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05-04-2021

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IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-04, 0:34 AM

I recently bought a brand new sealed in box IdeaPad Flex 5 from Office Depot. It came preinstalled with a program called SLBrowser that appears to be Lenovo branded software built on Chromium. Installed in the Program Files (x86)\Lenovo folder. Once I had the computer booted up, a blue envelope showed up on the screen with everything in Chinese. The running application was SLWelcome. The SLBrowser has everything in Chinese. Using Google Lens to translate, I dug through the menus and there are no options to switch languages. I have tried uninstalling the software and it will not uninstall. Again, the pop-up window for it has everything in Chinese. In the properties for the SLBrowser folder under Security, there are two Group or user names listed as Account Unknown with a long alpha numeric string after it. All other similar folders for seemingly legitimate preinstalled software show only Everyone and Administrators in this list. 

 

This feels very much like some type of Spyware or Malware. I have searched the internet and forums with no luck on this. I have tried contacting Lenovo Tech Support via chat, email, and phone calls and have gotten no where. An email response to my support ticket told me I had to pay for supplemental software support on a brand new computer out of the box! Calling the support numbers had people transferring me from department to department with no one able to give me any answer or even confirm/deny if SLBrowser is actually a Lenovo software product. 

 

Has anyone had a similar experience with this?

 

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2347 Posts

11-04-2019

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-04, 14:33 PM

 

Hello @ onebrokenneck!

 

Welcome to the Community Forums!

 

Can you please share here first your device's MTM (machine type-model) number for us to check its specifications?

It can be seen through the device's label/sticker or its packaging and does usually have a format of 8********R as an example.

 

You may also provide us its serial number instead by sending us a private message.

 

We'll be waiting for your response.

 

Thanks,

Adriel_Lenovo

Lenovo Support

 



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3 Posts

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-04, 17:59 PM

I am currently dealing with this same issue.  I thought I had uninstalled it, but no luck.  I reached out to customer service and they directed me to contact tech support.  The tech support was no help.  They told me that it was something that I must have installed (I purchased the computer from Costco on 4/11 and the app shows it was installed on 3/6).  They also said that it was not a browser that they would install.  If I wanted help to take it off I would need to pay to get it removed.  I contacted Costco tech service and they instructed me to do a complete reset, I did that and it is still on the computer.  I called back Lenovo tech support and was asked if I was online, which I was since it is prompted upon starting the computer.  They said it was done during my startup.  I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told that they would call me back (no time frame).  I factory reset the computer again and did not connect to the internet and it is still on the computer.  I refuse to pay for a app removal of something that was on the computer upon opening.

 

I am currently speaking with Lenovo support via facebook and hopefully they can explain how to remove this and/or why it was preinstalled (even though the tech support says it is not).  If they can't fix it, I will be returning it to Costco and look into a different manufacturer.

 

I'll update as I continue with the process, I did see another forum where they discussed this (when I first noticed the browser).  I am unable to find the link when trying to search for it now, which is very frustrating.

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-04, 19:43 PM

I was able to uninstall the app with help via facebook.

Go to settings:  apps & Features

click on the app and hit uninstall.

When the prompt screen (in chinese) opens, click the button on the bottom left.

It will open a prompt screen with about 7 choices (again, I have no idea what they say).

Was told to select an option (just did it at random) and click on the left bottom button.

This appears to uninstall it and there is a final screen with a blue button that I pressed.

 

The app seems to be gone, waiting to hear as to why it was on there in the first place and whether my computer has any other issues (the NVIDIA GeForce and PhysX Software appear to have been installed on 3/6, which obviously is concerning to me as that is when the SLBrowser showed to be installed).  Everything else shows todays date since I did the factory reset.

 

I would suggest reaching out via Facebook if you are able to so you can share video/pictures of the issue.  I am hopeful that they can provide an answer that Tech Support seemed to be unable to respond other than pay for an upgrade of services.

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2347 Posts

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-06, 14:47 PM

@ MJ2008 wrote:

I was able to uninstall the app with help via facebook.

Go to settings:  apps & Features

click on the app and hit uninstall.

When the prompt screen (in chinese) opens, click the button on the bottom left.

It will open a prompt screen with about 7 choices (again, I have no idea what they say).

Was told to select an option (just did it at random) and click on the left bottom button.

This appears to uninstall it and there is a final screen with a blue button that I pressed.

 

The app seems to be gone, waiting to hear as to why it was on there in the first place and whether my computer has any other issues (the NVIDIA GeForce and PhysX Software appear to have been installed on 3/6, which obviously is concerning to me as that is when the SLBrowser showed to be installed).  Everything else shows todays date since I did the factory reset.

 

I would suggest reaching out via Facebook if you are able to so you can share video/pictures of the issue.  I am hopeful that they can provide an answer that Tech Support seemed to be unable to respond other than pay for an upgrade of services.

 

Hello @ MJ2008!

 

Thanks for sharing this workaround!

 

Please do share/provide a screenshot or picture here for reference as well so that other users can see what to do towards this concern.

 

This will truly be helpful to other users who are also experiencing this issue.

 

Thanks,

Adriel_Lenovo

Lenovo Support

 



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05-07-2021

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-07, 0:56 AM

Yes! I just received my Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 from Costco and it has the same issues.  I started the set-up and came across the same problem.  I have a blue envelope on the screen with Chinese written on it.  I have not clicked on it or proceeded further at this point.  Not sure what to do.  Think the computer is compromised? Here is the number.  81x300004us

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05-07-2021

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-07, 1:20 AM

Replying to Lenovo tech rep, I am not happy to purchase a brand new laptop to find preinstalled Chinese apps installed that can not be easily removed.  Very concerning on what type of products you are selling US customers. I do not feel comfortable to follow some directions found on Facebook. So I am out of luck with this brand new laptop???

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Re:IdeaPad Flex 5 - Preinstalled SLBrowser stuck in Chinese

2021-05-07, 13:16 PM

Replying to Lenovo:

It's not easy for me to upload the photos/videos, so unfortunately others will have to rely on my written guide, if they even want to do the work and keep the computer.

 

I am going to be returning my computer to Costco since I am not getting a response as to WHY this app was preinstalled on the computer and also being told by to tech support (via phone call, I had called twice) that:

1.) I would have to pay money to get help to remove this app

2.) Being told multiple times that I was the one that caused this (not good when its brand new and being accused of doing something I did not is very frustrating)

3.) Being told multiple times that I don't understand and that this was caused by connecting to our home WIFI, that I again was the cause and need to pay money.

4.) Giving my number to speak to a supervisor, to never receive a call (it's already been 2 days).

5.) When I look at who has access to the computer, there is unknown access that is granted.  When trying to remove it, with the help via FB lenovo support, all the authorizers are removed.

 

I had better luck when I contacted Costco Tech Support, they at least attempted to help (even though it didn't get us anywhere) and were apologetic that I was dealing with this.  ALSO: I only reached out to Facebook because I was hoping to find a work around for others IF they decide it is worth keeping.  As stated above: Since no one can tell me WHY this program was installed, what the 2 added accounts are, and along with the horrendous customer support I experienced via the phone calls (the Facebook response was obviously helpful, but I spent 4+ hours back and forth due to delayed response times which I don't want to deal with in the future), I will be returning this computer and find a different manufacturer to purchase from.

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