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I have a trojan on my computer and have not had much luck getting rid of it, so I think it might be easier to just reformat my computer, but it's been a long time since I have done anything like that so I am looking for help. I have Windows XP Service Pack3.

Where do I start?

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Last Post by caperjack
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look up ,just above where you click on to get into this thread ,the 2nd sticky notes tell all! good luck

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Hi Jhoefs,
Sorry to hear about your virus problem. Theres almost always a way to clean up most viruses without formatting your machine but if you don't have the skills to clean it up or know somebody else who does, its probably the best way to go. Its good to format every so often anway, it will have your machine running as good as new.

First thing to do is back up your data. Do you have much to back up? If you have multiple partitions on your hard drive or more than one drive? e.g. C:, D:, E: etc. If so, you can move data from your C drive onto other partitions. The most obvious places to back up are your (and the other users on the machine) user profile. The most important folders are the My Documents folder, Favourites, Desktop (get the files and folders, leave the shortcuts). Some applications store stuff in not so obvious places so you need to be careful if you don't want to lose data. Some applications will give you an option in the GUI (look for File > Export etc.) to back up your data, others don't so you need to find the folders where they store their stuff. Outlook stores your mail and contacts in c:\documents and settings\<username>\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook\<profilename>.pst so grab that if you use it. Outlook Express uses a completely different location but both give you the option to export data from within the GUI. If you have a separate partition/disk with enough space to hold your C drive and a program like Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost, a safer option would be to take an image of the whole C drive and then format. Then, later you can attach the image of your C drive and dip into it to copy your data back over. If you're not sure you've got everything, you can google about to find out where applications store their stuff.

Once you're confident that you've backed everything up, you need to get some together the drivers for your machine and some antivirus software. If your machine is a Dell or similar, they put all your drivers on their website for you to download. You will need the service tag off the back of your machine and then go to their support site to download them. If your machine is custom built it gets a little bit harder to find all the drivers but the most important ones you will need to get back online are the motherboard chipset drivers and network adapter driver. Get those and the antivirus software on a CD before you start. If you haven't already bought antivirus software, my favourite is Eset Smart Security. Great protection and doesn't hog resources.

Once you have that, pop in your Windows CD and reboot your machine. Some machines are already set to check your optical drive for a boot disc before booting from the Hard drive but if not, you will either need to tell it to do so in the BIOS or hit the F key to get to your "One-Time Boot Menu" (normally F8 - F12). Choose to boot from the CD/DVD drive and you will be given a message for 3 seconds saying "Press any key to boot from CD...". Hit any key and the machine will start the Windows installer. You should then be asked to press Enter to start setup or R for to go to the recovery console. Hit Enter. You should then be asked to press F8 to agree with the license. Hit F8. Setup will then scan for other installations of Windows and should find your infected one. You should hit 'escape' instead of repairing an installation and you should then see your partitions. Using the cursor keys, select your infected C drive and hit 'D'. Setup will give you a warning and ask you to confirm the deletion by pressing 'L'. If you're certain that you backed everything up, hit 'L'. You will then go back to your partitions. Select the unallocated space left from deleting your C drive and hit 'C' to create a new partition and then do a "quick" NTFS format and then press 'Enter' to select that as the location to install Windows. Setup will do its thing and within 45 mins your should be at the mini setup where you choose a username.

Once you're in Windows and before you connect to the internet, get your dirvers installed and the Antivirus software. The all thats left is to copy/restore your data back and start re-customising your setup.

If you get stuck, drop me a line.

Cheers

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The all thats left is to copy/restore your data back and start re-customising your setup.!!!!!!!

and hope you left the virus behind

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Hi crymynylmynd,
i thought I knew what I was doing around a PC but you got me lost so many times i think i will go back to school and learn more about PC's. As caperjack stated, what happened to the viruses that "if you don't have the skills to clean it up or know somebody else who does" were they burnt in the image of c being copied to another drive and a new partition created when press c or was it d, sorry I am lost again, please help me.

No, it is OK, I just found caperjacks first post "look up ,just above where you click on to get into this thread ,the 2nd sticky notes tell all! good luck" and that explains it all in plain language so I don't need your help, thanks anyway.

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Hi crymynylmynd,
i thought I knew what I was doing around a PC but you got me lost so many times i think i will go back to school and learn more about PC's. As caperjack stated, what happened to the viruses that "if you don't have the skills to clean it up or know somebody else who does" were they burnt in the image of c being copied to another drive and a new partition created when press c or was it d, sorry I am lost again, please help me.

No, it is OK, I just found caperjacks first post "look up ,just above where you click on to get into this thread ,the 2nd sticky notes tell all! good luck" and that explains it all in plain language so I don't need your help, thanks anyway.

Apologies, I thought I had made it quite simple. I'll dumb it down a bit next time...

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The all thats left is to copy/restore your data back and start re-customising your setup.!!!!!!!

and hope you left the virus behind

What are you saying? Should he just format the whole drive without trying to save anything??? At least if he gets some protection installed early on, he will have a better chance of avoiding reinfection while moving his personal data back. I'm really not sure what to take from your comment, it doesn't help the user so it must just be a pointless dig at my attempt to help another user... Well done...

