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Best Xp Reinstall Instructions If Malware Is Unbearable?


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#1 JDM2

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:14 AM

Hi, I might be looking on the wrong part of the site, but is there documentation available here, which I can print off, and that describes step-by-step (so even a fifth-grader could do it) how to reinstall Windows XP from scratch?

I have tried to fix this person's computer with various anti-virus and anti-spyware tools and the computer still takes forever to boot up. And when it's booted up and she can see her desktop icons, it takes 10 or 15 minutes before she can actually click on any of them.

So I am thinking reinstall XP is the best option, since I probably spent close to 30 hours over the past month trying to fix it.

Any helpful links to reinstalling XP most welcome and appreciated.

I tried google, but I want to make sure I use the one which is the most step-by-step since I'm not an expert, but not a novice either.

Thanks very much,

Jeff

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:39 AM

These links include step by step instructions:
"Reformat & Clean Install Windows".
"Clean Install Windows XP".
"XP Clean Install (Interactive Setup)".
"Clean Install Procedure with Illustrative Screen Captures".

Some types of malware can result in a system so badly damaged that a Repair Install will NOT help!. Reinstalling Windows without first wiping the entire hard drive with a repartition and/or format will not remove the infection. The reinstall will only overwrite the Windows files. Any malware on the system will still be there afterwards. Starting over, reformatting the drive and performing a clean install of the OS removes everything and is the safest action. Please read "When should I re-format?"
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#3 JDM2

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 12:00 PM

Thanks much for the fast reply, Quietman. If I choose to reformat, is it okay for me to use my XP install CD and the serial number printed on the side of her computer, during setup? She lost her XP disc, so I think we'll have to use mine (although my disc says for reinstallation of XP on a Dell system only; her computer isn't a Dell).

Also, do you know if there's a way I can rule out this very slow startup being a hardware problem. Would something like Everest tell me that?

SDFix found one trojan, something like C:\windows\regedit.com, IIRC. But the rest of the scan looked okay. I know, I know, I shouldn't have used SDFix, without first consulting an expert. :thumbsup: But I took a risk and did it anyway, in safe mode, of course.

AntiVir and SAS run in safe mode finds no issues.

Turn off cable modem while reinstalling XP and don't connect to the internet until after the firewall and SP2 are installed? Hopefully when we turn the modem back on, after XP is reinstalled, the internet will connect without having to call the ISP.

Thanks for everything, Quietman.

EDIT: Can I use OTMoveIT to get rid of:

C:\Documents and Settings\Jeff\My Documents\DAP\History

It's leftover from a download manager (Download Accelerator Plus was the name of it, I think), and even unlocker won't get rid of it.

Thanks,

Jeff

Edited by JDM2, 18 January 2008 - 02:48 PM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 09:07 PM

She lost her XP disc...

"How Do I Replace A Lost, Damaged Microsoft Windows XP CD?"
"How to replace Microsoft software"

do you know if there's a way I can rule out this very slow startup being a hardware problem

If the computer seems to be slow, read Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware.

FileASSASSIN.zip is a tool that can delete locked files on your system. It uses advanced techniques to unload modules, close remote handles, and terminate processes to allow the removal of the file. I find it more effective than unlocker.
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#5 JDM2

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:05 AM

She lost her XP disc...

"How Do I Replace A Lost, Damaged Microsoft Windows XP CD?"
"How to replace Microsoft software"

do you know if there's a way I can rule out this very slow startup being a hardware problem

If the computer seems to be slow, read Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware.

FileASSASSIN.zip is a tool that can delete locked files on your system. It uses advanced techniques to unload modules, close remote handles, and terminate processes to allow the removal of the file. I find it more effective than unlocker.

Thanks for the advice. I tried using my XP CD in her computer, but when we got to the point of entering the Product Key, it would not let us get any farther (I was entering the product key on the side of her computer).

I was on the phone with Microsoft four times last night and they said the XP was OEM software and that I needed to contact Gateway in order to get a new product key. However, when I called Gateway, they said they don't give out product keys. Gateway said I should find the red reinstallation CD with the word "drivers" on it, and if I insert that and reformat, a product key won't be necessary. So I think I'm screwed unless and until the original XP CD can be found.

