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REusing infected HD

by PhotoFixer / June 12, 2005 9:34 AM PDT

Recently a problem began on my PC. The monitor would go black and the HD light stayed on bright and steady. Whatever the cause, it was apparently erasing the OS files. The only way out was to hit the power switch (which I was loath to do with the HD running, but...). After reloading Win98SE twice I decided to go ahead and make the switch to XP-SP2 (which I'd purchased on sale a couple of weeks before) and see what happened. Result: same game - except I was on guard and managed to power down before much damage -AND - XP is better at repairing damage to itself. I'm guessing the problem was malware on the 30 Gb HD. So I backed up my 26Gb worth of files to CD (no OS files) and replaced the HD with a new Maxtor 80G HD. I've slowly reloaded selected files to the new HD and thus far no problems. After all that - THREE questions:

1) Given the symptoms, does anyone have an idea of what problem or malware I'm dealing with here?

2) How do I get rid of it? (as far as I know its still lurking somewhere in the backed up CD files...)

3) I'd like to REuse the (infected?) 30Gb HD as a second drive. Can the whatever-it-is migrate to the new 80Gb drive if I reconnect the 30G drive, boot up and then format it before accessing any files on it?

All hints, comments, suggestions, information welcome!

~BB

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I have one question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2005 9:40 AM PDT
In reply to: REusing infected HD

What are you using for Antivirus and Firewall?

It sounds like you are running with scissors.

Bob

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RE
by dagger906 / June 12, 2005 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: I have one question.

Antivirus is probably a good idea, although you don't need firewall. They don't do anything anyway. The effective ones will interfere with traffic and make your life difficult. The ones that doesn't interfere with traffic are not effective.

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Don't need a firewall?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 12, 2005 8:01 PM PDT
In reply to: RE

Which planet are you on?

Mark

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Dagger, time to sit back, read posts and learn.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2005 9:15 PM PDT
In reply to: RE

Bad advice will be met with rebuttals.

Bob

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How to stop next door from useing your broadband
by qldayr / June 12, 2005 9:41 PM PDT
In reply to: RE

We use a wireless network and with out a firewall it drives use up the wall keeping our systems apart but with out the wall other wise my larger stronger will pick up his computer and not my system ?? if onpurpose or not.

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1. Use MAC filtering.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2005 9:48 PM PDT

2. What does this have to do with the top post about an infected hard disk or Windows XP?

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re: RE no firewall
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: RE

Hmmmm. Interesting idea. Obviously (from here) it goes against everything being circulated on the web at the moment. On what do you base this thought? Anything I can look at? thanks, ~BB

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Personal experience...
by dagger906 / June 13, 2005 1:17 AM PDT
In reply to: re: RE no firewall

If what they all say is true, my computer should have stopped working a long time ago. o_O

It's really out of necessity. I'm involved in anime fansubbing, and have to seed a large number of files via bittorrent. Bittorrent open dozens of random TCP ports in a very large range. It's just impossible to alter settings in a firewall to allow that...

But anyway, I've gone years without a firewall, and nothing ever happened. Security updates and maybe a modest virus scanner is more than enough. They're just trying to scare you... ^_^

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scare . . .
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 1:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Personal experience...

True or not, it seems to have worked -- on this surfer at least. None the less, good luck with your open gate. Hope the dogs that pooped on my lawn stay out of your eyard! ~BB

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Happy-Go-Lucky! ^_____^
by dagger906 / June 13, 2005 1:35 AM PDT
In reply to: scare . . .

Hey, I often have my machine on 24/7, worked for me so far...

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Dagger - MisInformation or trolling........
by billzhills / June 13, 2005 1:46 AM PDT
In reply to: RE
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RE
by dagger906 / June 13, 2005 1:53 AM PDT

Just because a lot of people tell you so doesn't make it true. I've gone for years without a firewall, and haven't any problems at all. It's the truth wether you like it or not.

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It's the truth wether you like it or not. On Firewalls
by billzhills / June 13, 2005 3:51 AM PDT
In reply to: RE

my likes and disklikes are not a problem. MisInformation that may cause harm to another thats my Problem. Many Users do not have your knowledge of computers and security. Stating that firewalls are usless would leave these Users open to attack.

"Just because a lot of people tell you so doesn't make it true." True, but if 90 out of 100 people say walking in traffic is a danger, Who are you going to believe?

No futher communication

Bill

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REusing HD
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: I have one question.

No scissors, but I WAS running with Trend Micro PCcillin 2005 - which I checked for updates at least once a day and updated whenever the warning popup did so. As you know, PCcillin provides both AV and firewall. Thanks for asking. I should have included it. And I'm running it with XP as well. ~BB

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RE
by dagger906 / June 12, 2005 9:45 AM PDT
In reply to: REusing infected HD

It's probably impossible to save the data on that disk without major risks. Such a thing would definately be a virus, not malware. You should just reformat the drive using a bootdisk. It should be fine if you don't let your regular Windows OS start, in which case the virus would be able to run and excute commands.

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MBob Proffitt, please weigh in . . .
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: RE

Do you agree with Mssr Dagger on this? If I reconnect what is apparently an infected HD and boot up in XP will it allow whateveritis to also infect that new XP HD? And will booting up with a boot disk (rescue disk) allow me to format the infected drive without risk to my new (XP) HD? (Never hurts to get a second opinion...8>) ~BB

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You'll have to excuse dagger while they...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 13, 2005 1:58 AM PDT

Work up to getting banned.

If you have a current antivirus, you can scan the drive and then get a second opinion scan from HOUSECALL (an online virus scan.)

