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  • Problems Removing Files When Uninstalling Surfshark

    Posted on formack Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Code Red – Security/Privacy advisories Problems Removing Files When Uninstalling Surfshark

    • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago.
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      • #2285328 Reply
        formack
        AskWoody Plus

        Is there anyone out there who has used Surfshark VPN?

        Had strange experiences with the performance of my Dell 7573 laptop and decided to uninstall VPN product. Used Revo, afterwards checked with Windows Search (which froze and would not complete inquiry), then WIZfile, which discovered four files: a .sys, a .cat and two files which had been “recycled” but still showed up. Surfshark support has been mostly perfunctory, unhelpful–with their last email suggesting I restore the Windows 10 Pro 1909 install. Is this not a tad “too much?” And how otherwise do I get rid of the remaining files?

        Screenshot-180

        Attachments:
      • #2285335 Reply
        satrow
        AskWoody MVP

        The two files in the driver repository shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve uninstalled the active software, similar for the files in the Recycle Bin.

        Check what 3rd party (non-Windows) drivers are loading (DriverView) and whether any SurfShark files/dlls are loading with eg. Windows Explorer or your browser(s) (Process Explorer expanded to use the Lower Pane to show .dlls).

        Reply with any results before taking further action, some files, esp. drivers, can be very tricky to unload, prevent from starting and then remove safely.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2285392 Reply
          formack
          AskWoody Plus

          Thank-you for this reply.

          The files in the screenshot are not in the Recycle Bin. They show up in WIZfile with dollar signs.

          Used LockHunter and the .sys file, upon restart, was removed. The same procedure will not remove the .cat file.

          Windows Search freezes after a lengthy search when Surfshark or Tapsurfshark are entered.

          Used the Nirsoft program and the attached screenshot shows the only files that are not Windows, Intel, Dell or Sandboxie.

          I am not especially adept at much of this. Your forbearance is appreciated.

          Screenshot-190

          Attachments:
          • #2285402 Reply
            satrow
            AskWoody MVP

            $Recycle.Bin\… is the NTFS/Registry address for the Special folder that is the Windows Recycle Bin.

            In DriverView you can hide the Windows/MS drivers to make it easier to narrow the list down to 3rd party drivers/filters and those created by the OS on the fly.

            Seeing nothing so far that is active and part of any SurfShark remnants.

            Process Explorer will allow you to check which files load with (as if they were part of/needed by) any legitimate running software, remnants loading here from SurfShark, or other supposedly uninstalled software, can easily lead to oddities, freezes, instability, program crashing/disappearing, etc. Check Windows Explorer and your browser(s), Notepad… if you’re clear of anything old/uninstalled in those, you’re likely to be good to go.

            As to your original (?ongoing?) issues, is there a link to your efforts in troubleshooting that?

      • #2285371 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        To uninstall/delete locked files use the free portable Unlocker

        https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/unlocker_portable.html

        or

        https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/iobit_unlocker.html

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2285385 Reply
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          Did you look at the screenshot? What’s there to unlock? Why would you even bother to remove the two files that aren’t already in the Recycle Bin?

          None of the files shown are ‘in play’, they have zero effect on anything.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2285399 Reply
            formack
            AskWoody Plus

            Again, thanks. My concern was that Windows Search froze, yet WIZfile indicated the presence of the four items. Could those “hidden?” files be addressed somehow, having been left behind?

            • #2285404 Reply
              satrow
              AskWoody MVP

              Might be an idea to stop throwing random 3rd party software at problems that don’t exist – a deleted file will be identical on disk to the same undeleted file, except for the leading character. Doing a deep dive on any used Disk will bring up thousands of ‘files’ that have absolutely no bearing on the OS. They no longer exist (though most are ‘recoverable’ with the right tools) to the OS.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
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