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Doing a complete format/reinstall of XP, confused about several parts?


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#1 wtfer

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:27 AM

Well I have a backdoor rootkit on my system & posted on the help sections, but while I'm waiting in queue for the response, I been reading up on other threads & articles on rootkits.

Some articles talk that there is no 100% way to be sure that you'd gotten rid of the hidden rootkits & the only way is to do a complete format of the hard drive & reinstall XP like this article.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/082806-rootkits.html

ôSome people say, in order to eradicate a rootkit, you should reinstall the whole system," says Mike Stahlberg, research manager at F-Secure, one of the few security vendors to offer a desktop rootkit detection and removal tool."


I'm willing to do this, if there is no way to clean up my system in the end.

I have a HP Pavilion AMD 3000 XP a510n desktop, but when I bought the PC 7 years ago. It came with XP home edition pre-reinstalled & it did not come with the physical disc.
So I never installed XP myself, what version of XP should I buy? I remember hearing that there were half a dozen versions being sold. I don't do any business on my PC & just need the basic version. How much are they going for nowadays & are they hard to find in stores now that Vista has been released?

Also about the processes that I don't quite understand:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4900870_format-rei...windows-xp.html

1) When it comes to deleting my current C: drive partitions, I also want to delete my D: recovery drive too since it might be infected as well, but it only instructs me to to just reformat my main C: drive. How would I go about reformatting both? Do I reinstall XP twice to do both?

2 It also talks about reinstalling drivers for my system even if I can't go online after the XP install.

locate the 'Drivers and Utilities" CD's that came with your computer hardware. The main drivers include the 'Ethernet Drivers', 'Graphics Drivers', and 'Audio Drivers'. Installation should be as simple as inserting the disk and running the installer

I do not have that disk. Can I just copy the drivers files from my folders like in C:\Windows\system32\drivers\......sys for my Net Adapter onto a external HDD & just move it back to that exact folder after the install? OR does that not constitute a install?

I'd appreciate any help.

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:38 AM

1) When it comes to deleting my current C: drive partitions, I also want to delete my D: recovery drive too since it might be infected as well, but it only instructs me to to just reformat my main C: drive. How would I go about reformatting both? Do I reinstall XP twice to do both?


During the Windows XP setup, you would be prompted to select which partition (C: d: etc) you want to install Windows XP to. Highlight a partition and hit D to delete it. Choose Yes when asked. This way delete all partitions you see. In the end, you would have only unpartitioned space left. Now hit C to create a partition and create partition of your desired size (you would want to partitions c: and d: so choose half the size of your hard disk). Now you would have a partition C: and some unpartitioned space. Do the same to create partition d: in the remaining space. When this is done, select C: to install XP to. Dont forget to choose a FULLl NTFS format when asked.


2 It also talks about reinstalling drivers for my system even if I can't go online after the XP install.

locate the 'Drivers and Utilities" CD's that came with your computer hardware. The main drivers include the 'Ethernet Drivers', 'Graphics Drivers', and 'Audio Drivers'. Installation should be as simple as inserting the disk and running the installer

I do not have that disk. Can I just copy the drivers files from my folders like in C:\Windows\system32\drivers\......sys for my Net Adapter onto a external HDD & just move it back to that exact folder after the install? OR does that not constitute a install?


Use a clean computer to visit your motherboard manufacturer's web site and download your drivers (networking and display atleast). Copy them over to your computer when XP is installed. When your computer can access internet, you can download more drivers (sound etc).

No you cannot copy any files like that. It requires installation.

Edited by Romeo29, 12 August 2009 - 08:40 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 01:15 PM

Procedure for obtaining Recovery CDs, http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...;product=405460

If available, should be cheaper than purchasing a valid XP license/with CD.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 12 August 2009 - 05:01 PM.


#4 wtfer

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:17 PM

Use a clean computer to visit your motherboard manufacturer's web site and download your drivers (networking and display atleast). Copy them over to your computer when XP is installed. When your computer can access internet, you can download more drivers (sound etc).

No you cannot copy any files like that. It requires installation.



Oh o.k. I found the list of drivers for my PC on HP.com site, so I download them & just move them to a CD-R & when I'm done installing XP, I just put the CD-R in. When updating the drivers, I just select to choose it to search from the CD drive instead of it searching online?

But it can't be done via external hard drive with the copied drivers from my current folders?

#5 Romeo29

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:56 PM

Oh o.k. I found the list of drivers for my PC on HP.com site, so I download them & just move them to a CD-R & when I'm done installing XP, I just put the CD-R in. When updating the drivers, I just select to choose it to search from the CD drive instead of it searching online?

