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Need to reformat my computer


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#1
andrewreturned

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About a month ago, I did a virus scan of my computer and found over 8000 viruses on my computer. Most of them are gone, but there are still viruses I can't remove, and there could be hidden malware as well. I've been told that I should post in this section for instructions.
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#2
The Admiral

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Hi andrewreturned,

I am sad to hear about your recent malware infection, and I can help you reformat your computer. When you reformat your computer, you will lose all of your data, and start with a fresh operating system, with none of your data saved. Of course, there are numerous ways to back up your data, such as CDs, flash drives, network sharing, or an external drive.
That said, I have three questions:
1) Are you willing to lose all of your data, or to back up the data before you wipe your drive?
2) Do you have an operating system CD that was shipped with your computer?
3) What kind of computer do you have, and what operating system does it have?
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#3
andrewreturned

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1. I need to back up some personal files and some programs, but other than that I'm good.
2. I have a OS cd with me, but it's not the same one from before, however I do have the original verification code thats on the side of my computer tower.
3. I have a regular desktop computer with a windows xp home edition w/ service package 2.
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#4
123Runner

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I would like to suggest that you visit our malware forum. Do the prep work and also a post. They are real good and cleaning up systems.
We usually suggest that before a complete reformat of the computer.

keep in mind that all data will be lost. You will need to reinstall all programs and all updates.
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#5
wytboy55

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you can still try to fix that problem by going to the malware forum. See the post above

But if you really want to Reformat the computer you can start backing up your files and reformatting it.

save all your files in a cd first if you want to back up your files.

You can use a flash drive or a blank cd to back up those files. Let us know if you need help backing up your files.

What do you mean that your OS cd is not the same one from before? If your talking about the service pack version, that's ok, maybe your computer was shipped before service pack 2 was released and maybe your comptuer was just upgraded in service pack 2 by windows updates. You can still use that cd.

Edited by wytboy55, 12 February 2008 - 05:57 PM.

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#6
The Admiral

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I know you've already been to the malware forum, so we'll just keep chugging along here.
But first, I'd like to know the computer manufacturer. Did you purchase this from a company, or did you build it? Many computer manufacturers have a way to restore the computer back to the way it was when it left the factory. This would obviously be the best way to do it.
Also, your computer is XP Home w/SP2. Is the OS CD Home w/SP2? And is the sticker on the side of the computer XP Home w/SP2?
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#7
The Admiral

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Well, here are the instructions for reformatting the computer.
First, put the operating system (OS) CD into your CD Drive. Then, we need to make sure that the computer is set to boot from the CD drive. See your manufacturer's instructions for doing so. Once this option is set, when you reboot your computer, you should see a message similar to "Press any key to boot from the CD-ROM Drive." Obviously, press any key and this will get you into Windows Setup, where a screen will say "Setup is loading files." Eventually, you will see a screen that says "Welcome to Windows Setup" with some options on it, [Enter] to set up Windows or [R] to Repair Windows using Recovery Console. Press Enter to setup Windows, then press [F8] if you agree to the Microsoft End User License Agreement. Then, you will see a screen that says "Windows has detected a previous installation of Windows. Press [R] to repair the Windows installation, or press [ESC] to install a fresh version of Windows." (or something to that effect). Press [ESC] to start a new Windows XP installation. You will now see a screen that has a list of all of the "partitions" on your hard drive. One of them should say "C:\Windows". Use the arrow keys to select the partition you want to delete, and then press D. Press Enter to confirm that you want to delete this partition, and then press L. Now use the arrow keys to select "unpartitioned space", and then press C, then Enter. The partition will then have a "RAW" tag attached to it. This is where we install windows on the newly wiped hard drive. Use the arrow keys to select Format the drive using the NTFS file format" and then press Enter. Windows will then format the partition, and begin to setup Windows. Formatting may take a while to complete, so you are free to roam about the cabin. Once Windows enters setup, it will have prompts for you to enter certain options, like user accounts, localization options, etc.
Go ahead and post back when this is done, and we'll pick up from there!
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#8
andrewreturned

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I know you've already been to the malware forum, so we'll just keep chugging along here.
But first, I'd like to know the computer manufacturer. Did you purchase this from a company, or did you build it? Many computer manufacturers have a way to restore the computer back to the way it was when it left the factory. This would obviously be the best way to do it.
Also, your computer is XP Home w/SP2. Is the OS CD Home w/SP2? And is the sticker on the side of the computer XP Home w/SP2?


My father had built the computer awhile ago and recently made some upgrades to it. I have a copy of the OS CD home, but it's not the one we intially used to install it. it says version 2002 on the cover of the manual. The sticker on the side of the computer doesn't say anything about the SP2.
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#9
123Runner

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Per his posts in malware (found them), it was recommended he reformat. He was cleaned in January and then got reinfected.
The question is, after the reformat and reload of the OS, did you follow Noviciate's instructions for scanners and firewalls? We do not want you to get reinfected.

If you had stated this in your first post I would have recommended reformatting straight away. File sharing has it's risks as you know well and running your PC in this haphazard way is a recipe for disaster. Downloading anything from the internet is a risky business, and not scanning files before opening them also poses a danger.
I suggest that you back up any important files and then reformat and reinstall and start afresh. I'd also not bother to reinstall Limewire as this won't be the last time you mess up your OS if you continue to fileshare. I'll also mention the legal implications if you should choose to download copyrighted content.
There's no way of knowing exactly what harm has been done to your system, and also what may have been messed up. If security settings have been lowered, this will make your PC more likely to be reinfected in future.
I'd also keep one eye on your bank accounts if you access them via this computer or shop online as malware does have the ability to harvest financial information and phone it home. I don't see a firewall installed, which means that it would have been free to do this - if you are relying on the Windows one that comes with SP2, it doesn't monitor outbound connections which makes it less than perfect. I can let you have some links to free pones if you wish.


After that
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#10
wannabe1

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The instructions posted by The Admiral in post #7 are accurate for the actual formatting and install procedure and should work with the product key you have so long as it's the one that belongs to the original disk.
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#11
JSntgRvr

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I have closed this topic. Lets give it another try at the Malware forum before formating. Please continue here:

http://www.geekstogo...nd-t186872.html

Thanks!
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