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How do you reinstall Windows 7 if it has a killer virus?


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#1 r84shi37

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:50 PM

Hypothetically, lets say that you have a virus so bad that you can't even run Malwarebytes or any type of antivirus boot disk, how would you reinstall the whole thing without pirating Windows?  I'm thinking about starting a small virus removal service/business and I need to be prepared for anything.  Someone once told me that there was generally information on the hard drive that you can use to legally acquire a copy to install via disk or usb.  I'm not sure though.  Thanks.

 

**EDIT**

 

Forgot to mention, hypothetically, you don't have the original CD.


Edited by r84shi37, 01 April 2014 - 09:51 PM.


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#2 abauw

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:01 PM

if you have license key then you could download Official Windows 7 SP1 ISO Image from digitalriver :wink:


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#3 NickAu

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:14 PM

 

I'm thinking about starting a small virus removal service/business and I need to be prepared for anything.

 With all due respect. May i ask how much training you have had in virus removal?



#4 r84shi37

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:31 PM

 

 

I'm thinking about starting a small virus removal service/business and I need to be prepared for anything.

 With all due respect. May i ask how much training you have had in virus removal?

 

 

Mostly just years of messing around with computers as a hobby.  I've removed quite a few viruses from my own computer.  I've also helped friends and neighbors with computer issues.  I have not been trained.  That's why I'm learning now in preparation for starting it. You might not even call it a business if you don't want to- rather, a service to make some cash for college.  



#5 Animal

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:47 PM

As has been said as long as you have a legitimate license key. You can get an iso that matches the version of the key. Anything other than having a license key and we can't discuss it here hypothetically, theoretically or in the abstract. Or even fictionally.

From the forum rules:

No subject matter will be allowed whose purpose is to defeat existing copyright or security measures. If a user persists and/or the activity is obviously illegal the staff reserves the right to remove such content and/or ban the user. This would also mean encouraging the use or continued use of pirated software is not permitted, and subject to the same consequences.


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#6 r84shi37

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:50 PM

I honestly wasn't pushing for anything illegal.  Thank you.  


Edited by hamluis, 02 April 2014 - 01:03 PM.
Removed unnecessary quote box - Hamluis.


#7 acuteunit

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:03 PM

I have to say R84shi37  this is a great start .I wish you great success..


Edited by hamluis, 02 April 2014 - 01:03 PM.


#8 r84shi37

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:08 PM

Thank you acuteunit.

 

I just found some nice, free software called Belarc Advisor.  It finds the product keys to all software on your computer, among other information. My computer doesn't currently have a problem, but I just noticed the sticker with my win7 key was starting to fade, so I found the key via Belarc and saved it.  Thanks for the help guys.   



#9 cat1092

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:18 AM

Yes, Belarc is a great tool to use, not only to find keys, but also to check to make sure updates are applied. There are other tools, some advanced, to help network administrators keep things in compliance. Some of these things would be good for home users also.

 

I'm thinking about starting a small virus removal service/business and I need to be prepared for anything.

I wish you the best of luck & success, however to be "prepared for anything", that's a huge task. During the last 3-4 years, I've done virus/malware & other services for select family members/friends on a pro-bono basis. Many techinques were learned on the run via Google searches. And yes, there has been times when a real install disk was needed, as it seems that only a fraction of computer owners knows what burning recovery disk sets (3 to 5 VDV's) means. The OEM's should place a desktop shortcut for this task, but even if they did, many would delete it & go on.

 

As to opening a business, while it can be rewarding, it's not without risk. If you're going to be working on the computers of those you don't know, you'll need some type of business insurance. Why is that?

 

 

I need to be prepared for anything.

You said it yourself. There is always the risk of loss of private & precious data (including monetary) when working on any computer, and while I know that there's clauses in contracts/work orders that customers signs that protects the business owner to an extent, there are still ways to be held liable. Not having a fully equipped & clean shop in complaince with current IT industry standards (including proper licensing & liability insurance) can lead to negligence claims that can cost everything you have. There has several "PC or Tech" shops opened in my area since 2009, all but 2 have lasted less than a year. The cause of their failing?

 

 

I need to be prepared for anything.

They weren't. This is a very busy business district with many attroney offices, being the county seat, is where the court house, school board, numerous small businesses that supports them are. Qualified IT pros are in demand, where there is opportunity & you're called upon, your name is on the line. A couple of shoddy jobs will be the talk of the town, erasing the 100+ good jobs done. Business falls off rapidly, another shop or IT tech is called upon. In some of these failed IT shop's, there were TechNet keys used for reinstall, even though customers paid for Windows. That's one reason why there's no more TechNet for us, key abuse. Most that closed was done like a thief in the night, closing & skipping town.