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"A pointless dig at at your attempt at what?" You have confused everyone let alone the poor poster that has no idea what you are saying. And caperjack only pasted your statement as a quote, you are the one who said it not him, His only statement was "and hope you left the virus behind" OK.... Caperjack had already given the poster a simple easy to understand site to get the information he needed and you came along and posted a load of dribble that no one could understand and you claim you are helping the poster, NOT!!!

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Thanks for the detailed response! Hopefully I can handle it from here, but I will let you know if I need more help! :)

jhoefs

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"A pointless dig at at your attempt at what?" You have confused everyone let alone the poor poster that has no idea what you are saying. And caperjack only pasted your statement as a quote, you are the one who said it not him, His only statement was "and hope you left the virus behind" OK.... Caperjack had already given the poster a simple easy to understand site to get the information he needed and you came along and posted a load of dribble that no one could understand and you claim you are helping the poster, NOT!!!

Haha Fool.
1. I wasn't talking to you so you need to mind your own business. If my "dribble" was too technical for you, thats not my problem, you just need to learn more about computers.
2. The original poster said "Thanks for the detailed response" which, to me, makes it worth the time it took to write it. I figured he would appreciate a personal response with the offer of further help if he needed it instead of just pointing him to a link like Caperjack did or chipping in with some irrelevant nonsense like you. If thats how you "help" people on this site, I would recommend Jhoefs looks elsewhere in future because with idiots like you in this community, he will either get no advice or misadvice.

Its such a shame this had to turn into a slagging match but I don't back down when I'm right. Tw@t

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Thanks for the detailed response! Hopefully I can handle it from here, but I will let you know if I need more help! :)

jhoefs

Cool man, good luck. Let me know if you get stuck. Cheers

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Hi Jhoefs,
Sorry to hear about your virus problem. Theres almost always a way to clean up most viruses without formatting your machine but if you don't have the skills to clean it up or know somebody else who does, its probably the best way to go. Its good to format every so often anway, it will have your machine running as good as new.

First thing to do is back up your data. Do you have much to back up? If you have multiple partitions on your hard drive or more than one drive? e.g. C:, D:, E: etc. If so, you can move data from your C drive onto other partitions. The most obvious places to back up are your (and the other users on the machine) user profile. The most important folders are the My Documents folder, Favourites, Desktop (get the files and folders, leave the shortcuts). Some applications store stuff in not so obvious places so you need to be careful if you don't want to lose data. Some applications will give you an option in the GUI (look for File > Export etc.) to back up your data, others don't so you need to find the folders where they store their stuff. Outlook stores your mail and contacts in c:\documents and settings\<username>\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook\<profilename>.pst so grab that if you use it. Outlook Express uses a completely different location but both give you the option to export data from within the GUI. If you have a separate partition/disk with enough space to hold your C drive and a program like Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost, a safer option would be to take an image of the whole C drive and then format. Then, later you can attach the image of your C drive and dip into it to copy your data back over. If you're not sure you've got everything, you can google about to find out where applications store their stuff.

Once you're confident that you've backed everything up, you need to get some together the drivers for your machine and some antivirus software. If your machine is a Dell or similar, they put all your drivers on their website for you to download. You will need the service tag off the back of your machine and then go to their support site to download them. If your machine is custom built it gets a little bit harder to find all the drivers but the most important ones you will need to get back online are the motherboard chipset drivers and network adapter driver. Get those and the antivirus software on a CD before you start. If you haven't already bought antivirus software, my favourite is Eset Smart Security. Great protection and doesn't hog resources.

Once you have that, pop in your Windows CD and reboot your machine. Some machines are already set to check your optical drive for a boot disc before booting from the Hard drive but if not, you will either need to tell it to do so in the BIOS or hit the F key to get to your "One-Time Boot Menu" (normally F8 - F12). Choose to boot from the CD/DVD drive and you will be given a message for 3 seconds saying "Press any key to boot from CD...". Hit any key and the machine will start the Windows installer. You should then be asked to press Enter to start setup or R for to go to the recovery console. Hit Enter. You should then be asked to press F8 to agree with the license. Hit F8. Setup will then scan for other installations of Windows and should find your infected one. You should hit 'escape' instead of repairing an installation and you should then see your partitions. Using the cursor keys, select your infected C drive and hit 'D'. Setup will give you a warning and ask you to confirm the deletion by pressing 'L'. If you're certain that you backed everything up, hit 'L'. You will then go back to your partitions. Select the unallocated space left from deleting your C drive and hit 'C' to create a new partition and then do a "quick" NTFS format and then press 'Enter' to select that as the location to install Windows. Setup will do its thing and within 45 mins your should be at the mini setup where you choose a username.

Once you're in Windows and before you connect to the internet, get your dirvers installed and the Antivirus software. The all thats left is to copy/restore your data back and start re-customising your setup.

If you get stuck, drop me a line.

Cheers

actually it all makes sense to me ,i was just commenting on backing up after an infection, to late in my opinion ,so I say and do! unless the data is very important ,I leave it .

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