I have a serious problem with my PC - Prblem solved - Thanks!

24 replies
Hi guys,

I got a trojan on my PC and it's sunk its teeth into the windows system files. Actually, my brother was surfing and picked it up, and din't realise it until I tried to use my browsers and a couple of other programs. It's bad, and I'm not sure if it is salvagable at the moment because every time I try to do anything on the PC, I get the error windows poping up all over the place.

Whatever this trajan is, it deactivates all antivirus and spyware apps, and will not let you download any from the the Internet. Nor will it let you send an attachment from another PC. If it recognizes the attachment as a threat, it will not keep the zip attached to the email. In fact, it writes a nasty little note back to you stating that no such person or user resides here.

If that's not bad enough, it also blocks system recovery, autorun, the "Run" utility, and safe mode when booting.

This thing is nasty, that's for sure.

Anyway, this particular PC (HP Pavilion media center) did not come with a recovery disk, so I created recovery disks manually right after I booted the PC up for the first time.

Now I'm not that great with settting up PCs, partitioning, and that sort of stuff, so came in here to ask the warriors.

Here is what I need to know:

1) Do I hve to wipe the HD before using the recovery disks? If so, how do I do this?

2) Will these recovery disks set up the partitions and everything? Or would I still have to do that?

3) If they will set everything up for me, how do I install them if the auto run is blocked?

I'd appreciate any and all help.

Thanks ....


Mary
#problem #recovery #serious #urgent
  • Profile picture of the author DrewG
    Damn, I know the feeling Mary,

    I had a trojan/virus attack my laptop a couple months ago - could log-in but couldn't do anything.

    I was going to suggest using your recovery disc that came w/ the computer, but since it didn't come with one, you might wanna use the one you created.

    Otherwise it looks like you're going to have to wipe the drive clean and reload Windows from scratch.


    ~D.C.
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    • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
      Originally Posted by Drew Castle View Post

      Damn, I know the feeling Mary,

      I had a trojan/virus attack my laptop a couple months ago - could log-in but couldn't do anything.

      I was going to suggest using your recovery disc that came w/ the computer, but since it didn't come with one, you might wanna use the one you created.

      Otherwise it looks like you're going to have to wipe the drive clean and reload Windows from scratch.


      ~D.C.
      Hey DC,

      Feel sorry for you.

      I have a few disks that I created, so it's not just one.

      So you're saying to install them over what is there now without wiping the HD, and that will do everything I need done?

      Thanks btw ...


      Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Wilkinson
    and people wonder why I won't use IE. At least with Firefox you
    can dump it. clean it out and reload it. Only had to do that once
    but I lost nothing on the computer.

    Microsoft MIGHT HAVE gotten the message with IE. They have
    said that starting with "Windows 7" they are going to allow the
    user to shut off IE for the first time.

    Tom
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    When you hear someone telling you what YOU can't do, they are usually talking about what THEY can't do.
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  • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
    save what you need and reformat
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hey Thomas,

    I couldn't do that with FF with this thing! It shut that down as well so I don't think it has anything to do with IE. This is a trojan that goes for the Wins32 files first, then imbeds itself in the bat files I think, so it was meant for Windows OS.


    lacraiger,

    Originally Posted by lacraiger View Post

    save what you need and reformat
    This is one of the questions I was asking. How in the devil do I reformat the disk?
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  • Profile picture of the author sevenish
    Mary,

    I've been there. I may be able to help you before you need to reformat your hard drive or spend money. I hope you don't mind if I send you a PM with contact information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White
      Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

      Mary,

      I've been there. I may be able to help you before you need to reformat your hard drive or spend money. I hope you don't mind if I send you a PM with contact information.
      Mary before you reformat your hard drive see if sevenish can help you, reformatting the drive is the very last resort.

      Do you have any idea which virus you have?
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      • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
        Originally Posted by Charles E. White View Post

        Mary before you reformat your hard drive see if sevenish can help you, reformatting the drive is the very last resort.

        Do you have any idea which virus you have?
        Hey Charles,

        I looked at what Sevenish suggested, but the PC will not allow installation of any antivirus, spyware removal, or utilities tools.

        And no, I can't identify it unless I can get a utility installed. I do know this thing is in the recovery files on the PC, so I don't see salvation in the end.

        I know I've tried everything I know of, and then some, and it seems the more I try, the more things get blocked by this thing. :\


        Hey Dave,

        My suggestion is to take the whole thing to a reputable computer shop, and let them handle it.

        Outsourcing...

