How to Format my main HD on Bootup

By elistan ·
Ok so.

I got the security tools rootkit and it ate up quite a bit of my HD, I can't remove it and its messed around enough with my machine that I now cant run any .exe files (asks what program should it run them with).

I can't get into safe mode because my bios is old and it doesnt pre-emptively boot up my USB slots until windows actually loads, and I cant update the BIOS because i cant run any .exe programs, msconfig command no longer works either.

Yep its a headache.

I want to just format the drive and start again, Im running windows xp media center (im on a dell), and I have the disc they sent with the computer that has the OS on it.

When I tell it to boot from disc rather than giving me the options to repair / reinstall etc it just says push a key to boot from disc, I do that and it loads windows normally.

I cant use the dell factory restore format version because of the usb problem.

Please help me this has been driving me nuts.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Remove the HDD & format it in another computer

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to How to Format my main HD ...

Put the drive back in the computer & boot to the CD....it will now allow you to install a clean version of XP.

PS - I'd also delete the partition & recreate it (don't delete the DELL partition used for restoring to factory install, just in case it's needed).

You could also boot to a linux cd & wipe the drive from it.

Collapse -


by elistan In reply to Remove the HDD & format i ...

Thank you for your reply.

Will it be safe ? It still has the rootkit on it and I don't want to infect my partners PC.

Collapse -

OK that is a nasty one and you need to wipe the HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How to Format my main HD ...

With something like Boot & Nuke or Kill Disc



Now for the drawbacks. Both of the above address the entire HDD not individual Partitions and as this is a Dell the Recovery Partition is the Primary Partition and it's likely to be infected with this nasty so you'll need to blow it away.

Boot & Nuke does a better job at destroying things but with SATA Drives it's not as easy to use as Kill Disc so depending on your experience Kill Disc may be the better option for your needs here.

If you have the Dell Recovery Disc you should be able to rebuild the system to As New and your description is correct of the install Process you start off by pressing any Key to Boot From the CD but with a Wiped Drive you will never see that message till you get a working OS Loaded. Then just follow the prompts to reinstall the OS.

However Dell have 2 different kind of Recovery Disc's you'll need to make sure that your is the Full Recovery Disc as the Partial one relies on the Dell Recovery Partition and just basically runs a Subroutine to get that working.

Either of the above programs will Kill this Nasty completely but you'll need to make sure that you follow Standard Security Practices to prevent a reinfection. Both utilities can take several hours to run to depending on the speed of your Hardware and the size of the HDD. After all it's no good cleaning the system if you are going to do the same thing again to infect the unit.

I would also check and Networked Computers that this has been connected to for the same infection as it's a nasty one that spreads very easily.


Collapse -


by elistan In reply to OK that is a nasty one an ...

Ok ill give that a go first Ive got other machines I can burn the disc from.


Collapse -

Your Welcome EOM

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thanks

Related Discussions

Related Forums