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Doing fresh install/reformat of windows 8 laptop, need help


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#1 devin2

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 05:56 PM

Hey guys, I plan on doing a reformat of my windows 8 laptop and I was wondering whether a simple reformat using the built in reset function would get rid of any potential nasty malware on my laptop or is it possible for some malware to survive it? What would I need to do to be sure my new install is completely clean (i.e. resetting BIOS, etc.)? I don't care to save my personal files because I don't have anything important on this laptop. Thank you.



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#2 mikey11

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:08 PM

What would I need to do to be sure my new install is completely clean

 

remove the hard drive, hook it up to another computer and use a disk wiping tool specifically made for that purpose



#3 devin2

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 06:18 PM

Problem is I want to keep my OS and my asus laptop didnt come with a windows 8 installation CD.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:34 PM

In regards to your other question, yes, you can select reset and this should get rid of your malware as you are setting the computer back to a factory state. This should be your first option.

 

If you need a install disk try the following.

Get the key embedded in BIOS using firmwaretablesview. Select the MSDM firmware table and you will see your key listed in the bottom pane. Then go here. I am not sure it will let you download Win8.1 but if it does, you can then download an iso of Windows 8.1 and burn it to a DVD or USB flash drive.

 

883x445xFirmwareTablesView.png.pagespeed



#5 jhayz

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:06 AM

any potential nasty malware on my laptop or is it possible for some malware to survive it?

 

How about posting in the Malware Removal Section? Just pointing another option. :thumbup2:


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#6 Aura

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:35 AM

I was wondering whether a simple reformat using the built in reset function would get rid of any potential nasty malware on my laptop or is it possible for some malware to survive it? What would I need to do to be sure my new install is completely clean (i.e. resetting BIOS, etc.)?


It's possible for malware to survive a reinstallation of Windows. This is often the case when you only wipe the Windows partition (which means that you have more than one partition on a drive, or multiple drives on your computer) and the malware hides in another one, and wait for Windows to be reinstalled in order to infect it. It also happens when the MBR is infected, which would lead to Windows being infected on every boot. The most common case of reinfection after a fresh install, is plugging in the computer an external device that is infected, like a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. So you would need to ensure that these are clean before plugging it back in the computer. There's also one known BIOS malware, but it's not really "in the wild" and only targets one specific model of BIOS, so I wouldn't worry about that. However, if you were to have an infected BIOS, the only way to clean it would be to flash it or upgrade its version (since upgrading it will flash it at the same time). As for an infected MBR or second, third, etc. partition, you would have to totally format the hard drive before reinstalling Windows on it. This can be easily done during the Windows installation by bringing up the command prompt, opening the diskpart utility and using the clean and format commands. If there's anything else that you would like to know, feel free to ask :)

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#7 devin2

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:51 PM

@Aura yah i checked and found that I have a EFI system partition, two recovery partitions and a primary partition. Are they all part of the same partition or are they separate partitions? Also if you don't mind, could you post the steps on how to clean and format MBR and and other partitions? Thanks in advance.

 

P.S. I don't have a Windows 8 reinstallation CD.



#8 Aura

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:57 AM

They are all separate partitions, however, most likely part of the same hard drive. If you want to reinstall Windows 8 without the installation CD, you'll have to use the built-in Recovery partitions that are present on your drive. Which means that if you wipe them, you won't be able to reinstall Windows 8 "for free" via Factory Reset, you'll have to get a Windows 8 installation CD matching the edition that came with your laptop and reinstall it using the product key you have behind on a sticker.

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#9 devin2

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:17 PM

Will reinstalling via factory reset do pretty much the same thing as doing it with a CD?



#10 Aura

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:35 PM

Well not really. If that CD is a "recovery" CD then yes it's the same, since you would use the CD to do a Factory Reset. A clean installation from a CD would just install a blank installation of Windows, without any drivers, OEM software, etc.

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#11 devin2

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 05:47 PM

Ok, i see what you mean. Do you think that using the already built in recovery partition is good enough to wipe out anything malicious?



#12 Aura

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 05:51 PM

I can't say that it's good for wiping "anything", since if you're infected with a file injector virus/malware, then it could survive throught a Factory Reset. However, it could get rid of PUPs, Adwares, Browser Hijackers, simple RATs and Keyloggers, etc.


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#13 jhayz

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 12:24 AM

P.S. I don't have a Windows 8 reinstallation CD

 

Depending on your laptop (?) model and as obvious you already have a recovery partition, you could probably create a one time separate set of discs or USB windows recovery for emergency cases such as a failed hard drive. Please check the manual or support site just in case or post the laptop model next time. The factory reset would definitely wipe every known system infections on your computer but would have to deal again with certain crapwares that you would need removing upon successful recovery.


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