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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

I've worked quite a bit with adware, spyware and viruses. If your computer is overrun, as it appears to be from your description, the option that will eliminate the problem and take the least time is a full system rebuild.

Do not waste your time with geeksquad or anyone else. They will run a few adware programs for $120 and then explain that the only option is a full rebuild. You'll pay about 400 bucks total for everything.

Take down your internet connection to cut off the pop-ups.

Backup your important data to CDs or DVD, such as your My Documents folder, internet favorites, music, pictures, etc. Or, if you don't feel comfortable with that, go buy a USB 2.0 external harddrive. This will run you about 100 - 200 bucks.

Note: you cannot simply backup program directories to backup the programs. They must be reinstalled later. So if you have MS Office on your computer, you can't just copy the MS Office Folder onto a CD and copy it back later. Of course, this also means you have to take stock of any programs like this.

I would recommend backing up your ut2004 folder but expect that to be around 10 gigs. Not a problem with DVD, but that's quite a number of cd roms. Otherwise you'll have to download all the maps and patches again. If not, at least back up your user.ini file so any key mappings are preserved.

Next you need to go into Device Manager and write down some key hardware you have. If you have a comp such as a dell, you're in luck because you can get all the drivers in one place based on the service tag. Write down what sound, video, modem, and network cards you have. If you have firewire and it's not built into the motherboard (i.e. seperate card), write that down too.

Here's the important thing though. You need to go download the network card driver BEFORE you flatten your machine and burn that to a CD or put it on a floppy. If you have the nic driver, you'll have connectivity when you reload Windows and you can then get everything else you need (including help from all of us). If you have no connectivity, you're a lonely lonely man.

If you bought a name computer, like Dell or Gateway, it probably came with a System Restore CD. This CD will install everything back to the original factory build. It's a real time-saver and probably your best option if you have it. The downside is the manufacturer loads some junk on the machine that might slow it down a bit and clog your startup (like Norton internet security or Music Match). But, it includes all hardware drivers and whatnot, so it's very safe for even a novice.

If you have the windows CD, you just pop it in and reboot. You should a prompt that says "Press any key to boot to CD". From there you just mainly follow the prompts. Early in the install, it will ask you where you want to install windows and the key is that you should delete your existing windows partition. Otherwise you'll have a fresh copy of windows with all the spyware still there. It will take a day or two for the sypware to get active again, but believe me, it will.

Deleting the partition is the point of no return. Once you do that, your HD is erased. All the spyware is gone, but so is Windows and all your data.

Joined: 05/02/2006 16:50:20
Messages: 23

thank you all for the prompt responses. I said screw it and went out and bought a new one.

But I have Copied and Pasted this topic for futur reference.


Wicked Sick!

Joined: 01/07/2005 21:28:14
Messages: 589
Location: Da'Burgh (Pittsburgh) PA

A couple of things I would recommend before you do much of anything else.

1) While Norton's AV sticks (putting it politely), Ghost is a great program. Making a image of your image which you can boot and restore it as it currently is works great. I do this for each Win machine I install, and it works great to reinstall when you want to migrate to a larger disk.

[Note: I know that there are MS provided programs for this in some of their OSes, but don't count on being able to find or use it.].

2) Update. Update! UPDATE! See my previous post, but this will help close many vulnerabilties (even if the morons at MS do keep re-opening them from time to time).

3) Get an AV program and some form of spyware protection, at a minimum, and ASAP!

4) It just occurred to me that none of us mentioned external firewalls. Running a firewall program on the machine you intend to protect and relying soley on it is stupid, as all it takes is one vulnerability being exploited, and it could be disabled. Many cable/DSL routers offer this functionallity, but you must configure it, CHANGING THE DEFAULT PASSWORDS WHEN YOU DO! However, it is nice to have that functionallity on your PC as a third, fourth or fifth line of defense. (On reason I like PCCillin).

