Recently I have offered to fix two friends' computers that were jacked up from spyware. I tried spybot, ad aware, Microsofts anti spyware app, spwsweeper and XP's system restore. None of it worked. System Restore could not restore, Norton (with the latest defs) could not finish it's scan and the spyware apps did not do the job. At my wits end I decided to reinstall which of course worked out peechy. My question the case where a user does not have a restore disc or the full blown version of Windows, what the frick do I do???? Any info is greatly appreciated.


In order to be legal, you need to have a valid serial number for licensing. Media (source install files) are not important... it is the license number that binds you to the agreement with Microsoft. Your people (clients) need to provide this information either with license numbers that they purchased, or by purchasing new media and licensing codes. If they do not like that, they can either call Microsoft and make their case, or start thinking about Linux.

It is not legal for you to install with your own personal codes. You could use your media, but you have to use the software licenses that they purchased.


Agreed. Nothing for you to do but go back to your friend(s) and say "Dude, you gotta spend some money!"

Thanks for the info. I guess I was just wondering if there was another way to restore the OS besides using Windows or a restore disc.

I'll give my usual blurb...if this is a machine from a Retailer like Toshiba or Dell your friend should have a certificate of authenticity on the bottom/side of the machine...install with your media/license and then have your friend call up Microsoft to activate the installation with this COA product key. If your friend doesn't have that sticker then he'll have to pay.


Sometimes, Capperjack, they get so engrained into the registry that does so much damage that a repair is not possible. Or you might repair with a weakness. I have found in my career that when a machine is infected that badly that it is best to rebuild from scratch.

There are many ways to sink time into a compute repair. Sometimes it is more time-efficient to rebuild.