Lenovo pre-loads 'Superfish' adware on some new laptops

By Scorpus
Feb 19, 2015
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  1. Lenovo has been caught installing a type of adware, known as 'Superfish', onto some new consumer laptops that activates when a user powers on and sets up their machine for the first time.

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  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,883   +639

    Meh, Whenever I buy anyone a new Laptop from almost any company I do a full wipe and re-install of WIndows anyway xD it's usually quicker than manually installing all the crapware.
    Jad Chaar and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    You beat me to it, I was going to say what's so complicated about doing a format and reinstalling your own copy of Windows, it's what I'd do anyway.
    All pre built systems comes with a truck load of useless bloat/crapware and I couldn't be bothered taking ages to get rid of it all via uninstallers and other more complicated means. I do the same thing with smartphones, root them and get rid of all the garbage, you'd be surprised by the amount of valuable storage space you reclaim which was rightfully yours in the 1st place.
    Burty117 likes this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +461

    The main problem with the format the computer theory, is that you loose the original windows bundled license.
    CanadEan84 likes this.
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,883   +639

    Unless you buy the machine with a Windows Recovery Disk, Or at least that's what I do for HP laptops ;)
    davidhoffman5 likes this.
  6. JakeT

    JakeT TS Member Posts: 74   +20

    Note to self, do not ever suggest buying or buy a Lenovo laptop, even if I can format and start all over (which is a big waste of time).
    rpjkw11 and davidhoffman5 like this.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +461

    Which comes with crapware pre-loaded?
    SalaSSin likes this.
  8. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,883   +639

    Nope, or at least I've never had that, you normally get another "Driver" disk which then installs all the crap. Dell do the same thing. You just throw away the disk and download them manually, you get the benefits of the newer drivers but without the crap.
    rpjkw11 likes this.
  9. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,822   +870

    While I'm happy all the tech savy people on here know how to format and install windows, but this is a major problem for 1) people who cannot format and install windows and 2) for people who are simply not aware of the problem
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
    Darth Shiv and hahahanoobs like this.
  10. 1. The serial should be in the BIOS, but if not use Belarc Advisor to easily grab your serial.
    2. Shoot over to Microsoft and download a copy of Windows. I downloaded mine via bittorrent and confirmed the hash because it's way faster. :D 14,200 KBPS vs 2,100
    3. Burn it or make a bootable flash drive with Rufus or a recovery partition to install from.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

    even though apart from this lenovo is pretty much at the top with maybe 1 or 2 others in terms of good laptops/support?
    Burty117 likes this.
  12. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,883   +639

    Agree with your post but I've had issues with newer laptops on the first point. I've found Belarc Advisor and Magical Jelly Bean to be quite unreliable and giving false info when it comes to the Windows License Key. In a lot of modern Business Laptops I've also found it impossible to get the Key out of the BIOS, it must be there as the official recovery disks for said laptops work straight away but I cannot always get the serial out of the BIOS :/

    Still though, Even with the hassle, I always re-build laptops, they just run better and are quicker than the standard install it comes with, even with all the crapware uninstalled.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Exactly! You never know what manufacturers put on there...
  14. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Guru Posts: 465   +96

    No you don't. Not even close. Your license key is still yours. And now conveniently tucked away in the BIOS is your license key, you can completely format any new laptop and use a generic universal iso install disk image and it will automatically install that key and the appropriate windows feature set for that key.
  15. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,291   +55

    Dell used ti,
  16. Ganshyam

    Ganshyam TS Rookie

    You should just uninstall Superfish like I did. Lenovo themselves have published instructions on how to tackle this on their official forum - . Hope this helps :)
  17. JohnCB

    JohnCB TS Booster Posts: 118   +62

    Format is the only option here. They've breached your trust, who's to say there isn't more garbage floating around that just hasn't been found yet?
  18. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 106   +37

    Too late Lenovo; I'll add you to the list of companies I'm avoiding.
    rpjkw11 likes this.
  19. JakeT

    JakeT TS Member Posts: 74   +20

    Why don't I believe what they say now? Lenovo is off of my choice list for my next laptop. As soon as the USB3.2 standard is common I'm buying
    rpjkw11 likes this.
  20. tragicallyhip

    tragicallyhip TS Booster Posts: 83   +9

    God these corporation's are kind to themselves!, a quick apology and their off the hook, oh sure people are going to be pissed but soon enough all will be forgotten, consumers are notoriously myopic when it comes to this stuff.
  21. valentyn0

    valentyn0 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    What a bunch of baloney ! I started this morning my browser (firefox) and suddenly I see 2 ads placeholders on the left and right of my screen so I went to check my extensions and voilà: some shitty extension installed by itself that made possible to bypass even my ADB + antiblock ADB !!

    I went immediately into my latest adwcleaner tool update and guess what it found ? SUPERFISH !! and im on desktop, no lenovo here !!

    IT removed everything, embedded into my firefox pref.js settings and profile that smelled of fish* and now my PC is clean of this garbage !

    So lenovo lies when they say it comes preloaded only with lenovo laptops, it seems they have a bigger target out there !
  22. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,436   +592

    Clonezilla and images my friend, come join us in 2015.
  23. niklabs

    niklabs TS Rookie Posts: 22

    So much ignorance here and elsewhere: I will not buy Lenovo again and such… No Lenovo is top brand with excellent price/quality ratio so I would buy another their products in the future just read carefully before buying any tech nowadays. At the end Superfish is made just to show ads with similar items in which the computer owner is interested. It doesn't steal money, but yet it opens a big backdoor for hackers now which is the biggest problem. Tshis smells as big conspiracy from the competition as their sales are affected by the good results Lenovo made last year.
  24. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,525   +828

  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Yep, I will join you. As if all Superfish infected machines was targets of Lenovo.
    Burty117 and ikesmasher like this.

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