        Why worry about how to do this and that, and spend too much time on something
        that you're not good at? Let a professional take care of it.

        Be Well!
        ECS Dave
        And what a wise man you are.

        But seriously, I don't have the time to wait for the only PC shop around this area to fix it outside of a 45 minute drive (live out in the country). The last time it took 3 weeks just to extract a few files, and add memory. I can't imagine how long of a job like this will take them.

        At time like this, I wish I lived closer to my brother in law!

        Thanks though ...
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        • Profile picture of the author ECS Dave
          Originally Posted by mmurtha View Post

          But seriously, I don't have the time to wait for the only PC shop around this area to fix it outside of a 45 minute drive (live out in the country). The last time it took 3 weeks just to extract a few files, and add memory. I can't imagine how long of a job like this will take them.

          At time like this, I wish I lived closer to my brother in law!

          Thanks though ...
          Dear Mary... I apologize up-front for "beating a dead horse" per se...
          but the time (and/or) money spent worrying about this yourself, would really be
          better spent doing what I suggested.

          If the shop you've been going to isn't adequate, try someone else...

          Google it with your Mac, find someone within your comfort range of travel, call them...

          Be Well!
          ECS Dave

          P.S. Also, consider the loss of data you will have if you reformat...
          A good shop will have machines to extract, scan, and store your
          data, then put it back on your "clean" machine...
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          • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
            Originally Posted by mmurtha View Post

            I haven't had to boot like this before so have no idea how to. Do I do it in "Run" or when I initially boot the PC up like I would for safe mode?
            This is a setting you change in your BIOS, the way to get into those settings is to press a certain key while the BIOS screen is showing (this is the screen that shows immediately after you boot your PC, *before* it makes any attempt to access your hard drive and load Windows). If you're lucky that screen will show you which key to press, it'll say something like "Press F1 to enter SETUP mode."

            If it doesn't tell you which key to press, you'll have to use the trial and error method. Just try rebooting and pressing different keys at that screen until you get to a setup menu. The most common keys to get into the setup menu (depending on the PC manufacturer) are F1, F2, F12 and ESC.

            As far as loss of data, back everything up.. I don't know too many shops around any areas where I've lived who'll do that for you, and if they do they charge you a lot extra. Most of the time you get the PC back with a fresh install of Windows and nothing else (if you're lucky, it'll be an install from your recovery disks and it'll at least have all the software that came from the factory).
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Be careful when reformatting. You'll need your system's drivers for your computer to work right.

    If you have access to another computer, and a usb jump drive, then you could try to download AVG - antivirus software onto the jumpdrive, and then try and install it from there. Then have it do a pre-boot scan of your computer.

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition - Reviews and free AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition downloads at Download.com
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Sevenish,

    No, I don't mind. Thanks.

    Hey Gary,

    Yeah, I thought about doing that, but the only other computer I have is the Mac at the moment. I do have it partitoned with windoes though, but I'm afraid to hook it up to the infected PC.

    Btw, AVG was the first thing this trojan rendered inefective. It'll detect any ativirus or spyware by the time you put it on your desktop to install it so ...

    I do appreciate yours, and everyone elses help and suggestions, so thanks, and I will be careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author ECS Dave
    My suggestion is to take the whole thing to a reputable computer shop, and let them handle it.

    Outsourcing...

    Why worry about how to do this and that, and spend too much time on something
    that you're not good at? Let a professional take care of it.

    Be Well!
    ECS Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Make sure you have the CD listed as the primary boot device in BIOS before attempting to run the recovery, otherwise it will get blocked!

    As for your questions:

    1. I would fully format the hard drive. This should be an option in your recovery utility.

    2. Partitioning should be an option in the recovery utility, and yes, run it that way or you may have problems later.

    3. See what I said above.
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    • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
      Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

      Make sure you have the CD listed as the primary boot device in BIOS before attempting to run the recovery, otherwise it will get blocked!

      As for your questions:

      1. I would fully format the hard drive. This should be an option in your recovery utility.

      2. Partitioning should be an option in the recovery utility, and yes, run it that way or you may have problems later.

      3. See what I said above.

      Hey Floyd,

      Thank you! I knew there was someone in here that could give me a simple answer about using the utility disks and partitioning.

      Can you please tell me how to do this?

      Make sure you have the CD listed as the primary boot device in BIOS before attempting to run the recovery, otherwise it will get blocked!
      I haven't had to boot like this before so have no idea how to. Do I do it in "Run" or when I initially boot the PC up like I would for safe mode?

