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Need help getting rid of a virus!

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Need help getting rid of a virus!

petryss
I got a virus. At first it appeared when Microsoft Security Essentials found it and deleted it. Then it showed up again on the next scan and grew to two and four and more on each consecutive scan.

Next my desktop icons disappeared. I managed to find them and bring them back for a day or two while I worked to clean my computer of the virus. I tried to run disc cleanup but that disappeared from system. Next all my programs disappeared and now I can't access the internet. I tried working in safe mode but I cant even find any of my programs. I tried to dump the computer and re-install XP but nothing works.
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databaseben
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depending on the infection, what might have happened is that when the virus was zapped, the infected system file(s) were also zapped, which may have caused your system to become unstable. the problem with most anti virus programs is that they can zap the infection but cannot restore the original files before they were infection.

the xp disk can help you restore the corrupted or missing system files. however, the xp version on the computer must be identical to the version on the xp set up cd. so in order to execute a repair installation, you would have to downgrade your system and uninstall the sp updates from the computer.

but on the other hand, there is a method to restore system files via system restore from the disk prompt.

what i would do is to boot up with the xp cd and initialize the recovery / repair console in order to get you to the disk prompt.

afterwards, i would execute a old system restore point which should re-instate a stable registry hive and copies of system files before the infection occurred.

personally i would choose the oldest point, which would guarantee that the infection did not exist at the time. but the restore point is your call. in any case, the instructions can be found here:

http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/system-restore-via-disk-prompt/

but before doing the above, do a quick check disk to ensure that the master file table and the file system and index's are in sync and not corrupted.

if after you do a system restore and the machine is bootable again, boot into safe mode and disconnect the internet cord from the machine and also execute a clean boot. "or" you can choose to uninstall the sp updates via control panel, if you prefer to execute a repair install with your xp disk.

in any case, if you decide to boot back into normal mode, be sure to disable all browser extensions and add-ons and delete all cookies before reconnecting the internet line, as they may have also been the entry point of the infection.

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petryss
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I appreciate your response databaseben. However; at this point any BOOT attemp is futile as I have tried everything I can think of and the computer is non-responsive.

I tried to follow your instructions but Iwhen I tried to BOOT with the re-install XP disc it gives me the option to strike F1 to reboot or F2 for set up utility. pressing F1 just repetes itself, F2 will take me to the setup utility.

What's next to try?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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petryss
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Hello Databaseben:

I printed the instructions at the site you gave me, http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/system-restore-via-disk-prompt/

and went thru the instructions twice and both times I got to #10 and got this message "cannot find the file directory. I got a list of file names but nothing that said RP# or anything about restore point .

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dmritchie2
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It appears that your CD/DVD is not in the boot sequence, depending on your BIOS, find the boot order and place the CD/DVD player at the top of the sequence, save your settings (usually F10) and reboot with the disk in the drive.

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petryss
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I finally got windows to accept the CD and install windows. We are now at the step that says:

The following show the partitioned and unparticianed space on this computer:

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petryss
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I finally got windows to accept the CD and install windows. We are now at the step that says:

The following show the partitioned and unparticianed space on this computer: Sorry about that, I hit enter before I was ready earlier.
It gives me several choices: I can set Windows XP up in one of the partitions, Delete any or all of the partitions or set Windows XP up in a net partition. The partitions are:

FAT ~ 24 MB Free Space
NTFS ~ 11071 MB Free Space
FAT32 ~ 324 MB Free Space
Inactive <O/S Boot Man ~ 8 MB Free Space

What should I do?

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databaseben
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keep in mind that if the xp version on the cd is not the same as the xp on the computer, you can't execute a "repair installation". the only options then would be to install xp as a secondary o.s. in a different folder or partition. afterwards you will have two copies of xp on your computer.

my suggestion is to look for the "R" option which will execute the recovery console and take you to the disk prompt. if you look at the bottom of the setup screen, there will be options to execute by pressing certain keyboard keys.

once at the disk prompt, you can retry my initial suggestion and try to salvage what you can.

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petryss
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At this point I am past where I could choose Repair, etc. If I install XP in a new partition can I go back and delete the old? Do I need to delete the other partitions that are listed.
If I really should go back and hit repair how do I get there from here?

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databaseben
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you can just reboot the computer again and return to the beginning of the setup screen.

however, if you don't want to salvage what you can, you can go ahead and reinstall xp from scratch. the installation process will scan your hard drive for installed o.s.'s and give you the options to install xp in its original folder, a new folder or different partition.

but you will want to install xp the drive c where the file system is ntfs.

after you make the selection, the cd should give you the option to format the c drive before installing xp.

at this point you could re format the c drive before installing, but since we don't know what kind of infection you had, reformatting may not be helpful.

but as long as you have the xp cd, your always open to start over again with setting up xp and selecting differing options, like reformatting the c drive.

in regards to deleting partitions, there is no need to do that. incidentally, is the computer your working on a pc or laptop?

if it is a laptop, then one of those partitions may be storing the original setup files to install xp and the hardware drivers. in which case, you could execute a "factory restore".

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petryss
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The computer I am working on is a pc. I went ahead and stopped the setup and started over. When I got to the part I could choose Repair I did. Now it is asking me "Which Windows installation would you like to log on to". Not sure what they want.