 

Whenever I work on a computer, especially anything that can cause loss of data, I always backup the hard drive before proceeding. A good shop won't risk customer data, or will minimize it. It takes only minutes & can save a lot of problems, including hard feelings. Customers expects the techs that work on their computers to take better care of them than they do.

 

Starting a part time business isn't the same as doing jobs for family/friends on the side. It takes committment, the willing to learn everything possible about the trade, the willing to work at the customer's schedule, staying on top of compliance issues as far as security & OS issues goes & the biggest part of all, as you stated, the need to be prepared for anything. It's a huge responsibility to work on anything that is the property of another person.

 

It is a great line of work & these jobs won't be outsourced to a 3rd world nation, they're needed in the local area when called upon.

 

If you do get into this, I hope the best for you & that your business prospers. It will, as long as you rize to the occasion every time you're callen upon.

 

Best of Luck

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 Scoop8

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

One of the first things I'd suggest, is to start a cloning / imaging service for clients, or offer training in that area.

 

The advantages are numerous:

 

- Having a complete spare HDD (or image) available for recovery in the event of malicious infections

 

- Protection from a failing or failed HDD

 

- Having a way to completely restore the HDD from a past time period

 

- Eliminating reinstall requirements, ie, license key retrieval's.

 

An additional advantage with this method (for recovery from malicious infections) is you avoid the time required to download specific malicious-removal tools and investing the time required in interpreting the various tool's log files, searching for the infection objects, removal, etc.

 

Once the infected HDD is removed and the cloned HDD installed (or a full-HDD image restoration is processed), then you can sanitize the affected HDD and return it to service after cloning back to it or restoring from the full-HDD image.

 

For me, this is the preferred method since I don't have the expert knowledge in removing malicious infections from a HDD via cleanup methodologies.  In addition, it offers a fast way to recover from infections.

 

If you can offer potential customers a fast plug-and-play recovery method for their PC's, it may provide a pathway to grow your customer base.



#11 r84shi37

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:13 AM

Thank you for the advice.  I have some questions about it.

 

For this to be effective I'll need to make the clone before malware hits.  I don't think most people see the value in hdd clones before it's too late.  So I'd probably recommend that people try the service after I give the pc a tune up or remove a virus or recover some lost files etc.  

 

Also, the best way to do this would be to have maybe 4-5 empty hdds on hand all the time and then I'd wholesale them to people and then charge for the cloning service.  Then I'd leave the hard drive with them and I could a. Teach them to install the hard drive or b.  Tell them to call me if they have any problems and I'll be able to restore it for them.  

 

Another thing: It's important to make backups frequently, but most pcs don't have external SATA ports... so would I want to buy a usb-SATA adapter and include that with the hard drive right?  That way they could just plug in the hard drive via usb when they want to make a back up.

 

One more thing, I would guess... but I'm not sure that some viruses might get downloaded onto one hard drive and then are programmed to jump over to all other drives on the pc to infect them too.  So (and correct me if I'm wrong) but I'd want to advise my customers to unplug the usb-SATA connection every time their done backing up.  This may be unnecessary... but that's why I'm asking.

 

Thanks for all the advice guys.


Edited by hamluis, 02 April 2014 - 01:02 PM.
Removed unnecessary quote box - Hamluis.


#12 Scoop8

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:28 PM

r84shi37

 

You're right, it assumes that a cloned HDD (or full-HDD image stored externally) is available prior to malicious infection on the Source HDD.  You're also right about the after-thought aspect of maintaining a HDD backup plan. 

 

From what I've read at this forum and elsewhere, a lot of the lack of backup activities, specifically full-HDD's, seems to be due to a lack of knowledge or perhaps being apprehensive about the terminology, "cloning", "imaging".  I know for me, this was part of the reason I didn't get up to speed until a few years ago.  I didn't understand the concepts of HDD backups.  I was maintaining backups of the "must-have" items, excel files, my Outlook data file, etc,  but I hadn't started a HDD backup plan.  I had to do a Win XP reinstall a few years ago due to an issue, and that's when I said "never again" :).

 

That's a good idea, storing spare HDD's for customers.  Depending on the # of customers, Imaging would probably be more efficient since you could store several customer's full-HDD images on a large HDD.

 

I like both HDD backup methods since my spare cloned HDD gives me a fast plug-play recovery method whereas Imaging provides redundancy and efficient (compressed images) storage opportunities.  I use a 4 Tb external HDD to store a couple of images from my Desktop PC, Laptop, and a family member's Desktop PC.

 

eSata ports, good point.  I don't use it often for backups since I have 2 Sata Hot-Swap Racks installed in my Desktop tower.  I use those primarily for backups (cloning and imaging).

