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How to remove Smart Engine (Uninstall instructions)

Smart Engine is a latest rogue antispyware program from Virus Doctor rogues family as Smart Security , My Security Shield, Security Master AV, etc. The misleading program is distributed through the use of advertisement which pretends to be an online malware scanner. When you open this advertisement, it will simulate a system scan and state your computer is infected with a lot of viruses and you need to download and install Smart Engine to remove the infections. Important to know, this online scanner is a fake and cannot detect any viruses or infections on your computer. The scan results that are displayed are totally fabricated!

Immediately after launch Smart Engine will configure itself to run automatically every time when Windows loads. Next, the rogue will add a few entries into the HOSTS file so that when you open Google, Yahoo or Bing, you will be redirected to various misleading websites. And last, but not least, Smart Engine will create several fake malware files, that absolute harmless, but later during the scan, the fake security tool will label them as worms, trojans and viruses.

Smart Engine scan results

Smart Engine want to trick you into thinking that your computer in danger. It hopes that you then will purchase its full version. Important to note, Smart Engine is unable to detect or remove any infections and nor will be protect you from legitimate future threats. So you can safely ignore the false scan results.

While Smart Engine is running, it will display a variety of fake security warnings and alerts. Some of the alerts are:

System alert
Smart Engine has detected potentially harmful software in
your system. It is strongly recommended that you register
Smart Engine to remove all found threats immediately.

System warning
No real-time malware, spyware and virus protection was
found. Click here to activate.

Warning! Identity theft attempt detected
Hidden connection IP:
Target: Microsoft Corporation keys

Warning! Virus detected

However, like false scan results above, all of these security messages and alerts are just a fake and has been displayed to trick you into thinking your computer is infected with all sorts of malicious programs.

In addition to the above-described, Smart Engine will also block the Windows Task Manager and most antivirus and antispyware tools.

As you can see, Smart Engine is a scam that has been created with one purpose – to scare you into thinking that your computer is infected, so you will then purchasing its so-called full version. Do not be fooled into buying the program! Instead of doing so, follow the removal guidelines below in order to remove Smart Engine and any associated malware from your computer for free.

More screen shoots of Smart Engine

Symptoms in a HijackThis Log

O4 – HKCU\..\Run: [Smart Engine] “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\da2933\SMda2_2121.exe” /s /d

Automatic removal instructions for Smart Engine

Step 1. Reboot your computer in Safe mode with networking

Restart your computer.

After hearing your computer beep once during startup, start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. On a computer that is configured for booting to multiple operating systems, you can press the F8 key when the Boot Menu appears.

Instead of Windows loading as normal, Windows Advanced Options menu appears similar to the one below.

Windows Advanced Options menu

When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe mode with networking and then press ENTER.

2. Reset proxy settings of Internet Explorer

Run Internet Explorer, Click Tools -> Internet Options as as shown in the screen below.

Internet Explorer – Tools menu

You will see window similar to the one below.

Internet Explorer – Internet options

Select Connections Tab and click to Lan Settings button. You will see an image similar as shown below.

Internet Explorer – Lan settings

Uncheck “Use a proxy server” box. Click OK to close Lan Settings and Click OK to close Internet Explorer settings.

Step 3. Remove Smart Engine and any associated malware

Download MalwareBytes Anti-malware (MBAM). Once downloaded, close all programs and windows on your computer.

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MalwareBytes Anti-malware onto your computer. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure a checkmark is placed next to “Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” and Launch “Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware”. Then click Finish.

MalwareBytes Anti-malware will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.

As MalwareBytes Anti-malware will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main menu. You will see window similar to the one below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Window>

Make sure the “Perform quick scan” option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Smart Engine infection. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient.

When the scan is finished a message box will appear that it has completed scanning successfully. Click OK. Now click “Show Results”. You will see a list of infected items similar as shown below.
Note: list of infected items may be different than what is shown in the image below.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware, list of infected items

Make sure all entries have a checkmark at their far left and click “Remove Selected” button to remove Smart Engine. MalwareBytes Anti-malware will now remove all of associated Smart Engine files and registry keys and add them to the programs’ quarantine. When MalwareBytes Anti-malware has finished removing the infection, a log will open in Notepad and you may be prompted to Restart.

Step 4. Reset HOSTS file

Please download OTM by OldTimer from here and save it to desktop. Run OTM, copy, then paste the following text in “Paste Instructions for Items to be Moved” textarea (under the yellow bar):


Click the red Moveit! button. Close OTM.

