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Possible Infection


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#1 cassie___

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:36 AM

I am running windows xp and recently turned on my laptop to find my entire user profile had been deleted (all my documents... programs still seem in tact). At first I thought it may have been a virus so I used an alternate account I had set up to run nod32 and spybot... no results returned.

Figuring nothing could be done (i had most of my files backed up onto disc) I started over. This happened a week ago, and now my hard drive is saying I have 0% free space (0 bytes)... when my entire documents and settings folder (all users) is under 20gb.. and my windows folder and program files is 10.4gb. My hard drive is 74.5gb useable... so.. any ideas where my other 45ish gb has gone?
I've gone through everything on the drive to try and find the answer... so far no luck.

Could a virus infection be the cause and is the only solution to format and start over?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:18 PM

Welcome to our forum. let's get one more scanlog..

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
  • 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. Alternatively, you can update through MBAM's interface from a clean computer, copy the definitions (rules.ref) located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from that system to a usb stick or CD and then copy it to the infected machine.
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 using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
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#3 cassie___

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:11 AM

Tried to install the program through two of those links, both wouldn't install saying components couldn't be found.

I've decided to format... haven't done it in a long time and if I don't do it now, I will lose motivation. :thumbsup:

Thank you very much for your help though, greatly appreciated!

#4 quietman7

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 09:54 AM

I've decided to format

Sometimes a reformat is the best solution. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. The malware may leave so many remnants behind that security tools cannot find them. Starting over by wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS removes everything and is the safest action.

In case you need help with this, please review "How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP".

These links include step by step instructions:
"Clean Install Windows XP".
"Reformat & Clean Install Windows XP or Vista".
"XP Clean Install Interactive Setup".
"Windows Vista Clean Install".

Reformatting a hard disk deletes all data. If you decide to reformat, you can back up all your important documents, data files and photos. The safest practice is not to backup any autorun.ini or .exe files because they may be infected. Some types of malware may disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing extension of files so be sure you take a close look at the full name. After reformatting, as a precaution, make sure you scan these files with your anti-virus prior to copying them back to your hard drive. Don't forget you will have to go to Microsoft Update and apply all Windows security patches after reformatting. Also see "How to keep your Windows XP activation after clean install"

Note: If your using an IBM, HP, Compaq or Dell machine, you may not have an original XP CD Disk. By policy Microsoft no longer allows OEM manufactures to include the original Windows XP CD-ROM on computers sold with Windows preinstalled. Instead, most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition for performing a clean "factory restore".

If you need additional assistance with reformatting, you can start a new topic in the Windows XP Home and Professional forum.

Tips to protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection:
• "Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe".
• "How did I get infected?, With steps so it does not happen again!".
• "Hardening Windows Security - Part 1 & Part 2".
• "IE Recommended Minimal Security Settings" - "How to Secure Your Web Browser".
• "Use Task Manager to close pop-up messages to safely exit malware attacks"

• Avoid gaming sites, underground web pages, pirated software, crack sites, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs. They are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, exposure of personal information, and identity theft. Many malicious worms and Trojans spread across P2P file sharing networks, gaming and underground sites. Users visiting such pages may see innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads and Flash ads that install viruses, Trojans and spyware. Ads are a target for hackers because they offer a stealthy way to distribute malware to a wide range of Internet users. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid these types of web sites and not use any P2P applications. Read P2P Software User Advisories and Risks of File-Sharing Technology.

Edited by quietman7, 13 December 2008 - 09:58 AM.

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