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Removing Virus That Can Control Computer?


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#1 Yup

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 03:41 PM

Hello,

This is my first time posting, so please bear with me. I am not overly knowledged about these types of things.

History: I have an old HP desktop that runs windows 98 and use cable for internet. I've updated that to Windows XP SP1. I was running that for a while when all of a sudden my computer slowed down trememdously. I was getting pop ups and then the browser began closing without me doing so. About two weeks ago I re-used windows XP to reformat (or so I think) the computer.

Currently: My system is running at a fine pace, however I was getting a message upon start up from mstskmgr.exe stating that an illegal instruction occured. Also, at times when I start up, it would state that efes.exe would not run and asked if I wished to send an error report. I assumed it was due to my reformatting and ignored it. The other day, when I turned my computer on, it said "new software installed". Obviously I was concerned, so after viewing my hard drive, I see there are a few .exe on it (with silly names) that I did not create. I finally decided to look up efes.exe and what I found was that it is possibly a virus that allows the virus author to control your PC, start or stop process, etc., and it's also a keylogger which sends off all your typings to one of many predefined email addressed every 2 hours.
Soooo.... I figured I must have a new virus... I'll just reformat my computer again with the Windows XP cd. For some reason after doing this, I still have the same exe.'s that I didn't put on my computer.

Problem: I use my computer for things like online banking, have several email accounts (some of which are business) and do pay bills on occassion online. I am wondering which route would be better....

1. Should I use my HP recovery CD that came with my computer (soo many years ago) which I know reformats the hard drive then install the Windows XP again? From there I would follow the suggestions listed on this site of adding spywear and virus protectors. By reformatting, will I definitely swipe out all viruses?

- OR -

2. Should I follow the suggestions on this site of downloading the spyware and virus protectors, firewall, etc. without reformatting my hard drive? If I do this, I am worried that I might miss something and not get all of the viruses/spywear off...

Also being new, can anyone advise about how to post a log through Hijack This or if I even need to? Thank you for your time and help... sorry for being ignorant on the subject!!! Rest assured, I am learning now... :thumbsup:

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:35 PM

You can certain re-install your operating system on a clean hard drive, but this solution will not prevent further infections and you will end up repeating the process over and over again.
You should install an adequate firewall, a resident Anti-virus, and at least two anti-spyware applications. Update these so their definitions are current, and perform a complete and thorough scan of your hard drive (preferably in Safe Mode). There are many very good free anti-malware applications, and these are listed here:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html
Your AV should find and quarantine the problems, and prevent their being downloaded in the future. If after doing this you still have problems, then it would be appropriate to submit a HJT log, the instructions for which are found here (and you will have already done some of the preliminary work):

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/

Regards,
John




Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 Yup

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 01:33 AM

Thank John. So it sounds like the best course of action is to do the system recovery with the older original disk, which will reformat the hard drive. From there I will use my upgrade cd to windows XP. Just wanted to make sure that the system recovery and reformat definitely wipe out any virus on the computer?

From there, I will be doing the anti-virus, firewall and two spy blockers (using the suggested from the link). And of course changing all the passwords to everything... yuck!




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