There are many kinds of driver packs available from manufacturers. Some come in setup executable format like setup.exe, which you run to install driver. Others come in zip format, which you unzip to a folder and when updating drivers you can point Windows to this unzipped folder. If you find any difficulty installing drivers feel free to ask here.

But it can't be done via external hard drive with the copied drivers from my current folders?

It is not advised to install drivers from hard disk that is infected with rootkit and who knows what malware. This is why I told you to use a clean (i.e. free of virus, malware etc) computer to download your drivers. When you are done re-installing XP on the infected computer, only then install/copy the drivers to the fresh installed XP.

If you are talking about whether you can use an external hard disk in place of CD to install drivers, then yes that is possible. In fact, you can copy drivers to your hard disk and install from there. Only during the installation, you may have to point Windows to the right folder no matter its on CD, local hard disk or external hard disk.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 05:03 PM

If you have a malware thread open in this or any other forum...I hope that you are just asking these questions to gather info...and are not attempting to make changes to your system.

Louis

#7 wtfer

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:23 AM

There are many kinds of driver packs available from manufacturers. Some come in setup executable format like setup.exe, which you run to install driver. Others come in zip format, which you unzip to a folder and when updating drivers you can point Windows to this unzipped folder. If you find any difficulty installing drivers feel free to ask here.

But it can't be done via external hard drive with the copied drivers from my current folders?

It is not advised to install drivers from hard disk that is infected with rootkit and who knows what malware. This is why I told you to use a clean (i.e. free of virus, malware etc) computer to download your drivers. When you are done re-installing XP on the infected computer, only then install/copy the drivers to the fresh installed XP.

If you are talking about whether you can use an external hard disk in place of CD to install drivers, then yes that is possible. In fact, you can copy drivers to your hard disk and install from there. Only during the installation, you may have to point Windows to the right folder no matter its on CD, local hard disk or external hard disk.


I currently can't access another clean PC. So if I download the drivers to my current infected PC & move them to a non-infected external hard drive, you're saying the drivers themselves might be infected? Can roolkits really do that?

I found the page that has all the driver updates for my computer:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwar...;product=405460

They all seem to be .executables like you said & not individual driver files, I'm especially looking for the modem driver to be sure I can install it via CD-R/external HDD if I go through with it. I really don't want my PC be unable to ever go online if something goes wrong. I hope running the .exe will work.



If you have a malware thread open in this or any other forum...I hope that you are just asking these questions to gather info...and are not attempting to make changes to your system.

Louis


Not yet, but I want to be ready, even if my PC is cleaned (which I'm doubting as this rootkit seems deep & not letting me open some anti-rootkit programs). I'd be happy to know everything now about the process of reformatting my drives & completely reinstalling XP.
....that will 100% clean up any rootkits won't it? There haven't been any known rootkits to get through this whole process?

#8 Stang777

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:33 AM

They all seem to be .executables like you said & not individual driver files, I'm especially looking for the modem driver to be sure I can install it via CD-R/external HDD if I go through with it. I really don't want my PC be unable to ever go online if something goes wrong. I hope running the .exe will work.


How do you connect to the internet?

I have a cable modem and when I plugged it into my computer, it just connected right up after the cable company did their thing on their end over the phone.

#9 Romeo29

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:23 AM

I currently can't access another clean PC. So if I download the drivers to my current infected PC & move them to a non-infected external hard drive, you're saying the drivers themselves might be infected? Can roolkits really do that?

Some rootkits are known to download other malwares and trojans. Who knows what they can do? And yes it has been seen that rootkits infect exes. So its better that you do not retain anything executable from the infected hard disk.

As Stang777 has said, most people today do not use dial up internet using a modem. Most have a router installed by the telephone /internet company and you just plug the cable from the router into your computer's ethernet/usb socket and you get internet access. So check what kind of internet you have, you may not need this modem driver. I can see on HP's website that your computer has inbuilt ethernet adapter and USB ports. I can guess that drivers for them are auto-installed by Windows XP.

Do you have to dial some kind of number in your computer before you get online and your modem makes weird noises during dialing? If not then you dont need modem driver to get online.

Edited by Romeo29, 13 August 2009 - 06:25 AM.


#10 wtfer

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 08:50 PM

Some rootkits are known to download other malwares and trojans. Who knows what they can do? And yes it has been seen that rootkits infect exes. So its better that you do not retain anything executable from the infected hard disk.

As Stang777 has said, most people today do not use dial up internet using a modem. Most have a router installed by the telephone /internet company and you just plug the cable from the router into your computer's ethernet/usb socket and you get internet access. So check what kind of internet you have, you may not need this modem driver. I can see on HP's website that your computer has inbuilt ethernet adapter and USB ports. I can guess that drivers for them are auto-installed by Windows XP.

