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Do I Need To Wipe My Harddrive?


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#1 Nervous Tuna

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 07:59 PM

A week ago I was dumb and accidentally downloaded a 'music' codex thing, and consequentially got a virus or rogue. "You have a security problem!" kept popping up in the lower toolbar, and fake virus scans kept popping up. I read up on this problem and did some of the suggested solutions. I downloaded half a dozen virus scanners and all they told me was that I had a virus, but didn't get rid of it. Eventually I used something like RogueKill or something to that affect (I'm on a different computor right now, can't remember what that scan was called, I can find out if it's important) and the popups stopped. However, I still have some kind of fake virus-scan on my desktop, Antivirus 2008 or something. And, my computor is ridiculously slow, has trouble shutting down, and is generally impossible to use.

So I told my computor-genius friend! He tells me that the ONLY way to remove a virus from a computor is to wipe the harddrive. Alright, I don't know him that well but he's really nice and he says that he's done this a million times. So I'm very inclined to trust him.

I'm a luddite. I don't know what to believe. There are a lot of programs, free or not, that claim they can fix your computor, but I don't know if I should believe that. I don't know if I still do have a virus or if my computor is being slow because I downloaded so dang many scanners. CyberDefense seems to think that I still have 16 viruses/infections, it tells me that each time I boot up but of course I need to buy their product in order to fix the 'problem'.

I don't want to wipe the drive if I don't have to. I do have all my files backed up on a Maxtor external harddrive, everything from August or so, and I wouldn't be loosing anything terribly important. But what about all the programs that are on my computor? Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, Wacom Intuos, etc? I have files saved from those programs on the external harddrive, will I be able to see them again if I wipe the harddrive?

My ultimate question is: Is my friend right? Do I need to wipe the drive and start over, or is there another way to do this?

I have Microsoft XP, got the computor in 2005, have McAfee, but I now have a few others as well. (which I'm told is a bad situation and that I should just get rid of all the scanners and antivirus programs.)

Edited by Nervous Tuna, 04 October 2008 - 08:04 PM.


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#2 boopme

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:09 PM

Hi and welcome. Depending on the type of infection a full format may be the best or only option. Do you have the name of it? You can also scan your PC with this,MBAM. Also tell us What you do have installed as far as the AV,antispyware and firewall,thanks. You will be able to save your apps.

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan. If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue. If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
  • On the Scanner tab:
    • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
    • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
  • Back at the main Scanner screen, click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply and exit MBAM.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Regardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware. MBAM may make changes to your registry as part of its disinfection routine. If you're using other security programs that detect registry changes, they may alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please permit the program to allow the changes.

Edited by boopme, 04 October 2008 - 08:11 PM.

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#3 councillor

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:10 PM

I'd rec:

Over the Top repair Install:

Insert your XP CD into your CD drive and restart your computer.

When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed.
DO NOT SELECT this option.

On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP, Follow the menu on the screen to complete Setup.

#4 Nervous Tuna

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:15 PM

I'll do that. I may be able to access this page from my infected computor, but again, it isn't running too great. If I can't get here from that computor, I'll have to print these things tomorrow when I have access to a printer and take care of it then. Thank you for your quick response!

#5 Nervous Tuna

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:40 PM

I tried installing MBAM but while it was downloading, McAfee popped up and told me that it had successfully stopped a trojan. The window disappeared before I could memorize what it said but I think it thought that MBAM either WAS or HAD a trojan in it. ?

Also - prepare yourself for a ridiculously shameful list of virus programs!
These are on my desktop: Ad-Aware, Ad-Watch, PC Support, Smitfraud Fix, 'System Antivirus 2008' (yes, I know that one's a fraud), Spyware Doctor, Mcafee Security (my origional), roguefix_2.204, roguefix, and something called "thumbs", which I don't recognize.

I don't know the name of the infection. I had written down a bunch of infections that I think Ad-Aware 2008 had detected but I no longer know which ones are still here.

I'm also sorry to say that I don't know how to find out what kind of firewall I have. I bet you love it when people like me who don't know the first thing about computors log on.

#6 boopme

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:27 PM

That's ok,we want to help the new as well as the advanced ..we all started at the beginning.
First I'd suggest temporarily disabling Mcafee for the MBAM scan. McAfee doesn't like to play nice withseveral tools for some reason.
see MCAFEE ANTIVIRUS here toa disable and then try the MBAM again

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/114351/how-to-temporarily-disable-your-anti-virus-firewall-and-anti-malware-programs/

The other programs we'll probably remove some lateras sometimes too much is as bad as too little.
Find Firewall:
Go to Start> Control Panel> Security Center
There you will see Firewall. It should have a green light "ON". Next to the light are 2 down arrrows click that and see what it tells you.

Have you run the Smitfraud Fix tool?

Edited by boopme, 04 October 2008 - 09:35 PM.

How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#7 DaChew

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:55 PM

I agree with Boopme, disable McAfee, MBAM can get most of antivirus 2008 if not all of it

A repair install of XP may be necessary however it won't stop either McAfee and the malware from trashing windows all over again

Several times it hasn't helped me a bit in my work on infections, sometimes it was the only way I could get windows working right without a clean install

Spyware Doctor should be disabled, it's incompatible with McAfee
Chewy

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