Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Battle with Spyware, Help Appreciated

by 177ine177ine / April 8, 2007 4:07 PM PDT

My brother recently acquired a Dell computer. However, his friend came over and installed some cheating device for Runescape and the computer has been acting up ever since. Zone Alarm and AVG kept disabling and failing validation tests and spybot, ad-aware, spyware blaster were all starting to fail. I tried running them, but I had to resort to a format. I tried formatting, and the problem persisted. I have now tried formatting 3 times, both quick and full, upgraded to windows xp professional, installed all the spyware and adware and firewall programs, ran close to 30 scans, and still no improvement. At one point, it did detect Alexa, but this threat seems to have disappeared. I am now suffering from random shutdown, and Zone Alarm is unable to start due to "validation" issues. Avg also shutdown with the message, "The AVG program had a bad file". Doesn't sound very professional yet very suspicious. Whatever the problem is, it knows how to disable its enemies, hence the spyware and firewall, and it's able to withstand a format of the WHOLE computer. Please help.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm all out of ideas:(. Just a 16 year old kid trying to do his brother a favor.

Thanks in advance

Ps: Forgot to mention, lots of blue screens and random restarts.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Battle with Spyware, Help Appreciated
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Battle with Spyware, Help Appreciated
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by Donna Buenaventura / April 8, 2007 4:15 PM PDT
Use DBAN to wipe the hard-drive

"DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis."

You can download DBan from http://dban.sourceforge.net/
Collapse -
I have DBAN on a CD-R, if you don't have a floppy drive
by darclew1 / April 9, 2007 4:38 AM PDT
In reply to: DBAN

you can run it that way. You can select nofloppy and I think you hit F10 to run. Once it starts going, you can remove the CD-R, it will keep on running. You start with computer off, turn on and put in CD and the main screen comes up. Or, you can select autonuke and it will check for an A drive and a floppy. Neat. Darrell

Collapse -
DBAN - really neat and easy to use

Whenever I see a computer that are not only infected by more than 100 spyware and some nasty worms but BSOD is non-stop whether it is booted in safe mode or clean-boot and if the PC is *likely* compromised (zombie). The first thing that I'll bring up from my handy utilities is DBAN.


Collapse -
Thanks for the replies
by 177ine177ine / April 9, 2007 1:53 PM PDT

Thanks for the replies. I'm running DBAN as we speak, but, I can't tell if it's working or not. The blue screen that usually occupies the space where it tells you how long and how much of the process is completed, is slowly being filled up with black backgrounds and white text that seems completely random. Any ideas? Is it suppose to do this?

Collapse -
by 177ine177ine / April 9, 2007 1:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the replies

DBAN just returned a "non-fatal error". Any ideas?

Collapse -
Haven't seen non-fatal error myself in using DBAN
by Donna Buenaventura / April 9, 2007 2:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Update

but some did:

The author of DBan respond to the user as follows:
"If DBAN starts and takes an hour or more to finish, then the disk was probably wiped, but it had bad sectors.

If DBAN instantly kicks out to this error message, then it doesn't have a driver for your laptop computer. Provide manufacturer and model information for this computer.

The latest public DBAN release does not have an easy way to get the log file if the computer does not have a legacy floppy drive."

Another thread at:

I suggest you post your error at their forum because they will give you step by step guide each time you face another error. What happens to User A is different from User B.. for we all have different hardware specs.

Collapse -
by 177ine177ine / April 9, 2007 3:04 PM PDT

Thanks for the reply. I've decided to wipe the drive with Kill Disk instead. So far, it's looking good. Tomorrow, I shall re-install, and re-format for Windows XP Home and I'll see if the problem persists. Thanks for all the help. I'll keep you guys updated, and I will refer to this forum for future problems if they occur (hopefully not:( ).

Collapse -
by Donna Buenaventura / April 9, 2007 3:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks
That is good one too even though the freeware is limited to one pass only. Still better than can't wipe Happy

Good luck with fresh install of Windows!
Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!