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I need to wipe clean a computer and reinstall the operating system


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#1 baabel

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 05:49 PM

I need to wipe clean a compromised computer and reinstall the operating system.

 

Dell Inspiron 3647

 

Windows 7  Home Premium OA

 

The people whose computer it is used it mostly for reading e-mail, reading the newspaper and storing photos of their grandchildren.

 

They managed to download malware that put an unmovable message on the screen with a phone number to call and put a lot of new icons on their desktop.

 

I've already assisted them in putting security alerts on their bank accounts because the computer gives anyone access to their e-mail. The computer is now unplugged and not being used.

 

There's nothing that they have to save on the computer.  The photos are backed up to a small external hard drive.  They plug the drive in once a month so fortunately it was never plugged in after the malware was downloaded.

 

I don't need to clean the existing setup.  I would just as well wipe the C drive clean and reinstall the OS.  I am going to assume the OS is on a protected partition.  I don't even want to turn the machine on until I am ready to work on it.

 

Would you point me in the direction of how to go about doing this?

 

Thank you very much.

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 05:57 PM

For a Factory Reset on a Dell with Windows 7 you need to tap F8 at boot.

 

http://www.dell.com/support/Article/us/en/19/DSN_362066/EN



#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:55 AM

+1...... in addition, as JohnC suggested above. use your restore partition, not an independent disk wiper program (there are many available). The reason is that all your mainboard and system drivers will be included on your restore partition. If you use a 3rd party utility to wipe the HDD, you will lose all those drivers and your computer will not run properly, plus you will lose your copy of Windows.


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#4 Metallica5456

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:49 PM

That's true, however I have seen rare occurrences where the malware has even infected the recovery partitions.

I agree using the partition would be best course of action. However if you later notice the infection is still there, I would consider asking Dell for the restore DVD kit and doing a full format and reinstall

#5 baabel

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 02:20 PM

Thank you, JohnC_21, ranchhand_  & Metallica5456.

 

I certainly hope the malware has not infected the Recovery Partition     If I see anything suspicious I will do as you say & contact Dell.

 

I'll do the factory reset when I return from work/travel in a few days.

 

Thanks!






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