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Bad Virus - I need to wipe the entire computer - how?


I have a Dell Inspiron E521 desktop with Windows Vista.

I have a bad virus - I made the mistake of thinking that maybe my McAfee software wasn't really necessary and so when it expired I didn't renew it - lo and behold after a few days I have problems.

Tried a few things but in the end did a Factory Restore having got my personal files off.

This hasn't helped and it now refuses to allow antivirus software to load - I've tried a new copy of McAfee and also AVG.

I do have the Windows Vista installation DVDs so I guess I need to find out how to wipe the entire computer properly so I can start from scratch (including any hidden places - BIOS? etc)

Can anyone help me with this please?



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Factory restore ...

from ctrl-F11 probably, should have worked. Strange that it didn't.

From the Vista installation DVD delete the partition and make a new one. This should get of everything on the hard disk. If even that doesn't work, download DBAN or KILLDISK (both free) to fully erase the disk (but you'll erase all Dell-specifics like the recovery partition) also. So that's a very, very last resort.


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I'll try erasing the partitions first

Thanks Kell, I've erased the partitions and added new ones, will let you know how it goes.



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Vista installation problems!!

Ok, as I said I've removed the partitions and replaced them and I've run the Vista installation DVD.

However, the installation stopped with the message "Installation cancelled - Windows could not update registry data in the installation".

I tried the installation DVD again but it would not start. After pressing "any key" it reports that "BOOTMGR is missing".

Any idea what to do now?



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The sequence is:

1. DBAN to erase the disk, 2. boot from Vista DVD and let it do the partitioning
1. boot form Vista DVD and use that to delete and recreate the partitions.

The sequence you say you did:
1. erase the partition, 2. replace the partition, 3. boot from Vista DVD isn't the correct one.


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Thanks Kees

Thanks Kees,

All up and running now, I forgot to tell it to boot from the cd drive.

Only problem I have now is that most of the backups I did to dvd while the virus was in control will not copy back but I guess I'll get over that in time.

Many thanks for being there and helping me through this; I was all set to buy a new PC and now I don't have to.



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Oh and one last thing

Yes, one last thing, if I may.

When I was backing up my personal files (whilst virus was in control) to DVD drive I thought I had got it all but now I'm re-installing, I seem to have a problem.

Everything seemed to have copied ok so now when I insert the backup DVD into the restored PC I can see all the files listed, eg "PICT0001.JPG JPEG IMAGE 817KB Date modified 27/06/04 16:04 etc.."
But only some will copy over. The rest (most of them) won't copy, won't open and have no thumbnail. They give the error message, "Invalid MS-DOS function" or "file appears to be damaged or corrupted".

Also the reported free space on the disc is very large seeming to reflect the absence of data - ie. the files details are the but not the picture info.

Any ideas?



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