Do you have to dial some kind of number in your computer before you get online and your modem makes weird noises during dialing? If not then you dont need modem driver to get online.



Oh thanks, I thought that the drivers for getting online were connected with both my Modem & Ethernet adapter. It's just that reading through the tutorials & they make it sound like it is highly likely you won't be able to connect online via your cable modem after the install without installing new drivers.

I guess I'm all set then. I'll post back next week if I go through with it.

Thanks for all the info everybody.

Edited by wtfer, 13 August 2009 - 08:51 PM.


#11 wtfer

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:43 PM

I got a new problem, it seems no brick & mortar stores carry Windows XP anymore.
I went to two Best Buy & a Staples stores & they all said they do not carry Windows XP anymore. It's either Windows Vista or bust. My PC can't handle Vista (my Memory can only can go up to 1 GB & Vista recommends a 2 GB minimum I believe).

Seems my only option is to buy XP online & if I order it online, my credit card info may easily be found out via the rootkit.



Procedure for obtaining Recovery CDs, http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...;product=405460

If available, should be cheaper than purchasing a valid XP license/with CD.

Louis


I'm out of luck on that too, I tried that & they don't seem to have a page for ordering it for my PC.

I guess I'm stuck unless I found out if any stores still carries XP.
Does anyone know if XP been been completely discontinued or is it still being sold in retail?

Edited by wtfer, 14 August 2009 - 08:47 PM.


#12 hamluis

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 08:14 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16832116511

http://www.trustprice.com/646914/microsoft...windows-xp.html

Louis

#13 wtfer

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:42 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16832116511

http://www.trustprice.com/646914/microsoft...windows-xp.html

Louis



I think I'm more confused now... a quick question, but what are the difference between:

-XP Home Full version with SP2
-XP Home Upgrade with SP2
-XP Home SP2B for System Builders

Which one do I need to buy? The full version is going for close to $200, while the rest are going for close to $100.

I also found a way to buy them online without compromising my credit card information. I can go online with the built in browser in the Playstation 3 & buy them through that.

#14 hamluis

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:39 PM

There are no file differences...each has the same files :thumbsup:.

An OEM/System Builder version of XP from Microsoft...theoretically is not "supported" by Microsoft. The installer takes all responsibility for any problems.

I'm still trying to figure out how that really differs from any other version (upgrade/full) since Microsoft generally charges all customers for "support."

I've never bought an upgrade or ful/retail version of XP Home, while I have about 10 licenses for the OEM/System Builder version.

One major difference is that an OEM version expects to find a system that has no additional partitions already existing.

It expects to be the first O/S installed and it cannot be used to do an upgrade from a previously existing Windows version...and it remains tied to the system on which it is installed. It cannot legally be removed from that system and installed on another.

In actuality (system dies, etc.), the personnel responsible for product activation...have been (IMO, in my experiences) very lenient in allowing installation of XP Home OEM versions...on replacement systems (new motherboard, new CPU) when circumstances have been properly outlined.

A user can do a clean install with any of the 3 versions, as long as the clean install will be the first O/S installed on that system. If not, an OEM version is subject to overwrite the interloper which is in its territory :flowers:. Which is why some persons get into trouble when they attempt to use an OEM/System Builder version to do a repair install...not a clean install...on a system built by Dell, Gateway, etc. where they have installed XP and the user wishes to continue using the installed version.

Louis

#15 wtfer

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:17 PM

There are no file differences...each has the same files :thumbsup:.

One major difference is that an OEM version expects to find a system that has no additional partitions already existing.

It expects to be the first O/S installed and it cannot be used to do an upgrade from a previously existing Windows version...and it remains tied to the system on which it is installed. It cannot legally be removed from that system and installed on another.

In actuality (system dies, etc.), the personnel responsible for product activation...have been (IMO, in my experiences) very lenient in allowing installation of XP Home OEM versions...on replacement systems (new motherboard, new CPU) when circumstances have been properly outlined.

A user can do a clean install with any of the 3 versions, as long as the clean install will be the first O/S installed on that system. If not, an OEM version is subject to overwrite the interloper which is in its territory :flowers:. Which is why some persons get into trouble when they attempt to use an OEM/System Builder version to do a repair install...not a clean install...on a system built by Dell, Gateway, etc. where they have installed XP and the user wishes to continue using the installed version.

Louis



O.k. So if I buy the cheaper disc only XP Home SP2B for System Builders version & do a complete format & reinstall, it won't have any problems & won't be any different than getting the full version? The only downside is I don't try to upgrade or repair my current XP with that disc & it can not be used twice on another PC?

Did I get that right?




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