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Old 10-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Hi,

I think our laptop (it's kind of a communal laptop in a house full of students) has a pretty bad virus. I think it's beyond repair or cleaning so I was thinking of just wiping out the computer and reinstalling everything and starting over.

We don't have the discs though, but we do have the discs from another system.

The computer in trouble: Dell XPS M140
The computer w/ discs: Dell Inspiron E1505

They are both laptops, and they both run Windows XP Home. Very similar systems (the XPS was just a fancy name for Inspiron)

Can you use the other systems discs to reinstall the drivers, OS, etc.......on this other computer?????

Sorry - I'm not super-computer literate so I hope the question makes sense.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Nope, Dell and other manuf. make it to where that resource / OS DVD will only work on the model made for that DVD. So you can't go and take that DVD and use it to restore other computers.

Dell sometimes puts a recovery partition on the hard drive, see if you can press F12 at bootup to get to the recovery partition. It should be noted all data will be lost in doing this.

Or you can do a repair installation of XP Home if you can find an XP Home disk, this will save all of your data and software and just reinstall the OS. I've see though with laptops from Dell that they don't allow repair installations (you'll get to the proper screen and that option will be greyed out) so the only option may be a recovery disk from the manf (you can call and request one).
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Hmm, as theyre both Dells, and if the hardwares simular... It might work though.

Also, check if they have the hidden partion. Then just restore from there.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Okay, I'm going to try that, but before doing so I had another question or two.

However, first I just wanted to say thank you. I appreciate you both taking the time to respond.

First, I run AVG and there is some weird virus on it that keeps coming up since last night which is why I figured I should use employ drastic measures befoer someone enters something they shouldn't and gets their info stolen.....

"Win32/Heur" or something like that. I've seen little viruses before this thing is sending AVG into overdrive.

I assume safety dictate going with something drastic like this?

Second, will using the partition (assuming it's an option) remove any hint of a virus like that?

Thanks again!!!!!
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

It should... Run through Osiris guide
Spyware Asylum

Using safe-mode to remove it might help too.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Hey, thanks everyone.

Well, I ran with Ctrl + F11 and did a complete system restore to factory settings.

I believe it worked, but is there anyway to know for sure? Will old viruses hide somehow, or will they still be picked up by AVG and the recommended spyware programs?

It looks clean, and it's running faster than ever, but I just wanted to be sure I'm safe.

Would running a Hijack this log and posting it in the proper section make it pretty easy for an expert to see that it's clean?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Quote:
Would running a Hijack this log and posting it in the proper section make it pretty easy for an expert to see that it's clean?
yes, and Osiris is the main log reader in the forums as it says in his Spyware Asylum
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Most virus's are kept in the windows folders and registries of the OS. When you do a repair install it will overwrite these files, deleting and destroying the virus's.

There are things like worms and other hardcore virus's that can be found elsewhere that may not be fixed by a repair install. But 9 out of 10 times you can fix the issue with a repair install.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Quote:
Originally Posted by inertiacreeps View Post
First, I run AVG and there is some weird virus on it

"Win32/Heur" or something like that. I've seen little viruses before this thing is sending AVG into overdrive.
Have you thought about getting another Antivirus?
Obviously AVG did not protect you from this Virus, here's the reason why:

When AVG8 was initially released there were so many reported problems with SpywareBlaster and Sbybot's S&D Immunize feature that they issued FAQ 1198: Infection detected in "ActiveX Compatibility" registry key to address the issue.
" An "ActiveX Compatibility" registry key is a result of the "Immunize" function included in some anti-spyware programs (e.g.: "Spybot search & destroy", "Spyware blaster",...)
Quote:
The key contains the same registry entries as the actual threats, thus preventing them from working correctly. Some anti-spyware programs use this method to prevent launching of the malware. Unfortunately, these parts are still detected by AVG signatures and that is why AVG marks them as infected. To assure protection provided by AVG against these threats, it is not possible to remove such signatures from AVG virus bases. Because of this, "Immunize" function included in above mentioned softwares is NOT compatible with AVG products.
Subsequent AVG updates corrected the detections and the link to that FAQ was removed.
But you can still search Google on the Italic statement above
And that is why AVG marks them as infected.

If you feel that this is unacceptable (as you were stated infected, and decided to complete re-install on this)
Then I would uninstall AVG
Then run the AVG remover tool: http://www.avg.com/filedir/util/supp...remover_en.exe
Then Restart
Then download and install free Avira Antivirus: Free antivirus - Avira AntiVir
Update it, and run a full scan

Only then you can confirm if AVG has missed any infections
I would be interested in the results, as I run free Avira myself.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Reinstalling OS, etc....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexluethar View Post
Nope, Dell and other manuf. make it to where that resource / OS DVD will only work on the model made for that DVD. So you can't go and take that DVD and use it to restore other computers.

Dell sometimes puts a recovery partition on the hard drive, see if you can press F12 at bootup to get to the recovery partition. It should be noted all data will be lost in doing this.

Or you can do a repair installation of XP Home if you can find an XP Home disk, this will save all of your data and software and just reinstall the OS. I've see though with laptops from Dell that they don't allow repair installations (you'll get to the proper screen and that option will be greyed out) so the only option may be a recovery disk from the manf (you can call and request one).
that's not 100% true. because i have a dell XP restore disc and i have installed XP on several non dell pc's even a custom built one.
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