    Newcomer fuzzybunny Newbie

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    It's stories like this that make me glad I don't use windows. I don't trust it to safeguard anything important.
     
  8. Originality
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    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I'm a lil impressed that a thread like this gave you cause to create an account on these forums to express your opinion. Linux/Mac won't protect you from the myriad of scams in the world. Just maybe from this particular one.

    Welcome to GBAtemp.
     

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