Smart Engine removal notes

Note 1: if you can not download, install, run or update Malwarebytes Anti-malware, then follow the steps: Malwarebytes won`t install, run or update – How to fix it.

Note 2: if you need help with the instructions, then post your questions in our Spyware Removal forum.

Note 3: your current antispyware and antivirus software let the infection through ? Then you may want to consider purchasing the FULL version of MalwareBytes Anti-malware to protect your computer in the future.

Smart Engine creates the following files and folders

%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Engine
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Engine\cookies.sqlite
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Engine\Instructions.ini
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Smart Engine.lnk
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\da2933\SMda2_2121.exe

Smart Engine creates the following registry keys and values

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run | Smart Engine
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes | URL = “{searchTerms}”
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes | URL = “{searchTerms}”
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download | RunInvalidSignatures = “1″
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes | URL = “{searchTerms}”

Smart Engine removal – Video guide

October 10, 2010 on 7:13 am | In Malware removal, Rogue Anti Spyware | 68 Comments |


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. This didn’t work for me, and I did all of this.

    Comment by Me — October 11, 2010 #

  2. Me, start a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you to remove this malware.

    Comment by Patrik — October 12, 2010 #

  3. Thanks, so far it looks like it worked. I had tried everything to remove it and not exactly sure ha

    Comment by windy city — October 13, 2010 #

  4. Did all this and it is not popping up but the icon is still on my desk top? I want to move it to my recycling bin but I’m afraid it will just pop up all over again. Shouldn’t this be gone if all this worked? HELP!

    Comment by lety — October 14, 2010 #

  5. lety, remove the icon manually.

    Comment by Patrik — October 14, 2010 #

  6. Please Help! I uninstalled smart enginge from the add/remove programs menu before I started this process…so when the step came to remove smart engine from the add/ remove programs the icon was gone and it could not be removed. so now the uninstallation wont work? what should i do?

    Comment by Nicole — October 15, 2010 #

  7. Nicole, you have completed the instructions above ?

    Comment by Patrik — October 15, 2010 #

  8. I tried everything…had just gotten a virus removed from my laptop and tried to install anti-virus on desktop. Tried this, and it worked! Thanks!

    Comment by Kelly — October 15, 2010 #

  9. I need some help! I almost got the process except the step 4. When I put the text in step 4, some massage poped up like \cannot open file C:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/Hosts\ What is wrong? What should I do? Please, help me~

    Comment by Kim — October 15, 2010 #

  10. Patrick,
    Thank you very much, this is really working. The only thing is that icons of this smart engine were still on my desktop. I have just deleted them and after deleted again from recycling bin. Is it correct? Also the internet explorer stopped working so I use mozilla now which is ok.

    Comment by Artur — October 16, 2010 #

  11. Kim, reboot your computer in Safe mode and try the step 4 once again.

    Comment by Patrik — October 16, 2010 #

  12. Artur, 1) its ok, 2) try repeat the step 2.

    Comment by Patrik — October 16, 2010 #

  13. I think that the OTM program is bloked. I could not download the program. Despite I did not perfome the step 4, my laptop works very well.
    Thanks to Patrik, by the way. ^^

    Comment by Kim — October 16, 2010 #

  14. Kim, if you can`t download OTM, then probably your PC is still infected. Start a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you to check your PC.

    Comment by Patrik — October 17, 2010 #

  15. Patrick, I ran through everything bypassing running in Safe Mode with Networking, and resetting my Proxy settings. It seemed to find everything, but told me certain items could not be removed. The Smart Engine desktop icon is still there. Are steps 1 and 2 vital to the successful removal?

    Comment by Tony — October 17, 2010 #

  16. smart engine disabled my internet so I can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from another computer onto a flash drive, load it onto the infected computer, run the scan, but can’t purchase the software so I’m still screwed.

    Comment by John — October 17, 2010 #

  17. I actually bought this today thinking my computer was really infected and now my Internet doesn’t work or anything? What can I do do get my money back and my computer to get rid of it?

    Comment by Anne — October 17, 2010 #

  18. It apparently did remove 788 infections and put them in quarantine but is still infected. Can’t update. HELLLLP!

    Comment by John — October 17, 2010 #

  19. thanks for your help

    Comment by Mike Wood — October 17, 2010 #

  20. Tony, try manually to remove Smart Engine icons from desktop and Start button menu.

    Comment by Patrik — October 18, 2010 #

  21. John, if Malwarebytes does not fix it, then open a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you to remove this malware.

    Comment by Patrik — October 18, 2010 #

  22. Anne, contact your credit card company and tell them what has happened. Also follow the steps above to remove this malware.

