This scammer knew this, however, and as such, he took an extra step to block any repair or recovery attempts: he deleted all System Restore points on the machine, which normally house backup copies of the registry hives.Unfortunately for him, I’m a much better technician.In 1516, Belgium became a possession of Spain and remained so until 1713, when the country was given to Austria as settlement in the War of the Spanish Succession.Belgium was annexed by France in 1795, and placed under the rule of The Netherlands after Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
History repeated itself in World War II when Hitler bombed Belgium into submission and took its king, Leopold III, prisoner.
This scammer proceeded to actually follow through on his promise of the PC “not working” if they don’t agree to have him fix it, and so in a few quick steps, behind the user’s back, he enacted what is known as Sys Key encryption on the SAM registry hive.
Sys Key encryption is a little-known feature of Windows which allows administrators to lock out access to the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) registry hive so that login specifics cannot be stolen and the PC cannot be accessed without knowing the proper credentials.
The problem is, unlike other scams, there is no way around the problem; you can’t simply remove the password, as the actual SAM hive has been encrypted entirely by the process.
If your Windows installation has had Sys Key activated, you’ll see the following message: The window which appears looks like this: The ONLY solution is to find a clean copy of the registry hives from before this occurred.
When the customer suspected foul play and decided to call me instead of proceeding, I immediately instructed them to power off the PC.