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Nasty virus on my Alienware Alpha i3. Wont boot the OS. [critical proc


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#1
shadowvoid333

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So about 4 or 5 years ago Walmart had the i3 on a good sale. needless to say, I ended up getting a file that had a virus in it, because at the time I had no protection whatsoever, and it seemed fine among casual inspection. It sat dormant since. Now, I had my friend get me XUbuntu on the console, and by Shore it runs it fine, but Ive grown up my whole life in Windows, so learning an entirely new and open-source OS at 25 years old and not in school anymore is a very confusing and dreadful run. So I would rather just try to get this fixed so I can use the OS I am comfortable in. Forgive me. lol Fixing it would be simpler all in all anyway. But I am not an HTML kinda guy so all this terminal and command manipulation is mostly new to me, at this extent anyway. I will give specs and such as required upon request. And I thank all who read my long intro message and taking time to help this lone soul. Ah, and as another note, I am also locked out of manipulating all my files from Windows/Steam in XUbuntu, other than copying, which then seems to work fine permissions-wise.
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#2
RKinner

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What version of Windows was this?  Most have an option to reload the factory system.  See  https://www.dell.com...ienware-respawn


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#3
shadowvoid333

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I believe it is running a Windows 8.1. I remember trying to use the tools, because I still have a folder on my HDD for AlienRespawnBackup so I tried doing a restore point back then. I tried Windows' restore tools to no avail. I had only been using the console for maybe a month by the time tue virus locked me out.
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#4
RKinner

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If you can't do F12 to do a factory restore then you might want to have a friend download the iso from MS

https://www.microsof...oad/windows8ISO

burn a DVD

and reinstall.  You will need the license number but it should be on the bottom of your PC.


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#5
shadowvoid333

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I know I can still F2 for boot managing, and F10 for general BIOS access. Thats how we were able to even get Linux on the console. But I dont recall a factory restore option, because I was originally cautious about putting a third OS on it, since its a dual-mount already. I didnt know how it would handle that, again, because Im not THAT computer savvy. But that option is what I originally wanted to get to. But I couldnt find it anywhere so I had to change boot order so it could access the drive before it tried booting Windows manager.
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#6
RKinner

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From the 1st link I gave you:

 

If the Operating System cannot be accessed due to boot failure, you can still launch AlienRespawn.

For Windows 8/8.1:
Press F12 during boot (startup screen) and select “AlienRespawn / Dell Backup and Recovery” from the boot menu.

 

There's a picture of the screen on the page near the bottom.


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#7
shadowvoid333

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I tried it, and it did finish it, but it still wouldnt boot. I want to say it was a restore point and I guess I hadnt saved that point until after I already had the issue applied to the system. Ive been wanting to restore control so I can simply delete the files responsible originally, and wipe all other system files and references, but I am only half-hopeful that will help with actually getting rid of the issue itself. Im sure there is more than just physical files at the roots.
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#8
RKinner

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Restore point is different from Factory Restore.  It may be that there is no hidden partition with the Factory image on it and you were supposed to create a DVD when you first got it.  If there is no image on the hard drive and you didn't make a Factory Image DVD then wiping the drive and installing Win 8.1 from scratch using the ISO in the 2nd link is probably the only way to go though you may be able to repair the boot if you boot off the ISO.


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#9
shadowvoid333

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hm. Well its worth a shot to start. Ill have to find a blank CD somewhere when I get back home. Or can I put it on a flashdrive, because I have a couple handy.
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#10
shadowvoid333

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I dont see any picture, and I am here with it now. I hit F12, and the only options I have are Windows boot manager, two "ubuntu", and under "other options" it has BIOS Setup, Diagnostics, and change boot mode settings.
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#11
shadowvoid333

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My bad, I see the picture. Yes my menu does not have that option anymore. So I will start to try and get this .iso downloaded and ready. Thanks for the quick responses btw. You have definitely helped thoroughly thus far.
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#12
RKinner

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The ISO will need a DVD and not a CD.  My mistake.  It's just too big for a CD. 

When you download the file it will ask you for the version you want.  I would just use the Windows 8.1, 64 bit , English unless you know it was something different.

There are ways to use a USB drive instead.

See:

 

https://www.microsof...d-download-tool

 

Then scroll down to:

Installation

To install the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool:

and follow the instructions.


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#13
shadowvoid333

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I downloaded the iso image on a USB stick. I believe I did it right, using Rufus, although some things seemed out of place, it appears to have done what I intended for. I am now in the windows Setup from the USB. Should I go into the "repair your computer" options, or just click the big "Install now" option? Im not sure which route to take for reinstalling the OS from here, as many of my options seem very similar to one another.
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#14
RKinner

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Repair your computer if you want to try to repair the existing install or Install Now if you want to write over the old install (will lose your data).  Since you think you have a virus I would do the Install Now.  Might also help to delete the old partitions to make sure the virus doesn't come back.


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#15
shadowvoid333

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Yes Id rather just wipe what little I did put on it, most of which was just some older files Ive saved to my HDD anyways. So Id imagine Custom Install, since I dont need to keep any old files on the system. Now, since I partitioned a part of my harddrive to put the Ubuntu on it, should I click the pink eraser "Format" on my Drive 0 Partition 6? I know that is the Ubuntu partition because I only allocated approx. 200GB to it, and it is one of two that actually take up significant space on the drive. The other 5 partitions are recovery tools, an ESP, PBR Image, and such.
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