    Comment by Patrik — October 18, 2010 #

  23. Worked for me! Much easier than it looks to someone who has no knowledge of this kind of stuff. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Tiffany — October 20, 2010 #

  24. I did everything as it said to do, but when I go to download otm it tells me that I can’t download to whatever folder it wants to go to and that I must download it to my desktop but I have no clue how to do that.

    Comment by Bonnie — October 22, 2010 #

  25. I tried to reboot in safe mode and it would not let me connect to the internet. Now what do I do ? Is my laptop still infected ? HELP !!!

    Comment by Bonnie — October 22, 2010 #

  26. i’m not sure what you mean when you say open up OTM and then copy and paste the text. which text are you referring to?

    Comment by Gege — October 22, 2010 #

  27. This was successful. Thank you so much. My McAffee wasn’t able to detect Smart Engine or give me a fix when I went to their website. When my contract is complete with them, I will be using your service. Thanks again.

    Comment by Tammy — October 22, 2010 #

  28. Bonnie,
    1. Save OTM to any location. It is not important.
    2. You have used Safe mode with networking ? Its very important.

    Comment by Patrik — October 24, 2010 #

  29. Gege, look the video guide above.

    Comment by Patrik — October 24, 2010 #

  30. Re: Smart Engine which disabled my antivirus and pc. Out of desperation, I did a system restore. I was then able to update my antivirus and do a full scan which found what I guess was Smart Engine. I removed it and scanned again which was clean. The pc worked normally after that but should I also do additional steps? Did it really remove Smart Engine? Thanks.

    Comment by Kathy — October 25, 2010 #

  31. I keep rebooting my computer but it will not let me get to safe mode with networking. It does open up that page but will not let me use the arrow keys to go up or down so I am stuck with start normally.

    Comment by Kent — October 25, 2010 #

  32. Kathy, you need also to reset your HOSTS file. Look the step 4 above.

    Comment by Patrik — October 26, 2010 #

  33. Wow, this actually worked… and it only took 30 minutes. Thank you so much.. now I can get on with my life lol

    Comment by charlotte — October 26, 2010 #

  34. Kent, start a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you to remove this malware in Normal mode.

    Comment by Patrik — October 27, 2010 #

  35. I downloaded the MalwareBytes to my desktop in safe mode,but it will not update, nor perform any scans. It did not automatically do it either. What did I do wrong?

    Comment by Temple — October 27, 2010 #

  36. So my friend has this virus. I did loads of research on it, and came to this and a few other sites.

    My question is, is safe mode nessicary for the removal of this silly program?
    His computer cannot get past the list of drivers the loads after clicking “safemode, safemode with networking”

    If there is a way to force safe mode, I would love to know.

    I used MBAM, OTM, rKill, Smitfraud, and none have worked. But on the positive side, the MBAM killed 742 files, sadly just not all of them.

    Any help you can give me would be fantasic.

    Comment by Kazune — October 30, 2010 #

  37. Temple, repeat the step 2. Run Malwarebytes, open Update tab and perform an update. Next, open Scanner tab and scan your PC once again.

    Comment by Patrik — October 31, 2010 #

  38. Hi i did the above and it seems to have worked, i use windows vista which i think helps too timewise,but when i pressed windows at the bottom of the screen, then went to all programs it was there still, they were 2 of them it let me delete one but the other it wont, but the laptop and the internet are working fine, all the steps you gave us were easy, and the youtube video helped alot for a novice like me, many thanks to you i feel i can get on with life now it took me 4 hours though as the laptop kept freezing then the internet wouldnt work, i kept having to log off and back on, but none the less its much faster now thanks.

    Comment by Geri — October 31, 2010 #

  39. Kazune, try update MBAM and perform a fresh scan. If it does not help, then start a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you to remove this malware.

    Comment by Patrik — November 1, 2010 #

  40. I install Malwarebytes program and display two error
    I can’t start Malwarebytes.

    Comment by Ming — November 2, 2010 #

  41. Wow! thanks man.. my pc is running alot faster, thx to your steps.. 😀

    Comment by Leonard — November 2, 2010 #

  42. Ming, try reinstall Malwarebytes.

    Comment by Patrik — November 3, 2010 #

  43. Thanks this worked for me BUT.. my internet connection is not working now…WTF? I am typing this from another computer.

    Comment by Erik — November 6, 2010 #

  44. Erik, try repeat the step 2 above.

    Comment by Patrik — November 7, 2010 #

  45. This worked for me. It was very helpful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    Comment by Meli — November 7, 2010 #

  46. What do I do if I screwed up and purchased the full version? Am I screwed out of my $51.00?

    Comment by Stacey Cardoza — November 7, 2010 #

  47. Stacey, contact your credit card company and tell them what has happened.

    Comment by Patrik — November 8, 2010 #

  48. hey its working in vista as well. thank you so much……….

