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Need advice for reformatting after reader_s infection

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#1 tizizzle


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 11:45 PM

Hi guys this is my first post on the forum but I've been here many times trying to find a solution for this reader_s problem.

I've formatted my computer before, but the virus keeps coming back. Now I've read that this virus survives the reformat process, so I thought initially that this may be the reason I get reinfected.

Just today I also found out that it manifests itself in .exe files. I've backed up a lot of these type of files on an external hard drive before I reformatted before, so it seems very likely that i have been reinfecting myself by simply using the .exe files on my hard drive (or using my hard drive in general) after reformatting.

Now I'm pretty confused as to which is the real reason for me being reinfected, the fact that the virus survives reformats or using my hard drive.

Anyway, I had a couple of questions, first, I deleted every .exe, .htm, and other files that these virut infections may manifest themselves in that were on my hard drive- does that mean my external hard drive is safe to use now (i.e. like on a non-infected computer)? All that exists now on it is .jpg, .avi, and .mp3 files and the like.

Also, I decided that its time for another re-format. But knowing that the virus survives reformat, I'm confused on how to continue. I've read the excellent thread on this forum detailing that you have to reinstall and THEN reformat windows, and in many cases the virus is gone after doing this.

Now the only problem I have with this solution is that I'm working on a laptop. The only thing I really can do is reformat to the point at which I bought the laptop (i guess you can call it the point at which you first turn on the computer for the first time after buying it). My next question is this: by going back to this point, is it enough to prevent the virus from resurfacing (i.e. is it equivalent to reinstalling and reformatting)?

Sorry for the long post, and I hope it makes sense. I appreciate any help, thanks a lot.

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#2 boopme


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Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:00 AM

Helllo,is this an XP or a VIsta PC?

you have to reinstall and THEN reformat windows

This should be reformat then reinstall correct?

Not an unwise decision to make. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS or doing a factory restore removes everything and is the safest action but I cannot make that decision for you.

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.

The best proceedure is a low level format. This completely wipes the drive. Then reinstall the OS.
Use the free version of Active@ KillDisk.
Or Darik's Boot And Nuke

The best sources of Information on this are
Reformatting Windows XP
Michael Stevens Tech

Of course also feel free to ask anything on this in the XP forum. They'd be glad to help.
2 guidelines/rules when backing up

1) Backup all your important data files, pictures, music, work etc... and save it onto an external hard-drive. These files usually include .doc, .txt, .mp3, .jpg etc...
2) Do not backup any executables files or any window files. These include .exe's, .scr, .com, .pif etc... as they may contain traces of malware. Also, .html or .htm files that are webpages should also be avoided.
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