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Old 04-21-2011, 01:04 AM   #21
Manatheron
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go out. buy a $10 4 gb USB drive and save anything you don't want to lose now, while you still have access
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:37 AM   #22
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You can always go to the last known good configuration. It pretty much resets your computer to a time before the boy got onto the computer. This only works if you actively backed up your computer with different configurations...

To get into safemode you restart your computer. As it is loading on the windows screen, you click f8. I just keep clicking f8 until it loads. One of the safemode will say "Safemode with networking."

Click that and it will take you through the process.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Manatheron View Post
Best advice? Take anything you want to keep, put it on a disk or external device, and wipe the fucker. Re-install from the ground up. it'll save you time and energy in the long run.
This.

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. (Seriously: once you believe you have a rootkit installed, there's no way to be 100% sure that anything you do online, or anything stored on your computer, is private. Assume that there's a keylogger installed and that somebody is reading everything you type).

First, from a clean machine you need to change any important online password (at the very least, your primary e-mail account). If that becomes compromised you've opened the door for somebody to take over everything you do on-line. Change it, and then don't access it from that machine until it's clean.

Next, as people have mentioned, backup all of your data in case the computer becomes unusable (you should backup your data anyway).

Third, not having a Windows XP disk is not the end of the world. Get your WinXP key using any of the several free key retrieval utilities.

To get a Windows CD, I'd start by asking your friends to make a copy of theirs. Pretty much everybody has a PC, most people stash the disks in a drawer somewhere and forget about them. If that doesn't work, go to your local mom and pop computer shop and ask them nicely to burn a copy for you (emphasize that you have a legit key and only need the installation media). If that doesn't work, do a torrent search for something like "XP Retail" and install it with the key you have.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:08 PM   #24
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Alright. A neighbor has a XP install disc, and I'll be able to pick up a USB drive tomorrow, as well as stop by the library to change all my passwords.

Any chance it'll survive a destructive reformat, and if so, what should I do to prevent this?
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:21 PM   #25
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DBAN. 100 passes should do the trick. You can boot it from a USB or burn it to a CD if you want.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:25 PM   #26
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DBAN. 100 passes should do the trick. You can boot it from a USB or burn it to a CD if you want.
Alright. What do you mean by 100 passes?
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #27
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He's talking about getting rid of his kiddie porn so he doesn't get V&.

A full hard drive format during the install should be plenty.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #28
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Alright, I guess I can always try his method if it sticks around. Any advice to avoid fucking this up? It'll have been the first time I've done something like this.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:35 PM   #29
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Save things like pictures, movies, emails, email address books [whatever email program you use will have an export function to do this], and other documents. Pretty much the entire My Documents folder. [Once you've finished formatting and re-installing the PC, be sure to scan these documents thoroughly before putting them back on your computer. Viruses can hide in some document files, but a good virus scan will catch them.

Don't save games or other programs. Anything with an .exe file in it is dangerous now. They're compromised. You'll have to do a fresh install of them.

For everything else, follow this handy LifeHacker guide: Geek to Live: How to format your hard drive and install Windows XP from scratch
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:26 PM   #30
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Can I find out what drivers are already on this computer somehow, or will I have to play the guessing game? And can I grab all of the drivers on this computer, or will I have to have another computer that can do that?
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:40 PM   #31
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Windows Update will find most of the drivers for you.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:21 PM   #32
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I guess I'll start after I get the USB drive and XP disc tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for the help, guys.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:43 PM   #33
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Nukular Winter's right. 90% of PCs can rely on Windows Update to get their drivers. Its those other 10% of PCs that cause all of the headaches.

If you want to do the lazy man's method, then don't worry about drivers. If something goes wrong, then you can download drivers using your other computer.

MAKE SURE TO PRINT REPORTS FROM DEVICE MANAGER AND BELARC ADVISOR ON YOUR CURRENT SETUP BEFORE YOU BEGIN. Follow "Step 2. Audit your current PC setup" on that link I gave you. You might need that info handy to find your drivers if problems occur.

Depending on how old the Windows XP install disc is and how weird your computer is, you could get the dreaded "Setup did not find any hard disk drives" error at the beginning of the Windows XP installation. Don't panic. It means that Windows needs SATA drivers so that it can talk to your hard drive. They'll be on your computer manufacturer's website [if you have a HP, Dell, etc] or else they'll be on your motherboard manufacturer's website [Gigabyte, Asus, Intel, etc.]. You'll be using your Belarc or Device Manager printouts to work out which site to go to. The weirdest part is that the only way to feed the SATA driver to Windows XP is on a floppy diskette. Lets hope you don't get that error, or that if you do you've got a floppy drive on your PC.

