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The difference between reformatting and a computer reset?


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#1 ArchimedesNose

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 03:53 AM

Hello,
I've been noticing several phishing attempts that my Bitdefender anti-virus program has detected after purchasing items and supplying feedback on eBay. Additionally,
an odd error screen appeared (without any browsers open) shortly after noticing these phishing attempts in which I did not click the error screen. Instead I rebooted my computer and haven't seen it since.
I started a thread about these issues in the "Am I infected, What do I do?" forum and received an interesting but vague response suggesting to "reformat." I responded with question #1 and never did get a response.
 
What I would like to know is this:
1.) If there is a virus/something nasty on my computer, is reformatting the hard drive of my computer equivalent to performing a computer reset with the "remove everything" option?
2.) And if it's not equivalent, how is the reformatting done? 
3.) Has anyone heard any similar issues with eBay? Is it still safe to use? I was initially wondering if maybe supplying the feedback was what was setting my anti-virus off, but I'm still not sure how that would explain the weird error.
 
If someone could please help me, I would be most appreciative. Thanks again!
 
By the way, I am using Windows 10 Home Edition version 1709 on a fairly new lenovo computer.
 
**ArchimedesNose** 

Edited by ArchimedesNose, 13 May 2018 - 04:09 AM.


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:25 AM

I'm glad you were suspicious of the response you received, and I think the member concerned may not really have been here to help and their posts could soon be removed. Thank you for raising the issue, and I'm sorry you seem to have been overlooked - maybe because it appeared your topic was being answered.

 

Please monitor your original topic and await more appropriate advice. I'll see if a suitable helper can look over the situation for you. It might not be straight away, there's not always many active on weekends.


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#3 Platypus

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 05:19 AM

I've spoken with one of the malware experts, and following their advice, I have moved your original topic to the Malware Logs forum:

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/675603/error-screen-and-some-security-issues-with-my-computer/

The initial impression is probably not serious, but the error message is strange and it would be wise to give your system a good check-over.

Please in that topic follow the instructions from garioch7


Edited by Platypus, 13 May 2018 - 05:39 AM.

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#4 quietman7

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 07:13 AM

To answer your question in this topic title so you are aware of the difference.

A "factory restore (reset)" essentially reformats your hard drive, removes all data and restores the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. Most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition for performing a clean "factory restore". Some factory restore partitions/partitions/disks give you all the options of a full Microsoft Windows CD, but with better instructions and the convenience of having all the right hardware drivers. Others can do nothing except reformat your hard drive and restore it to the condition it was in when you bought the computer. How To Completely Restore Your Windows Computer To Factory Settings explains the process in general terms. Each vendor is different so the restore process and instructions will vary. The best option is to check the manufacturer's website for your particular model. They should have specific instructions on how to access and use the recovery partition/disk. Afterwards, you will need to reinstall any programs that did not come preinstalled with your computer and run Windows update to redownload all critical patches.

Reformatting is a high-level formatting performed on a disk drive (or partition) that already has been formatted. It involves the process of freeing disk space for use by other data, configuring the disk with a file system and enabling it to read and write data so the operating system can store information on the disk. Reformatting is commonly used to "wipe clean" a hard drive and reinstall the operating system afterwards if experiencing significant issues that cannot be resolved or dealing with malware infection which has compromised the computer. Reformatting deletes all data previously stored on the hard drive but some ot it may be recoverable with special tools.


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#5 ArchimedesNose

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:03 PM

Hi there Platypus and quietman7!

Thanks for replying to my thread.

 

Platypus

I have to say I am shocked that their response will be removed. I just thought it was one of those situations where I may have asked a question so dumb the silence implied that I should answer it myself. lol I have responded to garioch7 as you have suggested, and cannot thank you enough for assisting me with this matter. I really appreciate it!  :) I also agree, the error screen was very strange.

 

quietman7

So basically, the difference between the two is that reformatting is freeing up space on your computers disk drive by wiping a partition that was previously formatted and allowing new info to be stored on the computer, where the computer reset (remove everything) is the same thing but additionally will sometimes offer the chance to update your drivers depending on who manufactured the computer. Did I understand that correctly?

 

 

**ArchimedesNose**



#6 Platypus

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:52 AM

I have to say I am shocked that their response will be removed.

Normally in the event of questionable advice being posted, we would simply explain why that might not be necessary or advisable, and offer alternative advice.

However when we investigated, it was concluded that the member was not really here to help, but to advertise products in violation of forum rules, and most of their posts were just filler to disguise their intentions. In that situation the offending member gets banned, and any of their posts that are advertising, unnecessary or unhelpful are deleted.

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#7 quietman7

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:50 AM

In simplistic terms, a factory restore is a method the OEM provides for customers to easily reset their computer to original factory specs using their recovery methods. The restore includes all software and drivers provided by the OEM on the recovery disks. Reformatting is something you would do to "wipe clean" your hard drive and reinstall the OS but it is more involved since you choose the software and required drivers.
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#8 ArchimedesNose

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:11 AM

Greetings Platypus and quietman7,

 

when we investigated, it was concluded that the member was not really here to help, but to advertise products in violation of forum rules, and most of their posts were just filler to disguise their intentions. In that situation the offending member gets banned, and any of their posts that are advertising, unnecessary or unhelpful are deleted.

 

I agree! This is a great way to handle the situation. It is terrible that people do shameless marketing plugs in such a manner. I appreciate you introducing me to someone with more information to offer and whom is much more substantial in their responses.  :lol:

 

 

In simplistic terms, a factory restore is a method the OEM provides for customers to easily reset their computer to original factory specs using their recovery methods. The restore includes all software and drivers provided by the OEM on the recovery disks. Reformatting is something you would do to "wipe clean" your hard drive and reinstall the OS but it is more involved since you choose the software and required drivers.

That is very interesting. It sounds like you are saying that the only difference between the two is: one provides more driver/software customization where a reset strictly uses presets. Thanks quietman7!!

 

**ArchimedesNose**


Edited by ArchimedesNose, 19 May 2018 - 11:11 AM.


#9 quietman7

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:31 PM

Since the factory reset disks are provided by the Manufacturer (i.e. HP. Dell) they contain all the original software and drivers which came preinstalled on the computer.
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