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A really infected machine

  1. Feb 8, 2007 #1
    I just started to work on a co-workers computer, they had no anti virus, no firewall, no startup manager, and no spyware programs.
    To say the least it is loaded with alot of nasties, one of my problems is that when I try to get rid of the spyware, bad registry keys, etc, it freezes up the machine most likely adaware is just to overwhelmed by the amount of crap, does anyone have a suggestion on how to fix this, I will also try spybot tonight, but any other suggestions would be welcomed.
    PS, It's a Win 98 PC, is F8 the safe mode startup key?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2007 #2


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    Safe mode won't help you. Perhaps buying antivirus software would be a good idea.
  4. Feb 8, 2007 #3


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    You could try safe mode to fix some of the registry keys and so on. But I've worked on several "nasty machines". They were so infected that I had to format and reinstall windows becuase I was simply getting me nowhere by scanning and deleting registry keys. Only reformat after you have exhausted all your options (virus scanner, registry cleaner, spyware/adware removal).
  5. Feb 13, 2007 #4
    Are you still Troubleshooting this issue? If you are let me know and I will help out
  6. Feb 13, 2007 #5
    It sounds like clearing the hd is the best option. That is if you are allowed to.
  7. Feb 13, 2007 #6
    In all honesty, lots of computer repair places (like the Geek Sqaud - gag) will fix the machine like that, when in all actuality even the most virus infested machines that seem so unbearably hopeless can be fixed taken the proper steps in order to neutralize the problem. Even files that you can find no way to delete them because they are running, and keep appearing and reappearing can be easily deleted using the recovery console of the Windows XP Install CD, or a program like ERD Commander, but that cost a TON of money for licesensing and I am sure buying ERD commander could account for about buying 5 or 6 new computers. But any virus/spyware problem is fixable without wiping the drive
  8. Feb 13, 2007 #7


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    You can use Bart PE or a copy of the Windows Preinstallation Environment which boot from a cd, or alternatively a Live version of Linux, such as Suse Linux which boots from a dvd, to start up the computer and delete infected files.
    Search for files recently modified, try to determine if they are malicious and then delete, rename or move them to a separate location. Since the malicious software never starts it can't protect itself so it's vulnerable to deletion.
    You should also run HijackThis, it can give you a good idea of what still left in the system, and help you clean up the registry.
    But if formatting is not a problem, then you have an easy solution.
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