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Desperate! How can I rescue my files?


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#1
Melbel615

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I am not very tech friendly, so please bear with me. I don't know what I am doing with my comp 99% of the time, but I can follow isntructions really well!

About a month ago, I got a virus or something. Windows randomly shut down and when I tried to start it up again, it wouldn't. So, I did what I now know is not that bright and did a recovery. Afterward, all my music and videos were gone. Apparently, they were put behind a partition. So I have been told, anyway. I have no back up of anything because I never thought this could happen. D'OH! My comp looked and acted like it had just come out of the box. I got rid of the factory installed programs I didn't want and began to re-download things like books and a couple seasons of my favorite TV shows. Thats when I noticed that I didn't have much space because all of my previous downloads are still in there...somewhere...maybe.

After a few weeks, the same thing happens again and now I am down to very little space on my drive. So, a couple days ago, a friend suggests getting a flash drive and making something he called a "live boot" disc and trying to restore my lost files. Since he said the thing that hurt me wsa a ROOT he did battle with for about 12 hours before removing it, he suggested that I might be better off just trying to save what I can on the flash drive and formatting my drive and then reinstalling Windows etc. Ok, I can do that. I hear its a pain, but I would be very happy to have my space back and whatever I can salvage of my files would be great.

Now, I am lost and my friend cannot help me as he is very busy at work. He has tried, but we don't have much time to talk and his instructions don't make sense to me.

What can I download and burn to disk thats a "live boot" OS? Do I burn it to cd or dvd? Once thats made, how do I use it and the flash drive to access and rescue what I can from the partitioning thingie that my comp did when I did the recovery? After that, how do I format and make sure that all badness is permanently erased? After the 2nd recovery, it took about 5 minutes for this nasty lil bugger to start popping up again and I want it gone for good.

There are a lot of free downloads of what I need from what my friend tells me and i do occasionally go to P2P sites and download torrents, so a point at the right type of download that would be easy to use would be very helpful.
I so appreciate any help you guys can give!
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#2
**Brian**

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Melbel:

What is the brand name of your computer (Dell, HP. Compaq, Etc) Nowadays there are so many computers out there that each one has their own restore setup and you will need to know how to do the recovery for your machine. Also, what Operating System are you running? (Windows XP, Vista Home Premium, etc.)

About a month ago, I got a virus or something. Windows randomly shut down and when I tried to start it up again, it wouldn't. So, I did what I now know is not that bright and did a recovery. Afterward, all my music and videos were gone. Apparently, they were put behind a partition. So I have been told, anyway. I have no back up of anything because I never thought this could happen. D'OH! My comp looked and acted like it had just come out of the box. I got rid of the factory installed programs I didn't want and began to re-download things like books and a couple seasons of my favorite TV shows. Thats when I noticed that I didn't have much space because all of my previous downloads are still in there...somewhere...maybe.

I am not very tech friendly, so please bear with me. I don't know what I am doing with my comp 99% of the time, but I can follow isntructions really well!

After a few weeks, the same thing happens again and now I am down to very little space on my drive. So, a couple days ago, a friend suggests getting a flash drive and making something he called a "live boot" disc and trying to restore my lost files. Since he said the thing that hurt me wsa a ROOT he did battle with for about 12 hours before removing it, he suggested that I might be better off just trying to save what I can on the flash drive and formatting my drive and then reinstalling Windows etc. Ok, I can do that. I hear its a pain, but I would be very happy to have my space back and whatever I can salvage of my files would be great.


First, if you believe that you had a virus, you should visit our Malware Forum and be sure to read THIS topic It will explain how to post a HJT log and will give you a list of programs you should run. Once you read this, follow its directions, and post a HJT log. One of our Malware Staff will take a look at what is going on, and be able to determine if you have malware on your machine, and will help you remove it. Please be advised that the Malware Forum is very busy and it could take time to get a response - If after posting your log, you wait 3 days and you have not received a reply, Please DO NOT bump your log, but post a link Here (The Waiting Room) and someone will respond. Our Malware Team are good people, and they should be able to help you rid your machine of malware and get you cleaned up.

