Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

HOW CAN I REFORMAT MY HARD DRIVE WITHOUT A BOOTABLE CD


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 lstiles

lstiles

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:53 AM

I have several root kit infections and was given several options in the malware removal topic section and decided i should reformat and reinstall my operating system. I am working with an emachines T3256 desk top and it comes with a restore dvd. the restore dvd does not give me the option to reformat or erase the hard drive. I had used the restore dvd about 3 months ago and I am now infected again. I chatted with the emachine tech support who directed me to a link to download Acer DIsk Formatter V1.1D. I spent 3 hours working on this, I had to learn how to burn and iso image to a cd, go get disks, etc. I finally got the cd to boot but come to find out, after another 40 minutes chatting with emachine that the acer disk formatter won't work on an emachine.

Do you know of any gereric formatter or is my only option to buy a retail copies of windows? Is there a way to wipe out the hard drive using the restore dvd (it runs Symantic Ghost software) I am not sure the restore dvd will even work after I reformat the drive. Can anyone help me. I am a little frustrated.

Leslie

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Gabrial

Gabrial

  • Members
  • 468 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:27 AM

Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:31 AM

I'm not familiar with the exact DVD you are refering to, but most all OEM recovery/restore discs will partition and format a new (blank) drive and install the operating system onto it.

You can use Active@ Killdisk to create a CD that you can use to zero your hard drive, wiping everything off of it completely. Then attempt the recovery dvd and recreate your partitions and restore your emachine to orriginal factory condition.

#3 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,464 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:04:27 AM

Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:39 AM

The recovery DVD does not contain an operating system. You will need a Windows XP installation CD that is the same version as the one installed on the computer, Home or Professional. You will be able to use the installation CD to create the two partitions and format them. The recovery disk can then be used to install the drivers that you will need.

Edited by dc3, 14 October 2010 - 03:51 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#4 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,441 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:27 PM

Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:34 AM

I suspect it's quite likely that all you need to do is use the restore DVD. If as you say it utilises Ghost, and restores an image of the system as it left the factory, that should of itself eliminate an existing infection.

What did the restore DVD do when you used it on the previous occasion?

Edited by Platypus, 14 October 2010 - 06:36 AM.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#5 lstiles

lstiles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:26 PM

I suspect it's quite likely that all you need to do is use the restore DVD. If as you say it utilises Ghost, and restores an image of the system as it left the factory, that should of itself eliminate an existing infection.

What did the restore DVD do when you used it on the previous occasion?


It reinstalled everything fine but I got the same virus and worse again in a couple of months. this computer is in an office and only work there on Saturdays. My father in law, who owns the business , is all but computer illiterate, however I discovered quite a few references to "questionable" sites while running the programs I was given to clean the infection in the malware removal forum. So someone may be visiting sites where they are getting infected. I just want to get it cleaned up and protected. I spend more time working on this computer than actually doing the books at this job.

I have run the restore cd this time, should I just go ahead and install all the patches and software or should I try and reformat the drive?

Is Microsoft Security Esscentials good virus protection or should i purchase something. I had McAfee and it didn't work and their Support was awful, CA's protection suite slowed my computer to a crawl. I don't like Norton. What else is there?

Leslie

#6 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,441 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:27 PM

Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:08 AM

Apologies for the delay returning to your question - it's a nuisance having to work... :thumbsup:

Not wanting to contradict previous advice you've received, I checked your malware topics, and your malware helper also feels that it should be sufficient to do the restore without also having to reformat the drive beforehand. A reformat in Windows XP style particularly would have no effect - Windows prior to Vista does not overwrite the drive even doing a full format.

If you wanted to be super-sure, you could use a utility like Active Killdisk to wipe the drive first, then do the restore again, but I'm not sure you would gain anything.

I think it will be more important to convince the operator of the system that a computer being used for business purposes must not be compromised by insecure activities. If this resulted in the bank account being emptied, or all the customers being scammed, the consequences could be very serious.

One factor in how best to proceed is what service pack level the system is restored to, which will be shown in My Computer/Properties. The higher the service pack, the less will need to be done before the system is safe to go on-line.

If it is SP3, you can go online and do updates once an Anti-Virus is installed. If it is SP2 or earlier, it needs to be brought up to SP3 using the installer or installers downloaded using another system.

