Panda AntiVirus update likely to brick Windows Systems on restart

“Do not restart your PC if you are using Panda Antivirus”. This is the advice that you should follow immediately. Panda AntiVirus is one of its kind first antivirus based on cloud computing. It does not use much of user’s PC resources and is only partly installed on the system. It keeps its core files on a dedicated server where knowledge of virus programs is shared by millions of users in real time.

Panda Antivirus

However, even with such a robust set-up, the antivirus program has faced a major problem. A recent update from Panda AV has resulted in the antivirus program falsely detecting system files, as well as its own files, as malware and moving them to quarantine. This is a major issue that is likely to brick Windows systems when you restart your Windows PC.

Black Screen at login after restart

For Panda Antivirus users, Panda Security team, has cautioned against restarting your PC, mentioning,

“We inform you that today, a false positive in the signature file affecting Panda Cloud Office Protection, Retail 2015 products and Panda Free AV has caused certain files to be moved to quarantine. This signature file has already been replaced and this situation should not recur.

Nonetheless, it is very important NOT TO RESTART YOUR COMPUTER until a solution is available”.

However, as we speak, there are many who have already rebooted their machines and the damage is already done. While some are getting black screen at login, there are others who are unable to open some applications or give print command.

A Panda Antivirus user says,

“I became a Panda Cloud Antivirus just yesterday. And in less than 24bhours I started getting these .dll errors. So naturally I cleared my browser caches, deleted temp folder and files and restarted my PC”.

Panda Antivirus

Another user mentions,

“Tried the same things… on some pc after restart the PC doesn’t boot anymore. On those with correct restart, in safe mode, removed Panda, restarted and something works, except from the .exe and .dlls found in the quarantine folder… (but don’t know their original path).bAlso after re-installing Panda, the quarantine is clean (but files still remain in quarantine folder, but don’t know the original path of all the files).

It’s a mess, we have about <100 computers in this state…”

The problem seems to be the worst since it is the Windows operating system files that are classified as malign by the Antivirus program, thereby causing number of problems and infecting Windows Operating system’s operation.

The Panda products affected are: Panda Cloud Office Protection, Panda Cloud Office Protection Advanced, Panda Antivirus Pro 2015, Panda Internet Security 2015, Panda Global Protection 2015 and Panda Gold Protection.

For those who have already rebooted the machine, Panda suggests that if its not booting properly, try rebooting into safe mode, repair Panda using the offline installer, restore the quarantined files,  and finally run sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt.

Meanwhile, Panda Security team is working towards fixing this issue and has issued an advisory for its customers to not to restart their computer. They are working on a tool to recover the rebooted computers.

UPDATE: They have released a tool ps-recovery.exe and instructions to help fix the problem.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.

22 Comments

  1. Hadrian Embalsado

    That is unsettling.

  2. Scooter Rodriguez

    Panda Antivirus bricked my Windows 7 install several weeks ago. No one should ever use any Panda products because they have demonstrated a level of incompetence so extreme it’s almost deliberately malignant.

    This is not even a new issue that only just appeared with the new update. I and others have experienced Panda Antivirus completely borking Windows long before. I even recall this issue with Panda happening to expert testers who were doing an antivirus product comparison in PC Magazine or a similar publication. Panda borked one of their computers entirely.

    This cannot be stressed enough: Absolutely no one should ever use Panda Antivirus or any other Panda product.

  3. Andres

    Esta mañana le pasó a dos equipos mios 🙁 los tube que formatear.

  4. Ankit Gupta

    Oh, that’s concerning. Hope your system has recovered now. Thanks. Ankit

  5. Ankit Gupta

    Thanks for your comments, you are correct that this is not a new issue. There has been many instances in the past when other AV programs have deleted Windows files.

  6. Yes I was one as well huge problems I reformatted in the end and used another antivirus, i wiped the cost and put it down as a bad experience

  7. I tend to agree with you

  8. Juan Figueroa

    I’m in luck then, i use the antivirus and haven not encountered the problem and it shows is up to date, but i will do a back up of the hard drive just in case. Thanks for posting this news.

  9. Fanta Monica

    Happend here for hundred computer of my office. For those who didn’t switch off pc, panda restored quarantined files after a while. For the ohers (I did), some cmd command in admin mode where necessary to cut panda services (see panda website for more details) , then executing the ps-recovery. Good as new, as moonlight said. But what a waste of time!

    For w7 users who switched off, … not good new because no solution founded yet without restoring all

  10. PatSG

    True, Panda Antivirus is not the first to break users’ machines, & neither will it be the last to do so.

    Perhaps we need insurance policies for the end-users of 3rd-party software, as well as Windows Updates. It appears that we are much more likely to have our machines badly bricked by program updates & installs than being run over by a car.

    Dec 2014: Bad Windows Update patch broke certain versions of Windows. Some users ended up having to reinstall the OS.

    May 2012: Paid versions of Avira Antivirus received an update that blocked almost all Windows EXE files & prevented the OS from rebooting.

    Apr 2010: A McAfee Antivirus update quarantined critical system files, terminated core services & made Windows unable to reboot.

  11. master3395

    There’s not many anti virus programs, that white list window’s files, and that can be a pain later on, if the anti virus, starts removing windows files. I normally use Norton Internet Security, it’s a really good anti virus program, but it has it’s flaws to.
    Malware Anti malware, is the best to use if your computer is oinfected, but is not good enough to protect against virus.

    If it was up to me, i would have a program, that “Scans windows folders and index’s windows files, then it white list’s the windows files” and then protect the system. So there is no windows files that can be removed.

  12. Charlie Reynolds

    it caused a massive problem for me as i am a university student with essays due in 6 days, and i couldnt save or do my work, with my files disappearing everywhere. Luckily i had a back up of my uni work and when i re-installed windows everything is fine. Do i keep panda on my pc or change, im not sure?
    Its now going to take me days to re-download all my games etc with student halls internet being so slow haha

  13. Get rid of it there are other anti virus programmes in the cloud

  14. Agent Spy

    Does anyone know if it is safe to restart now?

  15. Juan Figueroa

    The Antivirus is good, is not the only one that had encountered that issue in the past, it has been fixed now with a new virus definition.

  16. Juan Figueroa

    If you unistalled Panda and fixed the problem about the deleted system files you can install it again because it will use the most recent signature file.

  17. Woody

    good to know. i ll have plenty of work for the next weeks 🙂

  18. LG

    We have had a huge problem as a result of this Panda update. None of the fixes worked (we had re-booted). Result? I’ve bought a new computer, re-installed the company’s accounting package along with everything else and taken the original computer back to nothing to start again. Lost days of time and much £. I now need another Antivirus – or is it safe to use Panda again? I’ve tried avast, and avg but both are causing the network drive to fail so I’ve had to get rid of them. Help please!

  19. LG

    Hi Did anyone answer this? I too need to know!

  20. DaGoldenBall

    Had this problem, myself used system restore to get rid of Panda antivirus. The stupid software moved a critical windows file into quarantine which stopped AV from working itself. I couldnt go into the AV program to restore the file from quarantine, so my only option was to use the windows system restore. Very disappointed in this software. Wont be using them again!

  21. Erika

    So, I lost my Panda Antivirus program. Literally everything from the Panda Antivirus program disappeared. It doesn’t exist on my computer anymore, and I didn’t uninstall it or anything. Would this error with rebooting possibly be the reason why the Panda program disappeared???

  22. NunyaBusiness

    Panda just bricked my laptop last night.
    It will not boot in any mode, not even recovery mode.
    Fxxx You Panda.

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