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Virus: Tells me I have a hard drive failure and files are gone.

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#1 MacFall


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Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:51 PM

I did search for this topic, so if I just didn't search hard enough please refer me to an existing thread.

Otherwise, the problem is in the thread title. Additional details: I just got my computer professionally restored from a previous hardware issue, so I'm reasonably sure there isn't a hardware problem, and I've read about a new-ish virus with symptoms similar to mine. Whenever I start Windows normally, the first thing that happens is that I get a popup window for a System Restore, which I am fairly sure isn't actually generated by Windows. Currently I have disconnected my computer from the internet (using a different one currently) and unplugged my USB hard drive, and restarted in safe mode. I am preparing to install and run Rkill and then Malwarebytes (and install AVG, which apparently I procrastinated on just one website visit too long). I am also going to display hidden files in case the virus is only hiding my files rather than deleting them. Currently, nothing shows up at all, including programs on the Start menu (although I can still see stuff in the Program Files folder).

After I do those things I will report on my progress. But before I do, I have a question: can I run those programs in safe mode? Because I'm frankly scared to restart normally again.

Also, I just downloaded and have been using Dropbox. Could that be how I got the virus? (In combination with not having anti-virus software installed; and yes I know that was a stupid, stupid mistake.)

Edit: Moved topic from XP to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

Edited by MacFall, 08 June 2011 - 01:37 AM.

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#2 bigtymepcs


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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:10 PM

Please check out this post: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic397900.html

The user here appears to have windows 7 or vista but generally the same issue... just substitute c:\documents and settings where they reference c:\users\

#3 quietman7


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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:03 PM

After I do those things I will report on my progress. But before I do, I have a question: can I run those programs in safe mode? Because I'm frankly scared to restart normally again.

Scanning with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in safe or normal mode will work but removal functions are not as powerful in safe mode. Malwarebytes is designed to be at full power when malware is running so safe mode is not necessary when using it. In fact, Malwarebytes loses some effectiveness for detection & removal when used in safe mode because the program includes a special driver which does not work in safe mode. Further, scanning in safe mode prevents some types of malware from running so it may be missed during the detection process. Additionally, there are various types of malware infections which target the safeboot keyset so booting into safe mode is not always possible. For optimal removal, normal mode is recommended so it does not limit the abilities of Malwarebytes but sometimes there is no alternative but to do a safe mode scan. If that is the case, after completing a safe mode scan, reboot normally, update the database definitions through the program's interface (preferable method) and try rescanning again.
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