Second: copying information from drive to drive is pretty simple, but I would wait until given the "all clear" by the Malware Experts. copying information now, if your machine is indeeed infected, may further infect your machine - which could make the problem worse.

Now, I am lost and my friend cannot help me as he is very busy at work. He has tried, but we don't have much time to talk and his instructions don't make sense to me.


I am sure that one of our Malware Experts and our Tech Team Experts can help you - Just follow thier directions, and if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask - They have helped me take care of some really nasty stuff :)

What can I download and burn to disk thats a "live boot" OS? Do I burn it to cd or dvd? Once thats made, how do I use it and the flash drive to access and rescue what I can from the partitioning thingie that my comp did when I did the recovery? After that, how do I format and make sure that all badness is permanently erased? After the 2nd recovery, it took about 5 minutes for this nasty lil bugger to start popping up again and I want it gone for good.

There are a lot of free downloads of what I need from what my friend tells me and i do occasionally go to P2P sites and download torrents, so a point at the right type of download that would be easy to use would be very helpful.
I so appreciate any help you guys can give!


Once you have been cleared by the Malware Experts, then we can worry about recovery - I will defer to them, because I am not supposed to give Malware Removal advice, as I am still in training.

Good Luck!!

Brian

Edited by **Brian**, 16 October 2008 - 07:19 AM.

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#3
Melbel615

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Thanks, Brian. I am using a Compaq and I am running XP. Should have thought to include that. I am given to understand that it would be easiest to just rescue what I can of my files from the partition to the flash drive and then format to remove Windows since the nasty lil bugger that started this mess seems to live there. I guess I'll have to take my lumps for not having a rescue disk and not backing up anything.

I was told the thing to do would be to download Knoppix or something like it, burn it to disk, set up so that the comp boots from disk, go in somehow and get the files that are partitioned and DONT have .exe extensions (like my .avi and mp3's), put them on the flash drive, and then format to wipe out everything that could be harboring this lil monster. I was told that some of the files would be lost forever since they could have been written over when I did the recoveries and downloaded a few books and a season or two of my favorite tv series, but thats ok. Saving some is better than losing all.

My HUGE mistakes seem to have been using the comp and downloading after the recovery and not having a rescue disk made. My comp didn't come with disks and I put off making them until it was too late. I will post in the Malware forum if you think thats best, but I really believe that with my lack of skills, lack of disks made, and the nature of the beastie, it would be simpler to just save what I can and wipe everything out. I just don't know exactly what I need to have to do a "live boot" and I don't know exactly how to get into the partitioned area to download my not exe files to the flash drive.

I am pretty sure its malware or a virus (if those things are different) because it took over my desktop with a blue screen, warning text, and it even made copies of my normal desktop icons that didn't work, and it keeps popping a thing up in my tray that says "Your computer is infected. Windows has detected spyware infection. It is recommedned to use anit spyware tools. Windows will now download and install blah blah blah. Click here to protect your computer from spyware" It does this every few seconds sometimes and every few minutes others. Even after the restore. Im heading to the malware forums and going to post a log from Hijack.
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#4
RatHat

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I would follow Brian's advice and post the problem in the Malware forum.

MP3's can be infected with the Wimad malware, so it would be best to get the computer clean first.
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#5
**Brian**

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Melbel:

Thank you for that information!

As Rathat has also stated, it is a good idea to visit the Malware forum to clean the machine of anything that is malware related - If you simply wipe the machine, you could also have something else going on and you could lose more data that way. It is NOT advisable to simply wipe the machine if you have any hope of recovering any of you data, but you want to get cleaned up because it can be more of a hassle to simply wipe the drive, you also could have something living in your restore partition if you've saved any files there. This could lead to reinfection.

Good Luck!!

Brian
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#6
Melbel615

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sigh, I tried to post a HJT log in the Malware forums, but I can't get HJT to work! I dl'd it, have an icon on my desktop and in the start menu...but I click and nothing! What did I do wrong?
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#7
123Runner

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Follow the instructiond in the malware forum. They will ask for the HJT log when needed. Part of your problem can be affecting running the HJT file. Again get the all clear from there first.
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