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Wiping out a virus

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by AntAltMike, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    College...
    I bought a mini HP laptop at Best Buy in December for $400. It fried within a month, so they let me swap it for a new one. Two or three days later, the new one contracted a virus. Best Buy said their warranty does not cover that and that they want $200 to remove it.

    I have stored nothing on that computer. Can I just wipe the hard drive clean myself, "reformat it" (which I don't know how to do), and then reinstall the, "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for Ultra Low Cost PSs SP3" from the CD ROM bearing that name that came with it?

    BTW, the mini HP doesn't have a CD drive, but I have another laptop that does.
     
  2. phat78boy

    phat78boy Hall Of Fame

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    The easiest way is using a USB external CD or DVD drive. It is by far your easiest option.

    You could put XP on a bootable USB drive, but that would require you having a separate copy of XP and slip streaming drivers into the install package. If that option is something you care to try, just post about it. There are plenty of good walkthrus online on how to do so.
     
  3. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    Which virus does it have?

    Try downloading a free virus scanner (I like Microsoft One Care Live's free scanner or ESET's).
     
  4. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    The computer comes with a hidden restore partition on the hard drive.
    Since you have no files to be saved, simply invoke the recovery menu and restore the image to the original factory condition.

    Your manual should explain how to do this, but on HP's it's usually brought up by pressing F10 while the computer is booting (between POST and Windows loading).

    Here's HP's page on the subject. Link

    If it's Vista, you may need to press F8 and then choose "Repair My Computer".

    /edit.... see additional information below regarding HP Mini's.
     
  5. cdizzy

    cdizzy Icon

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    AVG free is a good choice too. Worth a shot.
     
  6. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    The mini comps may not have a restore image.
    You can download the utility here, but I'm not sure if you can get the images from HP.
    Link

    You can call them and inquire.
    You'll also need to 2 GB USB flash drive.

    The best virus removal for this situation would be AVAST!
    Download, install and update. Then it run a boot-time scan.
    I also recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes.
     
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I agree with Mr. Fowler that Malwarebytes is an excellent tool for this situation. I don't use AVAST! but I have heard good things about it.
     
  8. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    The free versions of most scanners and AV programs will not *clean* an infected PC; they will only prevent infections, meaning you had to be running them in the first place. You usually need to pay for the version that will clean an existing infection.
     
  9. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    AVG will scan for, and clean, infections.
     
  10. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    As will Avast and Malwarebytes. (Both free)
    Sorry, IIP, but you're just wrong on that one.
     
  11. Pepster

    Pepster Legend

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    Would either of these be equivelent to what I lost a month or so ago. Verizon stopped providing their customers with virus\firewall protection for free. Any firewall suggestions?
     
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    For eradication of existing vermin, Trend Micro's Housecall runs in a browser (ActiveX or Java engines) and will try to kill what it finds.

    I don't recommend Trend's products otherwise. I recently was violated by a nasty rootkit almost immediately after installing their Internet Security product demo.
     
  13. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    If you have a cable or DSL modem, you already have a firewall.
    NAT is simple and effective.
    Add OpenDNS (208.67.222.222 &
    208.67.220.220) and the Windows firewall and you're good to go!
     
  14. airpolgas

    airpolgas Godfather

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    I vote for a clean re-install. We normally spend around 45 minutes or more disinfecting a computer Since we have our user's files on a file server, we decided it's easier to re-install everything from scratch because it takes roughly the same amount time, and you're pretty confident the system is clean afterward.
     
  15. Draconis

    Draconis New Member

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    Personal note, I've used avast! for years with no problems.

    Just pray you do NOT have a rootkit. If you do, you are going to have a very hard time getting it out.

    If you are unable to get into the OS or the virus prevents you from installing a AV program you can always try the Avira AntiVir Rescue System bootable CD.

    http://www.free-av.com/en/products/12/avira_antivir_rescue_system.html

    Of course, DEBUG, FDISK, Format, reload solves 100% of virus problems. If you cannot get it off your system that may be your only solution.
     
  16. Cmnore

    Cmnore Godfather

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    I've used Avast! for a few years now(only simple solution for WinXPProx64) and I highly recommend it.
     
  17. Pepster

    Pepster Legend

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    Can AVG and Ad-Aware eventually co-exist on the same computer? I was trying to install AVG and I was getting an error. I found out that what I needed to do to get rid of the error was uninstall Ad Aware. Will NOW re-installing Ad Aware negate AVG's effective ability to run?
     
  18. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    They can co-exist, but you'd probably want to disable Adaware's pro-active scanning and just run it when you have an issue.
    Malwarebytes is infinitely better than Adaware, IMO.
     
  19. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I agree with Mr. Fowler. I was an ad-aware fan for many years but Malwarebytes has eclipsed it.
     

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