      I can't use autorun anymore so ...

      Thanks for your help ....
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      • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
        Originally Posted by mmurtha View Post

        Hey Floyd,

        Thank you! I knew there was someone in here that could give me a simple answer about using the utility disks and partitioning.

        Can you please tell me how to do this?



        I haven't had to boot like this before so have no idea how to. Do I do it in "Run" or when I initially boot the PC up like I would for safe mode?

        I can't use autorun anymore so ...

        Thanks for your help ....
        Mary:

        What I'm talking about is in BIOS, where the virus cannot hit you.

        You go there, make triple sure the CD is listed as the first boot device, and you're all set.

        The recovery CD will then boot and install it's own operating system and you can go from there.

        Once you do that, just pay attention to the options it gives you, and you're set.

        I would destroy all partitions, and have the recovery CD create new ones, even the recovery partition (which is a waste to begin with IMHO) needs to go because it's probably infected too.

        Wish I could give you good news, but I've dealt with similar nasties, and doing a total dump of the hard drive was the only way to go.

        Good luck. If you need someone to talk you through this, I can be on skype in a flash. Just let me know and I'm there.

        Edit: Just saw you have skype. Get up there, and lets talk.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
    I wouldn't mess with partitions. If you were able to make recovery disks the first time you booted the PC, then you have a recovery partition that was put there at the factory and it's best not to mess with that. Leave the partitions how they are, just back up your important files and boot from the recovery disk. It should reformat your Windows partition (or at least give you the option to) and reinstall everything back to the way it was the day you took the PC out of the box.

    As far as outsourcing, why outsource such a simple job? I knew someone who would take her PC to a shop every time it got a virus and pay them $200+ (and be without the PC for a week) to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows. That's something I could do in a matter of a couple hours, and anyone can figure it out. With recovery disks it's even easier, most PC manufacturers make the process pretty painless and (mostly) unattended.
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hey Floyd,

    Okay, I'm on my way ... and thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author TCmarketer
    That kind of infection warrants total wipe and reinstall of windows. Although it sucks to lose data like that, you can use a program such GetDataBack and recover most of the files. I've used that program and recovered files from drives i formatted six months earlier.
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Okay gang,

    It's in the process of getting fixed up, so thanks a million!

    I knew it wouldn't be hard to do. It's just knowing how to do it, and taking the time to get it done.

    All I can say is that you guys are a swell group of people that I cannot ever replace!
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  • Profile picture of the author James Jewett
    I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I have windows xp pro, you may be able to do the same with vista, I don't know. I have a saved folder "virus cure" which contains:
    Super Antispyware, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, SpywareBlaster, Avast antivirus ( I suppose you could replace avast with your choice of antivirus), and CCcleaner.

    What I did:
    1. restart pc, DO NOT CONNECT TO WEB!
    2. turn off system restore, some trojans and malware will hide in here
    3. run SpywareBlaster
    Then
    4. run Super Antispyware
    Then
    5. run MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
    Then
    6. run Avast antivirus
    Then
    7. run cccleaner
    Then
    restart pc, turn on system restore.

    Worked for me,
    James
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    • Profile picture of the author anth.elias
      Originally Posted by James Jewett View Post

      I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I have windows xp pro, you may be able to do the same with vista, I don't know. I have a saved folder "virus cure" which contains:
      Super Antispyware, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, SpywareBlaster, Avast antivirus ( I suppose you could replace avast with your choice of antivirus), and CCcleaner.

      What I did:
      1. restart pc, DO NOT CONNECT TO WEB!
      2. turn off system restore, some trojans and malware will hide in here
      3. run SpywareBlaster
      4. run Super Antispyware
      5. run MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
      6. run Avast antivirus
      7. run cccleaner
      restart pc, turn on system restore.

      Worked for me,
      James
      Very good advice. To cut it short you may just want to run Malwarebytes, and the free AVG antivirus. Too many anti spyware/malware and antivirus programs may cause false postives, and in ecence these programs would be canceling each other out.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Jewett
    aelias, thanks for the comment

    Each of the programs should be run seperately, I did not mean run them together. I'll edit the post.

    Mostly the point that I was trying to get across was:

    That folder is what cured my malware problem, and I would recommend that anybody that works online have one also. It would save alot of frustration.

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author crazyheart
      I've been to that situation before.I decided to call my technician and make the reformat to remove the virus.Just a reminder,be sure to save the important files first or otherwise you will lose all.
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