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Rootkit infection: can I just format and reinstall?


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#1 Philosaur

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 03:05 PM

Hello all!

I am positive that my computer is infected with a rootkit.

My evidence:

* Process Explorer shows something like "/??/Device/max++>" in the list of DLL hooks. I say "something like" because I'm at work and can't post the verbatim description. In fact, procexp shut down and I now can't open it again--I get only the message saying I don't have permission...blah blah.

* I found files called a.exe, b.exe, and c.exe, which I've since deleted. I found other files like net.net and files with morphing names, which I've been somewhat successful in removing.

* I can no longer boot into Safe Mode (neither w/ Networking, nor w/ command prompt). Computer just cycles back through to the screen offering the choice of boot modes.

In short--I'm positive it's a flavor of the rootkit others here have had.

After reading through several threads here dealing with rootkit removal, I don't think I have time (I'm raising a one year old daughter and working 40+ hours a week) to go through the whole process. I really don't have a problem formatting and reinstalling Windows XP. I have backup disks of all my software, and my pics and movies and other data are on a 500 GB removable USB drive.

However, I have a few questions. Is it possible for a rootkit to survive a complete reformat? Does the rootkit infect the boot sectors or something that requires a special method of formatting?

What types of files can harbor a rootkit or malware? I ask because I don't want to reinfect the computer after the fresh install.

What is the best Antivirus/Anstispyware/Antimalware I can install to prevent infection by rootkits in particular? I've successfully removed other kinds of malware--but this rootkit is particularly nasty.

Thanks in advance for any help you might give me!

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#2 Orange Blossom

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:44 PM

As no logs have been posted, I am shifting this topic from the specialized HiJack This forum to the Am I Infected forum.

==>PLEASE DO NOT NOW POST LOGS<== unless a log is specifically requested.
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

Orange Blossom

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol Plus, ESET Smart Security, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, NoScript Firefox ext., Norton noscript




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