My parent’s computer has been badly infected (despite my best efforts at implementing security measures for them) by Think Point malware to the extent that it does not now boot up, even in safe mode. I have had help with a similar incident for this PC in the past on this forum, and I know that I would be able to find help which would lead to the safe removal of the software.
However, as they are running on XP, I was wondering would it be quicker and easier to perform a system repair or even re-install the system completely and start from scratch. Most of the important files are saved on an external hard drive, but there may be some that are not on there. The thing is, over the years (the PC is about 6 or 7 years old) there have been a lot of unnecessary files and applications installed – and most of these would need cleaned out anyway, as the PC is becoming very slow and cumbersome. I was just thinking that this may be an easier way to do both things (remove the infection and clean out the unwanted programs) at once.
If I run the repair utility and save the files for the meantime just to check if there are any important files there, should this, in theory also remove the infection? (my instincts say it wouldn’t, for the record). And if I reinstall XP and start from scratch, will this remove the infection?(I am 99% sure it would).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and I think what I am really asking is: would it be a valid strategy to repair first, save what files I can (if any), then re-install and start from scratch?