If something goes wrong during re-install and you can't figure it out, then post here or ask in DLP chat and someone should be able to help.

Last edited by yak; 04-21-2011 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #34
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The only problem with that is that I don't have another computer I can use. I'm going to be at the library tomorrow, so I'll be able to change all my passwords and stuff, but I don't have a car, so I can't just go back to the library and ask if something goes wrong. After I start this, I'm going to be completely in the dark aside from my brother's input and whatever I can print out ahead of time.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:32 PM   #35
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Run the computer in safe mode with networking and you'll still be able to access the internet, in normal safe mode you won't. To be honest, if I had your computer problems I would put my files on an external and wipe the computer entirely. Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:35 PM   #36
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The only problem with that is that I don't have another computer I can use.
Ah, sorry. I thought you'd have access to your brother's PC to do troubleshooting if anything goes wrong. If you're going to be in the dark then you need to prep a few things beforehand.

The only drivers I usually worry about are network driver, video card driver, and on an XP install you should have your motherboard's SATA chipset driver.

If your computer is a HP-whatever, then go to HP's website, punch in your computer model number/name, and download all of the appropriate drivers. The same goes for Dell or any other standard retail PC. Your SATA chipset driver and network driver will be there.

If you've got a PC that was built by a friend or a local computer store, then you need to look at your motherboard model number and get all of the drivers for it from the motherboard manufacturer's website [eg. Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, etc]. Your SATA chipset driver and network driver will be there.

Your graphics driver: If you've got an ATI Radeon graphics card then grab this. Or, if you've got a nVidia Geforce graphics card then grab this. If you have neither of these, then your graphics chip is part of your motherboard [which is called "onboard graphics"] and your graphics driver will be with the rest of your motherboard's drivers.

I'm pretty sure that every PC in the last 4-5 years has SATA. SATA is the language that your motherboard uses to talk to modern hard drives, cd/dvd drives, and some other devices. Your PC might understand SATA okay, but Windows XP was made before SATA existed. XP doesn't know how to talk to SATA hard drives until you give it a SATA driver. If your computer uses something older than SATA to talk to the hard drive, then you'll be able to skip this step. If your computer/motherboard manufacturer doesn't mention SATA on the relevant product page, then you probably don't have it.

Once you've got the correct SATA driver, you need to install it on a floppy diskette. Make sure to unzip it first. Some PCs have multiple SATA chipsets and therefore multiple SATA drivers. If you're not sure which one you need, tell us your exact PC model or motherboard model and someone here should be able to point you at the correct driver.

Newer Windows XP install discs have some SATA drivers included, but they don't cover every SATA chipset, and there's no telling how old the install disc you're about to use is in any case. You'd better have your SATA driver ready to use just in case.

btw. To work out whether you have ATI or nVidia, or to work out your motherboard model, use the free versions of a tool like Belarc or Gabriel Topala's System Information for Windows.

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Run the computer in safe mode with networking and you'll still be able to access the internet, in normal safe mode you won't. To be honest, if I had your computer problems I would put my files on an external and wipe the computer entirely. Good luck.
He is wiping the computer entirely, so safemode with networking is no use here.

Last edited by yak; 04-21-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:08 PM   #37
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It's all good, I did mention my brother's PC, but it currently has some crazy-ass virus issues of it's own.

The PC I'm on right now is a custom built PC made in 2004 that uses an Asus P4P800-VM series motherboard. I actually have the case for it right beside me at the moment, and the disc that came with it says 'Intel 865G Chipset Series Support CD Rev.53.03'. Do I still need to go looking for the drivers?

The graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4650 card my brother installed, and I have the disc that came with that as well. Do I need to hunt for the drivers on that?

The motherboard page says that it has Serial ATA, so where do I go looking for the chipset? Or am I alright with the disc? I just checked the downloads sections on the motherboard's page, and it refuses to load for me. Alternate locations, or am I good?
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:24 AM   #38
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Does the connection to from the motherboard to the hard drive look like this:



If so, then you're fine.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #39
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No. No, it does not. It looks pretty much the same, but the center hole on the... bottom... Is filled in.

What do I need to do?
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #40
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Nothing, it's the same connector. The filled in hole is there so you can't put the plug in backwards.
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