    Comment by arjun — November 8, 2010 #

  49. Come to OTM part, after type commands and reset hosts the message appear that system 32 fail to remove host… what should i do ?

    Comment by Nana — November 8, 2010 #

  50. i have the message
    Cannot copy host_new: It is being used by another person or program.
    What should i do ?

    Comment by Nana — November 8, 2010 #

  51. Sorry, it is ok now…my comments
    1. Safemode has to be with cable connected can’t be wireless.
    2. Remove another antispyware if you do have one.. (in my case i have stopzilla, after i remove it, I can complete the step)

    Thks !!

    Comment by Nana — November 8, 2010 #

  52. thanks patrik!! really helped a lot!!

    Comment by mary anne — November 9, 2010 #

  53. Everything went well till step 4, after cicking move it the following error appeared in the OTM log:
    Error: Unable to interpret in the current context!
    Error: Unable to interpret in the current context!

    Comment by Mike — November 11, 2010 #

  54. Thank you so much, it works and smart engine has been removed. This nightmare is finally ended, now I can relax, browse the web witout that stupid window wich opens every 10 seconces.

    Comment by chourabi — November 11, 2010 #

  55. Mike, check twice the text that you have inserted into OTM box.

    Comment by Patrik — November 12, 2010 #

  56. I can’t even go to safe mode smart engine takes over and send me to a fake safe mode start up and I know it is but I can’t stop it. What do I do am I scewed ?

    Comment by Tim — November 12, 2010 #

  57. Thank you so much for this post, it really helped and it didn’t take that long. The video was a great addition. I don’t understand why my avast anti-virus didn’t catch this thing in the first place? I do have one question though, after I removed all malware the message telling me to restart my computer also said- ‘Certain items could not be removed. A log file has been saved to the logs folder.’ What does this mean? Do I need to do something else? Thanks again!!

    Comment by Ciara — November 12, 2010 #

  58. My Pc was infected by Smart Engine, I made that whole process and he/she stopped appearing messages of virus of the program. But my anti virus (avast), when it is put in the high resident protection he doesn’t work turns off the protection automatically. please help me. thank you

    Comment by Vitor Snatana — November 13, 2010 #

  59. Ciara, try update Malwarebytes and perform a fresh scan,

    Comment by Patrik — November 13, 2010 #

  60. Vitor, ask for help in our Spyware removal forum.

    Comment by Patrik — November 14, 2010 #

  61. I believe that this is a scam too. why is there a comment everyday for 2months than notthing at all since nov? I’m writtting this just to see if it will post on thier list.

    Comment by Jamie — January 3, 2011 #

  62. Well i am surprised. I hope that doing this process isnt going to give me more crap on my computer. Smart engine has got me very irritated. I cant do anything on here without it popping up every 2 seconds. SPY DOCTOR, i hope you work!!

    Comment by Jamie — January 3, 2011 #

  63. OMG thank you soooo much it looks like its gone for good!!!!!

    Comment by Eva — January 21, 2011 #

  64. Hello Patrik,
    Last time your help was perfect, so I decided to ask you about another problem. I have the window appearing with the message: “Interactive services dialog detection”. As a result, my computer became very slow. Ithink this a virus. Could you please advise if you met this before and if you how to destroy it?

    Comment by Artur — January 30, 2011 #

  65. Artur, try the steps below:
    Open Control Panel, double click ‘Administrative Services’, double-click “Services”.
    Right click – ‘Interactive Services’ from list in Window, select ‘Stop’.
    Right click – select Properties, in ‘Startup type’ select ‘Disable’
    Click “OK”.
    Reboot your computer.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — February 2, 2011 #

  66. My computer is really going crazy now that I done downloaded the malware, ran the scan, fixed the problems, downloaded the IBM, cpoied & past and moved the problems my computer now will not let me into any of my documents, files in control panel, on my desktop a screen pops up saying do I want to open, save or cancel and I hit open and it proceeds to act like its opening then takes me right back to the place I was at What should I do?

    Comment by Eryal Smith — February 16, 2011 #

  67. Eryal Smith, probably your PC is still infected. Start a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will check your computer.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — February 16, 2011 #

  68. I am by no means computer savy, but I followed the instructions and this path works very well. Smart Engine has met it’s match. I will be keeping Malwarebytes.

    Comment by Steve Wiseley — June 13, 2011 #

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