File Assassin couldn't delete that path. It is not a file that needs deleted, but rather a folder/path. FA error was "The file does not exist or is not visible to File Assassin." I'm thinking OTMoveIT will kill it, though. But kind of afraid to try it.

Not sure what to try next.

Thanks for your reply, Quietman.

Jeff

#6 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:42 AM

Sounds like DAP was not uninstalled properly. With some programs its best to do the uninstall in safe mode. Try re-downloading/re-installing DAP and and the uninstall in Add/Remove Programs or its folder should work but I would still do that in safe mode.

OTMoveIT is a specialized tool we use with removing persistent malware. It is not intended for general or routine use.
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#7 JDM2

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:19 PM

Sounds like DAP was not uninstalled properly. With some programs its best to do the uninstall in safe mode. Try re-downloading/re-installing DAP and and the uninstall in Add/Remove Programs or its folder should work but I would still do that in safe mode.

OTMoveIT is a specialized tool we use with removing persistent malware. It is not intended for general or routine use.


Thanks for your reply, Quietman.

I tried to remove it in Safe Mode months ago. Wouldn't do it.

What if I install Windows 98 on this girl's computer instead of XP? She only has like 200MB of memory, which I think is more suitable to 98. And maybe 98 won't ask for a product key. Bad idea? :thumbsup: Serious question, though. She just wants a computer to use the internet (she has a fast as heck cable modem) and to type a few Word doc's. I don't know if Firefox is compatible with Win 98, because I think otherwise she'd get a virus pretty quick using IE.

Don't you think?

Thanks again for writing me back.

Jeff

#8 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:32 PM

Reverting to an old vesion is a security risk which I would not recommend.

Regardless of what she wants to use the computer for, there are three primary ways to legally obtain a software license for Microsoft products.
1. Purchasing a new PC equipped with OEM Microsoft software and equipment.
2. Purchasing Microsoft products "off the shelf" from a certified Microsoft retailer.
3. Signing a Volume License Agreement.

Please read the BC Discussion/Message Boards Rules

No subject matter will be allowed whose purpose is to defeat existing copyright or security measures. If a user persists and/or the activity is obviously illegal the staff reserves the right to remove such content and/or ban the user. This would also mean encouraging the use or continued use of pirated software is not permitted, and subject to the same consequences.


I recommend that you get back with Gateway and reiterate you cannot find the original CD so you cannot do as they suggested. If they refuse, then go back to Microsoft, advise them what is going on with Gateway and ask for further instruction because you want to do this legally.
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#9 JDM2

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:42 PM

Not doing anything illegal, trust me. I spent two hours on the phone multiple times with both MS and Gateway last night. Each company blames the other. Surprise, surprise. I told Gateway that I was using the Product Key (genuine) on the side of her computer for the reinstall. The Gateway store the computer was purchased from went out of business a few years ago, otherwise we could take it in there. There are no Gateway stores in the area and maybe it's just me but it seems silly to pay for a new CD when it came with XP already installed on it and also because we do have what was supposed to be a working product key which is printed on the side of the computer.

Thanks for the advice. Don't know why these companies have to make everything so difficult. Of course, lesson learned is not to lose the original disc in case you ever have to reinstall Windows. And I didn't lose mine, I keep it in a safe place, but unfortunately she lost hers. I think I am going to ransack her house later tonight because I'm pretty positive it's there... somewhere.

Thanks for the suggestions and sorry I get a bit p!ssed off at this. :thumbsup:

Jeff

EDIT: Oh, and here's a bit of humor. When I told the tech. at Gateway we didn't have the XP reinstall CD and how to go about getting a new one he said "Oh, we haven't had any of those since 2000." I replied, "Um, XP didn't even come out until Fall 2001!"

*crickets chirping*

Edited by JDM2, 19 January 2008 - 12:48 PM.


#10 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 01:00 PM

Your welcome Jeff and I certainly can understand the frustration.

I responded as I did because others reading this thread could get the impression your trying to circumvent the "system". I'm just trying to help and guide things along so you don't do something illegal without realizing it. Microsoft does not always make things easy and their policies can be so technical, that they are confusing at times. Thus, many folks find themselves in such situations, get angry, then act without thinking through what they are actually doing.
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#11 JDM2

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 01:14 PM

then act without thinking through what they are actually doing.

Kinda like liberals, eh? :thumbsup:




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