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Virut infection - but I've got most things backed up


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#1 BennyBoy

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:40 PM

This Virut infection isn't nice - but I have most things backed up.

I'll reformat the drives - but there are some recent photos I'd like to transfer to a cd. How can I be sure I won't take virut along with the folders? Will Virut have infected my C drive and my F drive? The photos are on F.

Thanks in anticipation for any help.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 09:58 PM

Hello this is really the best advice I can give 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/.scr/.htm/.html/.xml/.zip/.rar files as they may contain traces of malware. Also, .html or .htm files that are webpages should also be avoided.

Download Belarc Advisor - builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, including Microsoft Hotfixes, and displays the results in your Web browser.
Run it and then print out the results, they may be handy.

Since we don't know exactly which infections we're dealing with here, we should take some precautions before we attempt to move files from the infected machine. Run the following on your clean computer, and make sure you insert your flash drives at the prompt.
Download and Run FlashDisinfector

Please download Flash_Disinfector.exe by sUBs and save it to your desktop.
  • Double-click Flash_Disinfector.exe to run it and follow any prompts that may appear.
  • The utility may ask you to insert your flash drive and/or other removable drives. Please do so and allow the utility to clean up those drives as well.
  • Hold down the Shift key when inserting the drive until Windows detects it to keep autorun.inf from executing if it is present.
  • Wait until it has finished scanning and then exit the program.
  • Reboot your computer when done.
Note: As part of its routine, Flash_Disinfector will create a hidden folder named autorun.inf in each partition and every USB drive that was plugged in when you ran it. Do not delete this folder...it will help protect your drives from future infection by keeping the autorun file from being installed on the root drive and running other malicious files.


Reinstall Windows Vista
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
VIRUT
Caution: If you are considering reformatting and backing up your data, keep in mind, with a Virut infection, there is always a chance of backed up data reinfecting your system. If the data is that important to you, then you can try to salvage some of it but there is no guarantee so be forewarned that you may have to start over again afterwards if reinfected by attempting to recover your data. Only back up 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, and .html) 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.
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#3 BennyBoy

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:10 AM

Thanks for such a quick reply.

I will follow your advice.

As I don't have many files that I need to backup, can I do it to a cd?

I'm still on XP and I think I need to do some work to get the cd burner software working again. I'll try saving the critical jpgs to a flash drive, and back onto the SD card on the camera that took them as well - but I would like a cd too if I can.

Thanks again for your help.

#4 boopme

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:08 AM

Yes and rescan the CD when completed.
Be sure to run the Flash D on the USB and any other PC you may use first.

Edited by boopme, 26 October 2009 - 09:14 AM.

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#5 BennyBoy

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:21 AM

Thanks Boopme

I've now managed to print off a selection of the critical photos, so I am not quite so frantic now.

Unfortunately, virult seems to have disabled my cd drive - and won't let me re-install it or install a different cd writer, so I'm not sure of the best way to back up the other pictures.

I put some on a flash drive, but I'm too scared to scan it on another computer for fear of infecting another machine.

But if flash drives work, would I be better off buying a couple to salvage anything I can?

Your advice would be appretiated. Thanks for your help so far.

#6 quietman7

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:23 AM

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.
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#7 BennyBoy

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for the warning, quietman7.

I only need some jpgs. A few microsoft office docs and some wmvs would be nice too, but not essential.

I don't need any of those other ones you've listed.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

#8 BennyBoy

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 10:00 AM

And I just checked that flash drive.

I saved 13 jpg files on it, then virus-checked it and found an infection.

Then I disinfected it, copied the files one at a time, and virus checked it after each transfer - so I think it is okay now, but it looks a very dangerous procedure. I'll have to think hard about how much I want any other files.

Thanks for looking.

#9 quietman7

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 10:25 AM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community and good luck.
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#10 BennyBoy

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:03 PM

No luck at all, I'm afraid.

I couldn't get the low level format software to download, and the cd/dvd drives weren't working so I tried to get rid of some of the virus just to let me format the disk. The AVG removal software required restart....

But now I've lost my desktop icons. If I do crl-alt-del I get a box up but if I click on task manager everything disappears again.

I don't need anything from the hard disks. Can I somehow reinstall windows xp professional just to get the desktop back and then low level format and re-install again?

#11 quietman7

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:57 PM

If you're not sure how to reformat or 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. Also be sure to read 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..

If you need additional assistance with reformatting or partitioning, you can start a new topic in the Operating Systems Subforums forum.
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