 

Sata / USB Enclosure, I have one of those for interfacing with my 2 PC's, Desktop and Laptop.  I use it for cloning and imaging my Laptop PC.  I'm using the generic enclosure, with the Sata connector that accepts 2.5 and 3.5 HDD's.

 

Regarding the need to air-gap backup drives, very good point, for example, the recent "Cryptolocker" effect.  I use both methods, with a continuously-connected portable USB HDD for daily unattended specific-item backups.  I'll use a 2nd portable USB HDD to run a file-copy script every 4-5 days.  That HDD is connected only during the file-copy activity.

 

I'd recommend a redundant plan by using Portable HDD 1 for connected unattended backup plans and HDD 2 for less-frequent manual backups.  For many PC users, HDD 2 would rarely be needed.  The way I see it is that it's better to have extra backup copies vs not having enough.  In my case, if I lost a handful of important items, it would require extensive time to rebuild/recover those items.

 

My cloned HDD is only connected during cloning or testing full-HDD image restoration activities.  I'm not cloning or imaging within my OS ("C") HDD.  I always clone or image using bootable media ("Rescue" or Recovery CD's) to verify the methodology independent of my OS/boot HDD.  This way, I know that a worse-case recovery method is working and in the event of a malicious incident affecting the OS HDD, it can be sanitized and then cloned back, all outside the OS.



#13 cat1092

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:15 AM

Some good points are made here, it's odd, given the number of new computer users in the last 10 years & most of them has heard of backup, but percentage wise, fewer are backing up prior to lowered pricing that allowed most anyone to own one. And as stated previously, I know of few that has created recovery DVD sets. Even in the absence of a backup, the computer can be loaded factory new, software wise.

 

Recovery partitions are good & faster, but malware can corrupt these, making it unbootable.

 

And many consumers knows nothing about the importance of good security practices, including network security & keeping app apps updated to latest versions. Very few knows that it's best to use a tool such as Revo Uninstaller to remove Java prior to installing the new version & fewer than that doesn't even realize they don't need Java to begin with.

 

As Scoop8 has suggested, a good beginning would be an imaging service. There is a wide open market for this service & is highly under utilized, It takes those who knows how to perform the service to get many users to begin. It may take some time to get the service going good, but as I've stated above, word of mouth advertising is the best. Do a good job, leave the customer feeling happy & confident in your service, at first giving a card with 10% off for a referral, that person will tell others.

 

This service can easily be extended to virus/malware removal (the 100% free Emsisoft Emergency Kit is good for this) & app updating. Ideally, once the computer is free from infections, begin to distribute security solutions at some point, A one time scan & cleaning is a Band-Aid to the real issue, preventing infections by selling low cost solutions is the answer. If you're in the business, the more of a brand you buy, the less it costs. You need to stick with just a couple of mainstream brands, those that has less impact on the customers systems. That's one thing that I like about ESET NOD32 AV, quality protection & easy on resources. On my more powerful ones, I tend to go with Bitdefender.

 

Finally, learn all that you can about network security, as it's as important as that on the computer. Router settings can be easily hijacked though some of the out of the box settings. Including it's name as seen when broadcasting, some is not only the router's make, but model also. Like say "TrendNET652", that's all that a determined hacker needs to know to gain control of it, if all the owned done was setup a wi-fi passphrase & didn't glance at other settings. It takes only 5-10 minutes to correct the settings & rename the network, plus any time required to upgrade the firmware, which should be checked for & applied first, if the issue that's patched affects that customer. Some upgrades only are cosmetic & may add a feature or two that the customer doesn't need.

 

Or like updating the BIOS on a computer, may brick the router. So again, update firmware only if needed. Like, if there's a gaping security hole patched. Not to add a few advanced firewall settings.

 

These type of things would be better than to be prepared for any & everything & would make you a specialist in a particular area that is in great need. It's just a matter of getting a few initial customers to get the ball rolling. You may need to spend a little money on advertising to start, in time, this will take care of itself.

 

Back in the early 80's, I did essentially the same with a part time lawn business that grew so huge that I had to quit taking customers. But it gave me an advantage, I raised prices & could then choose the higher paying customers, dropping the $25-30 ones altogether. For about 10-11 years, I had 14 lawns to take care of (it could have been a lot more, but I needed my regular job for health benefits) & made good money. More than my job paid by far. Once my career changed to a different one, sales managment, I could no longer handle it, nor needed to, so I sold the truck, equipment & customer list to a good friend (I got with the customers for explaination & reassured them they were in good hands).

 

Today, that same friend now has 2 crews of 3 employees, performing all types of lawn services/landscaping that all started with what he obtained from me. It could have been that way for myself, but it was only to supplement my income, not make a career of lawn care. I never liked mowing to begin with.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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