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How to Get Rid of PC Angel?

(6 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by jab680
  • Latest reply from Bohamut
  • Topic Viewed 60807 times

jab680
Posts: 1

I'm running Windows XP Media Center edition which came with my computer (eMachine) when I bought it 3 years ago. I've never had any trouble accessing my D drive before tonight when I was trying to save a file to it and it said I didn't have enough space on that drive. When I tried to open the D drive from My Computer to see what I could delete to make more space, I get the following message:

Protected by PC Angel

Recovery Partition
Warning!

This area of your hard disk
(or partition) contains files used
for your system recovery.

Do not delete or alter these files.

Any change to this partition could
prevent any recovery later.

I've never seen this message before and I've never even heard of PC Angel before today. I did not install this software and I've never seen it before today. I checked under Add/Remove programs and this software isn't listed so I can't uninstall it that way. I checked under C:\Program Files and there's nothing related to PC Angel there. I ran a search on both my C and D drives for any files with PC Angel in their titles and nothing came up. I went to start > run > MSCONFIG > startup and nothing related to PC Angel is there either. How can I get rid of this software so I can access my files on the D drive?? And where the heck did this software come from if I didn't install it and I've never even seen it on my computer before today after 3 years of use??

Thanks in advance.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

I would suggest you don't do a thing until the experts have a chance to post. I'm kinda sure you aren't really going to want to get rid of PC Angel. Sounds like you've been saving files to your recovery partition..a bit of a no-no.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

http://www.pcangelsolutions.com/

Posted 5 years ago
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jmcguire
jmcguire
Posts: 552

@jab680

As sourpuss said, you have been saving files to your recovery partition, which is a no-no. eMachines uses PC Angel to recover the computer to its original state. It is actually a good piece of software, so you won't want to get rid of it (I don't even know if you could.)

The best thing to do is stop saving files to the D drive. As far as getting the files off there that are already on there, try booting in safe mode and see if it will let you. If that will not work, try booting into a Linux Live CD (such as Ubuntu or Knoppix) to copy the files over.

Posted 5 years ago
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Bohamut
Posts: 2

Greetings.

PC Angel is a System Recovery protection program which denies read access to the logical disk where your recovery files are located. On Gateway and eMachines computers (and possibly others; I have a Gateway), this is usually the logical drive "D:\" on your main hard disk in your laptop computer. It's likely that any files saved to this drive will likewise become inaccessible since the entire D:\ drive is protected.

PC Angel is an interesting piece of software (IMHO) since it performs it's appointed task while refusing to display the fact that it's operating. I couldn't find any indication of it running as a process or a service in Windows. However, I do know (after much research) that it is run by a .dll (Dynamically Linked Library) which is called by the Registry at boot time, and the protection is declared by by using a boot.ini file placed within the folder being protected, or on the root of the protected disk, and that the Registry Key and .dll name are listed inside that boot.ini file. (This is handy info if you ever want to try to delete PC Angel entirely from your system.) So it appears that the access control is implemented as a Shell Extension.

Here's an easy way to disable PC Angel:
Use Windows Explorer to navigate to

C:\Windows\System32\ShellvRTF.dll

and rename the file.
Then reboot! Enjoy!

However, if you want to actually move your System Recovery files (say, to a new hard disk you purchased for your laptop) things get a little more complicated...

Do the above; then:

Start/Run/cmd
D:\
dir /a (shows you the hidden/system folders/files on D:\)
attrib -h -s (filename)
attrib -h -s (foldername)

attrib has to be run once for each file or folder. The -h and -s switches remove 'hidden' and 'system' status from the files and folders. I had a little trouble running attrib on folders like 'System Recovery' because of the space in the foldername... I couldn't remember how to target attrib to that folder in DOS. It didn't really matter, though, because after I renamed ShellvRTF.dll and rebooted, I could do want I wanted with those objects. Keep in mind that the file named 'System Volume Information' is actually a low level system file that you don't want to mess with, as it describes some aspects of your hard disk that I'm not too familiar with (yet).

After that, you should have control over those files and folders. If you have any trouble performing operations on them, go in to each file and folder through the right-click context menu using 'Properties'/'Security'/'Advanced', and change the ownership of the objects to yourself. On folders, make sure that child objects inherit the change.

I did all these steps in a different order, so I'm not sure the last step is really necessary. Perhaps someone else can do the experiment.

Anyways, Good Luck!

Posted 3 years ago
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Bohamut
Posts: 2

Yup, my mistake.

Replace all references to boot.ini above with desktop.ini.

Posted 3 years ago
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