I believe MS Security Essentials is a satisfactory AV, but I have known of it causing slow startup and lagging when used with XP, and I prefer the free Avast for my own purposes. I also like SuperAntiSpyware for malware scanning, but the free version doesn't monitor the system, you need to scan periodically or if something seems suspicious. There are numerous free security applications mentioned in this topic:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

The Windows XP firewall is workable, but if a system may be prone to compromise, a more robust firewall could be advisable. The disadvantage of this is that a third-party firewall will normally ask the operator questions about what to allow, and a not-so computer literate user may not know how to reply. This can end up in less protection if everything ends up being allowed anyway, because the user finds blocking things may stop needed software from working.

Comodo has a reputation for being one of the best free firewalls, and it watches for unsafe actions that malware uses such as code injection that can escape other monitoring. But a while back Comodo did lose favor over difficulty preventing it from installing some toolbars, if I remember correctly, so I'm no longer familiar with it. I also liked Outpost Free firewall, but that has just ceased being supported by the developer. Zone Alarm is a long-standing favorite with many people.

You can purchase security suites from numerous respectable sources, but I'm not sure if they give greater protection, or how much. Any protection can fail at some time, especially if the computer gets used in a way that makes it extra vulnerable.

Edited by Platypus, 15 October 2010 - 05:15 AM.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#7 lstiles

lstiles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 01:42 AM

So I continues with the recovery disk installation. I updated to service pack 4, I installed Security and escentials. I connected to the internet, downloadedmore patches installed spyware blaster and malware bytes. Malware bytes ran an initial quick scan and found Trojan.Agent on two registry keys. Should I be concerned? I am going to purchase some other protection when I take the machine back to work tomorrow. I just needed to get the software updated and installed.

Leslie

#8 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,441 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:27 PM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:24 AM

It is a concern if a scan finds indication of malware on a fresh system install. I assume you meant to say service pack 3, as there is no service pack 4 for XP? What SP level was the system initially after the restore? Were the installation files used in the initial update and the means of their transport (eg USB drive) known to be malware free?

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#9 lstiles

lstiles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:37 PM

i downloaded the updateds from the Microsoft support site download center. I scanned my usb drive with malware bytes before I transfered the files. And yes I did mean service pack 3 it was late last night. sorry.

after the restore it was just windows xp - home version. I think this computer was purchased in 2007 but it was probably a clearance item because the documentation is dated 2004.

Thanks for your help.

Leslie

#10 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,441 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:27 PM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 04:19 PM

Does the My Computer/Properties dialog confirm the Service Pack 3 status? A system needs to have at least SP1a installed in order to proceed to SP3. If the restore was just to plain XP, I would expect SP3 to complain since this condition is not met, but I haven't actually tried it to see what happens.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#11 lstiles

lstiles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 06:53 PM

I installed sp2 before sp3. I verified that service pack 3 is installed. see below:

Posted Image

I have been installing updates all day long. Although Belar Advisor says all the critical updates are installed and I only have 13 important updates left. They are downloading now.

I have brought the computer back to the office. I gave my father-inlaw a copy of your post to read, I also made himpay me my hourly rte for all the time I worked on the computer so hopefully that will make him think twice. I ran Malwarebytes again - clean. I purchased the auto updates for spyware blaster. I'd like to get some better virus protectiion but I am not sure any of it is really much better than the next.

Should I run any of the other utilities I ran before to make sure the computer is clean?

Leslie

#12 lstiles

lstiles
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 60 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Palm Springs, California
  • Local time:03:27 AM

Posted 16 October 2010 - 07:06 PM

I am going to go home but I will check for any new posts.

Leslie

#13 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,441 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:27 PM

Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:51 AM

OK, I expect the update process has gone as it should then. To double-check Malwarebytes' results, it would be good to scan with another anti-malware package. It's fine to have more than one installed, in contrast to anti-virus where you should stick to one. Besides those suggested in your other topics, I also like SuperAntiSpyware. If more than one malware detection program and a thorough scan with MSSE all come up clear, I believe you could be confident the system is safe. There's a slight possibility the initial MBAM find could have been a false positive.

Top 5 things that never get done:

1.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users