BTW...If you have wireless connectivity for your machines, you should think of it as being like standing on a corner in your underwear, with your wallet and checkbook in easy reach. There are steps you can do to reduce the risk, but I will tell you...I work for a company which is in wireless networking (we sell equipment and SW to companies like DLINK and 3COM...so that should tell you something), and my big $$ wireless switch (just two of these units plus lots of dumb access points make the entire city of Cologne a giant hotspot), with full rogue detection and countermeasures (which will knock the rogue station offline) still resides in the DMZ as an potentially untrusted source. I used to handle security at CompuServe, and I am paranoid in a healthy way where security is concerned.

5) Freezing your PC as was suggested might be a thing to do. Then again, you have to unfreeze for Windows updates to apply. Sooo....

6) Read through the other replies you got, and consider them even before you have a problem.

*BEL*_e (spacey), BEL Clan General -- You Frag em, I'll Slag em!
LA -- *BEL*_e (level 283 - Extreme AM), LW -- *BEL*_o (level 26) MM - ?? ( *BEL*_Rolaids ?? *BEL*DrWho??, Engineer... *BEL*BS_E_E [BSEE '89, Ohio U] (level 22)

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Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
Messages: 605

Spacey wrote:

1) While Norton's AV sticks (putting it politely), Ghost is a great program. Making a image of your image which you can boot and restore it as it currently is works great. I do this for each Win machine I install, and it works great to reinstall when you want to migrate to a larger disk.

Off-topic, but if you get the chance, try Acronis instead of Ghost. It kicks the poop out of Ghost.

Couple reasons right off the bat:

1. It is the only image solution I know of with support for USB nics (i.e. Dos USB Nic drivers). With Ghost, for network imaging you have to create a boot floppy or CD for a specific NIC. No manufacturer of USB Nics that I know of has Dos Drivers. But with a USB Nic, you just plug it in the back of the machine, fire up acronis and image the box from the network, pull the usb nic and you're off on your merry way. No having to keep a "library" of boot disks for different NICs.

2. It comes in the form of a bootable floppy with just about every nic driver known to man and very solid support for usb external drives if that's your fancy. Again, this saves a ton of time because you don't need multiple disks for different situations and don't have to track down dos nic drivers.

3. Support for DHCP. With Ghost, if you want dhcp, you have to create boot floppies because the leased address is written to a file in a dir on the disk. And if you want all the bells and whistles ghost offers, it requires multiple floppies (or you make just the network boot and access ghost executables off a network share).

If you go with CD... can't write to the media. So that means static addressing. I used to set an exclusion range of five address and then make my CDs based on those. Major headache when you want to do five boxes at a time because you have to remake the CD with five different static addresses. Not to mention you're working from a floppy image and can't even make use of the CDs capacity. I'm sure there is a way around this - probably copy everythign to a ram drive or something, but again, a PITB. Acronis is cd-based and supports dhcp no prob. (As to why I was using CDs, many newer business PCs don't come with floppies anymore, or they charge $30 a pop to add it.)

There are other reasons, but the main thing about imaging is that it's an automation tool. Acronis automates the automation...

Joined: 05/23/2006 13:28:31
Messages: 8

All this talk about Anti virus and spyware cleaners and reinstalling windows and running deepfreeze (!) is melting my brain.

Especially since you have an extra machine now, there's no harm in installing linux on it. Here's how you get a machine for which you will not have to worry about spyware, malware, viruses, or even a firewall (if you turn off server daemons).
1) Grab the latest versions from fedora.redhat.com or www.ubuntu.com. They are both free linux distributions, and ubuntu.com will even send you a free CD by mail if you ask. Or I can personally send you a few disks if you have a slower connection
2) Install. Mostly autopilot. Choose the default options and you'll be fine.
3) Grab the graphics drivers from nvidia or ati, install. This is one shell command.
4) Install UT2k4. You already have the linux version on your windows disk. It has a graphical installer and everything.
5) Enjoy!
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