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Restore system - advice for now and the future requested


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#1
kylindryl

kylindryl

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I have a Toshiba laptop (A100 PSAA8C-TA202C). The model specs are here http://www.atic.ca/i...gDesc&sku=32393.

It has worked fine up until recently. I use the computer mostly for playing WoW (I know, I know...) Of course I also access the Internet a good bit, and my husband like to watch streamed videos. Considering that spyware and adware are rampant these days I may have come into issues with these.

Here is what I have done and what I now plan on doing:

I have gone through the malware removal information (elsewhere), run combofix, malabytes, hijack this, posted logs and so on. I did receive a response, but never received a reply on my follow-up question.

I have found recommended antiviruus (AVG) and antispyware (superspyware ?? at work atm, and don't remember the name). Run them, run the fixes. No help, other than the Spyware removed my sound driver. (Which I have since reinstalled).

Updated my graphics driver to the latest version.

Run all of the fixes recommended from Blizzard support for improving framerate (fps in WoW is my main issue). No change in framrate, but did result in "too many open ports on my computer" - the response to my Hijack this log. I went back and closed the additional ports I had opened.

Looked through my start-up menu (msconfig) and turned off any unnessary programs. Uninstalled programs that I no longer use.

I also upgraded my RAM from the 2 512 cards to 2 1GB cards. This helped for about a week. Then it went bad again.

My roommate secured the wireless. (Which is what I use for the Internet.)

I defragged my computer. I uninstalled and reinstalled WoW (waste of time) I ran the Blizzard repair utility. I deleted all my add-ons.

Sorry so long - but I have tried everything!!

This is what I plan to do next: create the recovery disks from the factory image on my D drive. Back up the files I want to keep. Wipe the whole darn thing clean and start over.

My questions (finally you say!)

1. Since I did not create the recovery disks the day that I took the machine out of the box, is the factory image potentially corrupted? Or should I actually be safe doing this?

2. Any reccomendationd for how to go about this? I will be getting a copy of the users manual and following the instructions there, but any additional advice would be appreciated. Somebody mentioned insuring that I have downloaded the drivers for the Internet first. Does this apply if I am using the recovery disks? Or only if I am just installing XP on a wiped system?

3. Once this is completed what are my steps to secure my system? I am thinking get spyware, get antivirus, create a user account (so that I am not loggin onto the system as an admin all the time.) What would you recommend after a complete system restore?

If you have made it this far thanks so much! Please feel free to ask any questions, request any new steps (ie: rerun all the malware stuff and post logs) what ever... I would appreciate if you would mention the reason for the requests. I tend to get my back up at Do X (no reason given) - it makes me a little wary... as I now feel like I have hurt my system more than I have helped it for not completely understanding what I am doing.

Patiently waiting for any and all advice!!
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#2
Ferrari

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It is possible that you may have a Malware issue. Malware advice can only be given by Staff Members and such subjects can only be discussed in the Malware Forums. START HERE...and if this is a no go, post a new topic stating your problems HERE (No where else). When you get a clean bill of health from the Malware Staff, if you are still having problems, come back to This topic. Someone will be more than happy to assist you.

Also, You will notice the "Start Here" has many things you have already done, but keep reading. There is somewhat of a process to getting you fixed up. Good Luck!

EDIT: I noticed you wanted some advice for the future also. The Malware Staff will be able to give you a lot, but I wanted to recommend you read this guide by Artellos...What makes your machine slow? It is most definitely a great way to keep your computer speedy and cleaned up.

You should only perform these steps in that guide after you have recieved a clean bill of health from the Malware Staff

Edited by Ferrari, 20 March 2009 - 07:32 PM.

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#3
isimaster

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There is the possibility it is your monitor starting to go.
That being said, if you do choose to rebuild.

1. Since I did not create the recovery disks the day that I took the machine out of the box, is the factory image potentially corrupted? Or should I actually be safe doing this?

The factory image is the state the machine was in, the day you took it out of the box. Since you haven't mentioned anything about hard drive issues. It's unlikely your image is corrupt. It's on a separate partition from your operating system. You should be able to do a factory restore from the hidden partition. (Before you begin, DO create the recovery disc's, its always good to have them, just in case)

2. Any reccomendationd for how to go about this?

To access the Toshiba recovery partition, power off the laptop. Hold down the 0 (zero) key and turn the laptop on. Keep holding down the zero key until the TOSHIBA logo appears, where you should start tapping the zero key repeatedly. Stop if the unit beeps or when the TOSHIBA logo disappears. The screen should flash ** HDD RECOVERY MODE ** for a split second, then load the Toshiba recovery program right from the hard drive.

Note that this erases all data, and reloads all factory default software. Be sure to back up all your important personal data beforehand!

Somebody mentioned insuring that I have downloaded the drivers for the Internet first. Does this apply if I am using the recovery disks? Or only if I am just installing XP on a wiped system?

Your machine will be in the same state as the day you took it out of the box. You don't have to reinstall windows. (Just for conversation- If you did actually reformat your drive and re-install windows, yes it would be a good idea to download drivers first, especially the lan driver)

3. Once this is completed what are my steps to secure my system? I am thinking get spyware, get antivirus, create a user account (so that I am not loggin onto the system as an admin all the time.) What would you recommend after a complete system restore?

There are many good Antivirus/Malware solutions, some very good free one's.
I happen to use VIPRE, from sunbelt-software.
And Yes, Yes, Yes, do create a user that isn't in the admin group, with admin rights. (Sorry about that, I am thrilled see someone using the security architecture the way it's supposed to be used!!!) :)

Edited by isimaster, 20 March 2009 - 10:56 PM.

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#4
sari

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Kylindril,

You have two choices here. I'm not sure from your description exactly what problems you're having. If you'd like to try the malware removal first, however, you can follow the instructions Ferrari posted for you, and then post the necessary logs in the Malware forum (not here). No one is going to post once to you and then not follow up in there, so if you do have malware that may resolve your issue.

If you don't have malware, or you get helped there and you're still having issues, you could then come back to this thread and get help with the system recovery.

What would be helpful would be an explanation of the problems you're experiencing. You've told us what you've done to fix the problems, but you haven't really given us information about what the problems are. :)
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#5
kylindryl

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Thanks all for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

I am going to go through and put in the Malware steps (although it may be Monday or so before I get around to it.)

I am not sure what happened, but all my issues disappeared!! I think what actually fixed the problem was cleaning out my fan and heat sink (compressed air). The last time I did this was at the same time as I had installed the new RAM so I think that may have caused the major issue. I also found a config.What the... that seems to work well for WoW...

Just to clarify - my problem was that the computer seemed to be operating too slowly to process the visual information that was transmitted by the WoW game. Task manager always had 100% system use when I would look at it. I know that there are lots of people that have had that problem in high activity areas (major cities, lots of characters rendering) but I would get it staring at a blank wall in an empty starting area. Outside of this particular issue I haven't had any other system symptoms. (My random IE pop-ups stopped the first round of Malware clean-up).

Of course, now at this point I seem to have messed up my sound device, so I am trying to figure out what happened there.

So yeah - computer overheating = giant system slowdown... I may have wasted $75 on RAM that I bought with my fan/heatsink thing and can of air. (But I don't regret it one bit... yummy RAM :))
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