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Virus Changed All File Names


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#1 dandnw

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 09:17 PM

Have an e-machine - that runs (or ran) Wndows XP. Virus has changed the spelling of all the start up files. Have tried system restore and even destructive system restore using the disc that came with the computer, but it won't fix the computer enough to even get in to safe mode. Can get into boot menu (F-10) and system restore (F-11) where all the words are garbled. Any ideas??? Thank you,
Nancy

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#2 durian123

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 11:01 PM

Hi, I am by no means an expert, as I have issues in my own XP that I am here to get help with, but I would say you will likely not change them (the files) back, so you might want to save whatever you can in the way of data.
I would wait for others to respond before trying this, but I would probably load the hard drive into another computer, and access it from there to attempt to save anything such as pictures or letters, which should be possible if the file extensions (the three letters after the dot) are still the same as they should be.
Then, I would place the drive back into the original PC, then full format and re-install the XP.
If you have no important data to save, just wipe it all clean and start again right away.
To do this, you will need a copy of the actual XP operating system installation disc that matches your operating system, (Not what they call a 'restore disc') and you might have to contact Microsoft with the old product key that should be on the PC case to get it validated.
The other way is to do what is called a 'repair install' which is writing the XP over the top of the existing XP without formatting.
You might try getting more info on that, then you might be able to save more data. After which you can format and reinstall XP to ensure no infections are still there.
The whole thing (course of action) will depend on how much data you need to save, if any.
Above all, don't rush, wait until you get a few responses.

#3 DaChew

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 11:39 PM

Emachines have had a rash of bad motherboards in the last year or so, probably shortly after the warranty expires

This does not sound like malware as those errors would seem to be bios corruption

I have asked one of the staff to look at the post, he has more experience with such problems

A bios infecting virus would be bad

even worse than a boot sector one?

Edited by DaChew, 10 June 2008 - 11:40 PM.

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#4 usasma

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 06:03 AM

How did you accomplish a destructive System Restore with the garbled display?
I would initially suspect an issue with the motherboard here - but there's a couple of steps that you can take to be sure.

First, try pressing F2 on the screen where you can press F10/F11. That will take you into the system's BIOS. Try resetting all the values to default/failsafe/optimized. There should be an option for this listed at the bottom of the screen. Don't forget to save the changes when you exit.

Next, if the garbled characters are still there, try using another monitor to ensure that it's not the monitor or cables that are at fault.
Then, try another video card to see if the garbled stuff goes away (if you purchase this card, make sure that you can return it to the store for a refund if needed).

If that doesn't fix it, then I would believe that the motherboard is the problem here. We can troubleshoot further, but it will require a system stripdown to prove/rule out the motherboard as the cause ( http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/70216/hardware-troubleshooting-via-system-stripdown/ ). Sometimes other malfunctioning components can cause the motherboard to act up.

One other step to try would be a flash of the BIOS - but I wouldn't try that until the very last step.
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#5 dandnw

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:41 AM

I will try what you have suggested. You asked how I did a destructive system restore with a garbled screen - oddly enough, we can get all 53 programs to load, which leads back to the restore screen, the garbled file names are all in what I think is the DOS stuff, the screens you normally see flash by when the computer reboots or when you press an f key in that process. On those screens, even though they are garbled, I can tell what most of them used to say: i.e. instead of Y/N it says Q/P and system is sqstam etc. I know the problem isn't in the monitor because that one screen is okay and while the system recovery disc is (supposedly) reloading everything, the screen is fine showing each 1 of 53 as it loads.
The computer came loaded with XP, so of course there is no disc., but I do have all of the original paperwork etc., that came with it when I bought it (for my sister) so if there's a license # for the XP, it should be there.
Sure enough, the computer was purchased 16 months ago, so of course it is no longer under warranty. If it is a problems with many e-machines, shouldn't they make it right? If not, they are going to get a heck of a bad reputation!
Thank you,
Nancy

#6 dandnw

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:52 AM

I clicked on the link to system stripdown, it appears that memtest86 is a download and speedfan appears to be another download, but there are so many links on that page, how do I know which one to use?
Thanks,
Nancy

#7 DaChew

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 06:56 AM

Please use a working computer and the memtest link to download and create a bootable cd for testing memory, I doubt that the memory is the problem. However we need to see what happens when you boot to a cd, not some files on your hard drive or even an extended bios

An entry level 16 month old emachine off warranty is not a very good bet for sending to a shop
After the repair bill, you would be lucky to sell it for that much. Planned obsolescense

the liscense should be the coa sticker with the number on the outside of the case

Edited by DaChew, 13 June 2008 - 06:59 AM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.




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