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Viruses=reinstall Windows

post #1 of 14
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My friend has a computer and he recently scanned it and found it has 31,000 viruses and 500 spywares!! LOL (I know...he's been a very naughty boy). And he has asked me to fix it, so I said I would have to reinstall the operating system and reformat the entire HDD, thus erasing everything. So I told him to back up the important files on a CD. So everything I have to do is bring a bootable Windows XP disk, insert it in his PC, reboot, then follow the onscreen directions right? Because there is absolutely no way to get rid of all those viruses/spyware/adware with just software.
post #2 of 14
Make sure you write down all the applicable hardware before you format it in case you need to chase down drivers. (Device Manager)

I would use file and settings transfer wizard - hook up a secondary drive or external drive for this. (I have a 250GB external drive I keep around expressly for this purpose.)

Before you head over, download SP2 and burn it to CD. Do not put his computer on the 'net until you have installed SP2. (I also recommend you order the CDs (free) from MS every now and then - the SP2 CDs come with all the latest patches (well, all the latest when the CD was made.. which makes rebuilding easy.))

I would also bring a CD with Ad-aware, MS Anti-spyware or whatever your favorite flavor is to install before hooking back up to internet.

I would also bring AV software (GriSoft is better than nothing and is free) - again install before heading on the internet.

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post #3 of 14
actually you could probably delete them in safemode PRESS F8 right before windows loads our if them viruses gots brans then your screwed i mean by this is if you scan and try to delete the viruses they will atack the ciruses scaneer
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post #4 of 14
If you have that many viruses, reinstall won't nessisarly remove them all. The safest way in my past knowledge is to delete the main system partition of the windows drive, then recreate it, format it, then reinstall windows.

The easiest way to do this, if you have windows xp, is to run the install cd from startup, select the drive you have windows on, or do it to all drives if more then one. Click the button option to delete the partition/s, if you get warnings click ok, then click the button to create a new partition. When it gives you the next screen with numbers just click enter or ok.

Then format/install windows. This can be done in DOS or with DOS partition magic as well for the partitions, and formatting. Just reinstalling windows won't always delete every virus.

Note: also if you save files to another drive before formatting, they may also be infected. Do not use them after clean install without scanning them first.
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post #5 of 14
I beats my cusion's record... (13,000~ viruses, 30,000~ spyware) I bet all girls (except for the ones on oc.net) have that many infections....
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post #6 of 14
nah the dumbest blond in school only had 1 virus when she told me her comp was being dumb
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post #7 of 14
You can AV/spyware scan saved files before moving them back to main system.

A format will kill most virus - unless he booted to an infected floppy or USB device.
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post #8 of 14
There is also the case of viruses that have entered the partition information, or the master disk files. That is why I mention redoing the partition. You may not find it in a virus scan, but with that many viruses it is always possable they are infected in some way as well. I myself never reinstall windows without a fresh partition, just for security reasons; plus I feel it is the cleanest way to go when installing. No old files, no old partition information, all fresh and ready to go.
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post #9 of 14
There are some boot sector virus' that will basically eat your HD if you remove the MBR or even rebuild it. (One_Half (and more recent strains ) for example, encrypts a few sectors at a time on each boot - and if you blow away the MBR, you lose that space forever.)

A virus scan on MBR is always best first before assuming

Can also just make it a slave somewhere else to unlock the MBR (rather than boot CDs with AV, etc.)

(But boot sector virii are quite rare. And if AV software is deployed that is of any worth, it will be detected (although the cleanup of it is painful.))

Though just about the only way I would expect to see a boot sector or MBR virus these days is if someone has multiboot and has some common INT 13h access variant.
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post #10 of 14
Eat the HD if rebuilt or removed? Hmm, news to me..
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