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Re-format


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#1 EmoKitty

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:49 AM

My friends computer is full of viruses and is in need of a total clean out but he doesn't have the dics. Is there another way to fully empty the computer and restore to manufactory settings with windows xp still on. So nothing gets saved like HKEY's etc because they are completely messed up...

It's a Packard Bell...I'm not sure how to check what name it is (haha)

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#2 Allan

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:04 PM

If you do not completely reformat you are not getting rid of the viruse(s). And of course in order to reformat and reinstall the OS you need a Windows Disk.

#3 Eyesee

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:02 PM

Not necessarily true. Using the right tools, a system can effectively be cleaned of viruses without having to reformat & reload. I do it all the time.

If you would like, let us know and we can move your post to the correct forum so that our Malware Response Team can take a look at it for you.
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

<<...restore to manufactory settings with windows xp still on>>

I agree with Allan...and with Eyesee :).

A system can be cleaned of malware, as such is done routinely all the time...but there are problems in guaranteeing anything other than removal of the malware.

Key system files may become damaged or may be missing as the result of the malware directly or efforts to troubleshoot/eliminate the malware problems. When this occurs, the system may not reasonably be expected to return to the operational status it had, prior to infection and the resulting consequences.

That is why repair installs are often suggested/recommended after known malware-removal sessions, as an effort to restore/replace such system files...and that is why clean installs remain the only method of returning to said status that is guaraanteed to achieve such pristine, functional status.

Louis

Just a note I forgot...if this system relies on a restore to factory default procedure as a means of reinstalling the O/S, then the restoration to factory defaults is considered equivalent to a clean install of XP.

Edited by hamluis, 24 January 2011 - 01:35 PM.


#5 Allan

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:46 PM

I was not trying to suggest that formatting is the only way to rid the system of malware. I was simply responding to the OP's question about whether there was a way to restore factory settings and still clear the malware.

#6 EmoKitty

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:56 PM

Well here is the problem if anyone want to take a look

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic375419.html

#7 Eyesee

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:03 PM

Thank you for the link to the original thread. That helps a great deal!
Is your system home or pro?
Do you have the 25 digit product key sticker on the side of the system?
Is this system overseas? Packard Bell hasnt existed in the US for many years
Can you borrow an XP cd of the same type (home or pro) from somebody?
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#8 EmoKitty

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:08 PM

Windows XP Home
Could not find 25 digit nr. Serial nr :049871820238
I'm in the UK
No don't have anyone to lend off

Edited by EmoKitty, 24 January 2011 - 02:08 PM.


#9 Eyesee

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:19 PM

Make sure you have backed up your personal data if at all possible
Then you might try How to Restore a Packard Bell Computer to Factory Settings
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#10 EmoKitty

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:23 PM

I've done that before and it says "Disc is not found"

#11 odin88

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:58 PM

where abouts in uk are you cos if you live near me i have a disc you can borrow!!
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#12 quietman7

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

Caution: If you are considering backing up data and reformatting or doing a factory restore with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk/Recovery Partition due to malware infection, keep in mind with file infectors, there is always a chance of backed up data reinfecting your system. If the data is 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), dynamic link library (*.dll), 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 executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or adding to the existing extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you 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 files with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .dll, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.
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#13 EmoKitty

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:42 PM

where abouts in uk are you cos if you live near me i have a disc you can borrow!!
Iain.


North west

Caution: If you are considering backing up data and reformatting or doing a factory restore with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk/Recovery Partition due to malware infection, keep in mind with file infectors, there is always a chance of backed up data reinfecting your system. If the data is 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), dynamic link library (*.dll), 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 executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or adding to the existing extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you 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 files with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .dll, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.


Ok thank you, I will keep that in mind :)




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