Is it enough to format a computer/phone for erase a malware/virus?

  • Thread starter Noob of the Maths
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Format
In summary, the conversation discusses the difficulty of removing malware from a computer or smartphone, with a specific example of a virus that can relaunch itself after being deleted. The topic of hidden areas and rootkits on computers is also mentioned. The question of whether formatting or changing the IP or using a VPN is enough to clean the device is also raised, with the answer being that it is difficult to clean remotely and a read-only boot/rescue disk is advised. The topic of phones being even trickier to clean due to limited access and lack of alternative boot devices is also mentioned. The conversation concludes with a link to the Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal, which serves as an example of how hidden viruses can cause issues.
  • #1
Noob of the Maths
52
6
I have a question about a infecting computer or smartphone:

If was infected and the contents can be viewed in real time in other equipment... its enough to format for clean the computer/smartphone? or the "ip" needs to be change or is required use a VPN?

How its infected this kind of virus/malware? i don't know about this kind of tracking and if its possible erase completely, i have a issue with a computer years ago by this, maybe i infected opening a email or image...
 
Computer science news on Phys.org
  • #2
It's sometimes very difficult to root out malware from a machine. One well-known virus would launch 3 copies of itself and each time you deleted a copy the other two would detect it and relaunch before you could get to them. It took a specially written program to get rid of the infection.

There are areas of every computer where viruses can be stashed where an end-user can't get to them. Sometimes a Rootkit is installed which can hide certain directories from view and from deletion. The only way you might know something is amiss is in a mismatch of total file sizes vs available disk space. Sony did this some years ago and was roundly castigated by the public.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes sysprog and Lnewqban
  • #3
Noob of the Maths said:
If was infected and the contents can be viewed in real time in other equipment... its enough to format for clean the computer/smartphone? or the "ip" needs to be change or is required use a VPN?
Mentioning network stuff makes me suspicious that you want to do this remotely, what makes the answer a definitive 'no'. As long as the infected system running (and you won't have network access if it's not running) it's difficult to clean up even with a local antivirus software. Any remote filesystem operation is just futile.

On computers it is advised that any 'formatting' or 'cleaning' to be done by a read only boot/rescue disk.

Phones are really tricky, since by default you don't have access to all the memory: also, you can't remove the 'HDD' from the phone to be wiped or inspected on a different device. Also, there are no alternative boot devices.
 
  • Like
Likes Noob of the Maths
  • #4
jedishrfu said:
It's sometimes very difficult to root out malware from a machine. One well-known virus would launch 3 copies of itself and each time you deleted a copy the other two would detect it and relaunch before you could get to them. It took a specially written program to get rid of the infection.

There are areas of every computer where viruses can be stashed where an end-user can't get to them. Sometimes a Rootkit is installed which can hide certain directories from view and from deletion. The only way you might know something is amiss is in a mismatch of total file sizes vs available disk space. Sony did this some years ago and was roundly castigated by the public.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandalhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal
Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal
 
  • Haha
Likes jedishrfu

Related to Is it enough to format a computer/phone for erase a malware/virus?

1. Can formatting a computer/phone completely remove a malware/virus?

Yes, formatting a computer/phone will remove all files and data, including any malware or viruses that are present. This is because formatting erases the entire hard drive, leaving it in a blank state.

2. Is formatting a computer/phone a reliable way to get rid of a malware/virus?

Yes, formatting is a reliable way to get rid of a malware/virus. However, it is important to note that some advanced malware may be able to survive a format by hiding in the computer's firmware or boot sector. In these cases, additional steps may be necessary to fully remove the malware.

3. Will formatting a computer/phone cause any damage to the system?

No, formatting a computer/phone will not cause any damage to the system. However, it is important to ensure that you have backed up all important files and data before formatting, as this process will erase everything on the computer/phone.

4. Do I need to reinstall the operating system after formatting?

Yes, after formatting a computer/phone, you will need to reinstall the operating system. This is because formatting erases all files and data, including the operating system, leaving the computer/phone in a blank state.

5. Can I format a computer/phone without losing important files and data?

No, formatting a computer/phone will erase all files and data, so it is important to back up any important files before proceeding with the format. You can back up your files onto an external hard drive or cloud storage before formatting to ensure they are not lost.

Similar threads

  • Computing and Technology
Replies
22
Views
4K
  • Biology and Medical
3
Replies
100
Views
7K
Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
23
Views
3K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
17
Views
16K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
3K
Back
Top