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Need To Wipe My Hard Disk Completely, Stubborn Bad Virus : \


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#1 TheFinalSon

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:56 PM

Hi all. I appreciate you taking the time to read my topic. I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop with Vista on it. I originally posted this on another forum where they were discussing something of a similar nature, but I have been a Bleeping Computer user for a month or two now and remembered that I have always gotten good help here, so thought I ought to post it here as well and see if anyone would help me out of a jam.

Right, so, I was planning to just reformat my HD completely to get rid of this virus, as I have all of my most important data backed up to CD-Roms anyway from a time before I was infected with it, but now I'm hearing a HD reformat may not completely kill all viruses if they're particularly malicious, which this one definitely is. You see...

I think that I have a virus on it that the government put on here, with the crap they have been doing lately with domestic wiretapping and Patriot Act, etc, it started acting weird when I was on some websites that were, let's just say, umm, maybe not entirely supportive of every administration, and I feel they may have bugged my computer. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and watched, I know I probably sound like some paranoid conspiracy nut with tinfoil on their head but every time I try to run a virus scan it freezes up so I feel like it might be some kind of advanced, DARPA-designed virus that is not easy to get rid of!

I thought that clean-reformatting my drive would get rid of anything, but now I'm hearing that it won't. I don't think I can do that thing where I overwrite everything with 0's because it was a laptop and it didn't come with any physical reinstall discs, the operating system itself is on the hard disk and if I do that it will just be a dead piece of plastic and metal. So how would you guys recommend I completely clean all viruses off here, no matter how advanced they are, keeping in mind that I have Vista and a laptop with no physical reinstall discs, if a simple HD Reformat won't do the job.

Thanks,

Cheers

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:46 AM

If you need help with reformatting, please review:These links include step-by-step instructions with screenshots:Vista users can refer to these instructions:Don't forget you will have to go to Microsoft Update and apply all Windows security patches after reformatting.

Note: If you're using an IBM, Sony, HP, Compaq, Toshiba 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" that will reformat your hard drive, remove all data and restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. See Technology Advisory Recovery Media. If the recovery partition has become infected, you will need to contact the manufacturer, explain what happened and ask them to send full recovery disks to use instead..

Reformatting a hard disk deletes all data. If you are reformatting or doing a factory restore due to malware infection, you can back up all your important documents, personal data files, photos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), autorun (.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml ) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executable files inside them as some types of malware can penetrate and infect .exe files within compressed files too. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing extension of file(s) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. After reformatting, scan the backed up data with your anti-virus prior to to copying it back to your hard drive.

If your CD/DVD drive is unusable, another word of caution if you are considering backing up to an external usb hard drive as your only alternative. External drives are more susceptible to infection and can become compromised in the process of backing up data. I'm not saying you should not try using such devices but I want to make you aware of all your options and associated risks so you can make an informed decision if its worth that risk.

Again, do not back up any data with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.

If you need additional assistance with reformatting or partitioning, you can start a new topic in the Windows Vista forum.
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#3 TheFinalSon

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:02 PM

Ok thank you! You're sure reformatting deletes everything? I read somewhere that actually changes less than 1% of the total data blocks on the physical hard disk itself.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,634...ity,1~mode=flat

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.htm...6;forum-threads

#4 quietman7

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:12 AM

The DSL Reports web site you refer to also has this: When should I re-format? How should I reinstall?

Jesper M. Johansson, Security Program Manager for Microsoft says:

If you have a system that has been completely compromised, the only thing you can do is to flatten the system (reformat the system disk) and rebuild it from scratch (reinstall Windows and your applications).

Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?
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#5 TheFinalSon

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:17 AM

Ok thank you.

#6 quietman7

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:59 AM

You're welcome.
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