What a virus does/how to get rid of

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What a virus does/how to get rid of

Postby audiobliss » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:41 pm

A friend of mine has a 2-year old computer he doesn't use any more that I may be getting my hands on. :D However, it has a virus on it. What exactly can a virus do? I know it can manipulate software and make your computer pretty much worthless to you if you can't get rid of it, but can it affect your hardware? Like, if I get this computer and it does have bad virus (first, I'd ask y'all how to get rid of it... :lol:), everything but the hard drive should be all right, shouldn't it? Or can a virus damage other stuff, too?

Thanks!
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Postby colinJohn » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:33 am

Don't worry for the moment what they can do because it depends what they are - let's just get rid of them.

Assuming the PC works; you'll need to get hold of a good free virus guard (only one); try AVG from here

www.grisoft.com

then you need to get some spyware programmes
adaware
www.lavasoft.com
spybot
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
and microsoft's antispyware
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/securit ... fault.mspx

Install and run that lot and get back to us if you still have problems
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Postby EmilyB » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:02 am

audiobliss "virus" is a very general term. This maybe a "virus" but it could also be spyware or adware (aka crapware).

The best course of action is to do ALL 3 of the following:
1. Install and run http://www.free-av.com which is the best free virus scanner.

2. Install and run Spybot Search&Destroy This should kill most spies

3. Install and run Ad-Aware 6 This should kill most ads

If after doing all of this you still have problems, please let us know.
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Postby ~PJ~ » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:12 am

Are you reinstalling the OS? Doesn't a fdisk / format / reinstall get rid of everything?
Or am I being over-optimistic... :D
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Postby EmilyB » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:33 am

Purplejulia wrote:Are you reinstalling the OS? Doesn't a fdisk / format / reinstall get rid of everything?
Or am I being over-optimistic... :D


A reformat would indeed kill everything, if that is what the user wants to do.
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Postby gutt3d » Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:38 am

audiobliss - as the guys have said (see above), the virus (whatever it may be) is only software. Worst case scenario, you need to clean the harddisk and reinstall everything. That is a fairly last-resort type step, but you may decide to do that anyway.

So to answer your question: don't panic. The virus cannot actually damage any hardware, not even the harddisk. The virus is just a bit of software, and can be removed if you have the right tools to remove it. Your PC wll be safe, including your HDD.

The thing that may NOT be safe is the "good" data that you want to keep. Some virus actually delete files from your PC (not often these days, but still something you should be very aware of).

once you get the anti-virus installed, and once you run all the spyware removal tools, let us know how it goes. If there is nothing on the PC that you want to keep, the SUREST way to remove it is to re-format the drive and reinstall everything from scratch. (Reinstall everything, that is, except the virus :wink: )
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Postby audiobliss » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:55 am

Wow...thanks for all the replies, guys. Like I said (or I think I said), I don't actually have the computer yet. It may be a week or so before I get my hands on it. This friend took it to another friend (mutual friend) who works on computers, and that guy said it was on its last leg; whatever that meant. Since it's not my computer, there's nothing on it that I personally want to keep on it. However, when I get it I'll try my hand at trying to remove the 'virus' via the methods y'all listed above. I'll get back to ya when I find out more....which could be a week or so...

Thanks!!
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Postby Twisty » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:45 am

If somebody said the computer is on it's last legs to me that can only mean that the hard drive is nearing replacement, they usually last longer than two years but some examples such has the Hitachi/IBM deskstars did tend to wear out very quickly.

If you do not need any data on the PC then I recommend that you format the whole drive and reinstall the OS. That way you have a nice clean OS to install the programs that you use. After two years of use a microsoft OS tends to be very bloated and slow.
I have now left the Building :tongue8:
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Postby audiobliss » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:53 am

The computer is a Compaq Presario; the top-of-the-line two years ago. I'm just going to be playing around with it for experience and learning, so I'll see what I can do with the 'virus' before I reformat; though I'll probably end up reformatting. I have no idea what the CPU/RAM/MOBO might be, but if it's decent, I may try to replace the HDD if it's shot.

Thanks!
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Postby Twisty » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:15 am

Ah, I never realised it was a laptop. They often get clogged up with dust and have problems with overheating, something to bear in mind.
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