Format hard drive or clean and maintain

By Mississauga99 ·
I have 4 workstations that has been hit preety hard bt viruses and adware. What are the pros and cons of wiping out the worstations and reloading all the software or just try and clean the infection?

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limitations of antivirus/antispyware

by JamesRL In reply to Format hard drive or clea ...

For one, though the cleaning programs may remove enough of the virus/spyware to make it harmless, they don't always cleanly remove everything. Thus your registry gets crowded and you may have conflicting .dlls etc.

You may also have a fragmented drive, corrupted temp interbnet files etc.

I find that if its badly infected, it is quicker to wipe and reinstall, because I keep all the updates i've done since my last install in a central place. I burn them to CD, then wipe and reinstall.


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Wipe the drive

by SkatingZebra In reply to Format hard drive or clea ...

I agree with the last post; wiping the drive and starting over is probably the best way to go. Why not set up a single workstation the way you want it, then use Ghost to create an image and restore the image to the other workstations? That way if you get hit with this again you can quickly restore your PC with minimal downtime.

FYI, I use ZoneAlarm firewall, Norton AntiVirus, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Lavasoft AdAware to keep spyware and viruses off my system. I haven't been hit yet.

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Whipe it out, and for a couple reasons

by DanLM In reply to Format hard drive or clea ...

1). youl know everything is clean. And the machines will probably run a boat load faster.

2). how much time will you spend cleaning them? How much frustration will you go through. If you look at the time factor required, its probably quicker and less frustrating to just wipe them out.

The previous post about ghosting afterwards is a great idea. It's still going to be quicker now to reformat and start over. You also know it will most likely happen again, So the ghost image will save even more time and frustration.

Shoot, you obviously have fought these work stations for awhile if your asking this question. You havent reached your if in doubt, wipe it out frustration stage yet?


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Thanks all for the help

by Mississauga99 In reply to Whipe it out, and for a c ...

I will suggest both ideas and time frame involed to the director for aproval. I like the idea of a clean start myself.

Thanks, Just making sure I am on the same page as everyone.

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pros and cons

by w2ktechman In reply to Format hard drive or clea ...

I have, as most techs, been in a situation that an infected (badly) system needed to be cleaned or reloaded. With trying to keep from reloading several times I have worked on a system in excess of 10 hours before (no backed up data). I have found this to be good advice. If it is lightly infested, then clean it. If it is heavily infested, then wipe and reload

pros for wiping
nice clean new system, fast and lean(er).
It may be faster to reload than fix.
If the data was backed up, you wont deal with possibly corrupted data.
If they have a standard operating environment, then by all means, wipe and reload

if there are no backups, a fix may be better.
If there is specialty SW or SW that is very hard to configure properly, a fix is better.
If the end user needs a lot of 3rd party SW to be installed, it may be much faster to fix than even looking for the licenses.

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