January 4, 2021

Was malware installed on my second-hand laptop?

My friend gave me his old laptop. It’s an HP envy x360. When he gave it to me there was a usb inserted and he said he used it to download windows. I’m wondering why he didn’t just restore it to factory settings and why he used the usb.

I ran some free anti-virus softwares (avast and avira) and a lot of things looked off. So I restored the laptop to factory settings myself. After I did that, a blue message popped up on the screen. It read, “The following configuration change was requested for this computer’s Trusted Platform Module: Clear TPM. Warning: Clearing the TPM erases information stored on the TPM. You will lose all created keys and access to data encrypted by these keys.” I pressed F1 to accept. I then ran the same anti-virus softwares again and things still looked off. The laptop also seemed to be running slower. According to Avira, the anti-virus softwares themselves as well as OneDrive were running slow, Windows 10 itself was outdated, the same 200~ browser cookies remained, and 20 privacy settings were disabled. They are as follows:

“Disable Microsoft experiments”
“Disable indexing of encrypted data”
“Disable telemetry services”
“Disable application telemetry”
“Disable office 15 telemetry”
“Disable office 16 telemetry”
“Disable Microsoft Diagnostics Hub Standard Collector Service”
“Don’t automatically download media licenses”
“Don’t allow websites to identify my player”
“Don’t add media data to the media library”
“Don’t send info about my player usage to Microsoft”
“Don’t share my media library”
“Don’t save text messages in the cloud”
“Don’t allow clients from querying the the search index remotely”
“Disable inprivate filtering in edge or internet explorer”
“Disable flip ahead”
“Disable geolocation support”
“Disable browser tracking”
“Disable advertising ID and info reset”
“Disable advertising on windows explorer”

I don’t have the means to take the laptop to geeksquad or whoever to check for certain if malware was installed. I would also prefer not to confront my friend.

I changed all my passwords from my phone and disconnected the hard drive and battery from the laptop just to be super safe.

Based on this information is it a possibility? Should I take any more precautions? I connected my android to the laptop through Microsoft and Google so do I need to worry about it also being infected? Could any other devices that were connected to the same wifi network also be infected?

Thank you in advance!

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