Bob

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30 gig drive
by billzhills / June 13, 2005 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: REusing infected HD

On drives that exibit your issue I fdisk the drive and delete the existing partitions then create new partitions. With 9x you have to format the drive before installing the OS. XP will perform the format for you either on install or with an added drive in windows.

Don't know how far you are into the reinstall, I would suggest using the 30 gig as your primary drive for XP and applications. The 80 gig for your files. Not taking away from backing up your data this set-up allows you to repair or format the OS without having to migrate your files on and off the drive.

However you set up your system before you migrate your files back on the new drive have all your security applications installed, up dated and running. You will find many posts on these applications.


Bill

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reMigration
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: 30 gig drive

First Bill, thanks for you very clear and concise ideas. Then,

<< On drives that exhibit your issue I fdisk the drive >>

What's the purpose of using fdisk on an (apparently) infected 30Gb drive? Why not just format it?

<< and delete the existing partitions then create new partitions. >>

The 30Gb had no partitions originally (from the VAR).

<< With 9x you have to format the drive before installing the OS. XP will perform the format for you either on install or with an added drive in windows. >>

Interesting; I wasn't aware that XP would format a "new" drive when it found it connected. Unfortunately, that 30G drive has Win98SE on it. Will XP STILL format it when it finds it reconnected?

**And beyond that, THIS is the root of my questions: Will reconnecting the 30G (as a "new" HD #2 as far as XP in concerned) and starting up normally in XP allow the infection on the 30G to migrate to the new 80G where XP resides before I can format the 30G? Or - per your comment above - will XP immediately format the "new" 30G (Win98 and all) when XP finds it?

<< Don't know how far you are into the reinstall, I would suggest using the 30 gig as your primary drive for XP and applications. The 80 gig for your files. Not taking away from backing up your data this set-up allows you to repair or format the OS without having to migrate your files on and off the drive. >>

An excellent idea. I probably should have simply formatted the 30G drive after I backed up my files to CD, installed XP on it, installed the 80G and put my files on it as you said. Even so, except that XP is on the 80G, its not too late since I've retransferred only a few files from the CDs to the 80G. Is there an easy way to move XP now to the 30G? Or would I have to uninstall it from the 80G and then reinstall it on the 30G?

<< However you set up your system, before you migrate your files back on the new drive have all your security applications installed, up dated and running.>>

You can be SURE! that was done...8>)

<< You will find many posts on these applications. >>

Do you mean on TrendMicro PCcillin or AV & firewall apps in general? I picked PCcillin because its been a Cnet Editor's Choice for a couple of years now. What did you have in mind when you said this? I'm open to any and all ideas that will help me eliminate the current infection and head off future problems.

Regards,

~BB

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Drive Partition
by billzhills / June 13, 2005 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: reMigration

1. Something I read sometime back about a virus being able to hide in an unused portition of the partition, don't know if its true of not but why take chances...

2. All drives will have a partition. In your case 1 Primary Partition . (Old data but still prevelant.)

3. Boot with XP CD and follow the prompts.
In XP Control Panel Administrative Tools -> Computer Managment -> Disk Managment.

4. I would Fdisk and remove the partition on the 30 gig drive before installing as slave. Or Install the 30 gig after the new install is fully secure.

5. You can use a cloning application to transfer data from one drive to another. Ghost, Partition Magic come to mind. I'm sure others will add their favorites. And NO you cannot use Xcopy for this.

6. Choice of Security Applicatiions is yours to decide. I use a combination of McAfee, AVG, Norton for Anti Virus, Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D, MSASW, for spyware. Zone Alarm for a firewall.

7. More reading

Bill

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Infected 30G/partition/security
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 3:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Drive Partition

First, thanks Bill for the line-by-line. Excellent info.

And sorry, I forgot to complete my security sentence: I also run Adaware, Spybot S&D and Cookie Monster in addition to PCcillin - all updated regularly. I also use Registry Mechanic.

<< I use a combination of McAfee, AVG, Norton for Anti Virus >>

Do you get any conflicts using multiple AV software concurrently? McAfee & Norton I get, but what's AVG?

Ditto << Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D, MSASW for spyware. >> Or do these look at the same problems from different angles/with slightly different algorithms? Oh, and what's MSASW?

And as you suggest I will continue to soak up info from the printed page as well as the display before continuing.

Regards & thanks,

Bob

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I hope you and Bill don't mind me jumping in here
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 13, 2005 4:29 AM PDT

I wonder if Bill was talking about a network of computers, or at least a number of different computers when he talked about multiple anti-virus programs.

I understand, although I am willing to be corrected, that running multiple Av's on a single machine can cause conflicts, especially if they are running together in the background; eg, an email arrives and your two av email scanners fight to check it for viruses. Or you open a floppy disk or a CD and the AV's attempt to scan the contents.

However, you could conceivably have 2 or more AV's, one continuously running in the background, and the other(s), just sitting there, waiting to be used as a double check.

I use just the one, and thats AVG 7. AVG is from Grisoft, and their url is;
h t t p ://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php
(I have had to take out the link by spacing http as CNET's anti advertising software removes links that have the word ''free'' in them).
It is free software and receives good reviews from these forums and elsewhere, but there are other good ones around, and if you're happy with PCcillin, then thats a very good one as well.

Ad-Aware that I note you use gets rid of adware, like popup ads, but spyware is different and that's what Spybot and Microsoft's AntiSpyware, (MSAW), does, gets rid of spyware. But there is always a little overlap in these things. Spyware drops little spying programs on your machine to steal your personal details, or spy on your surfing habits.

They all do their job differently as you say, and unlike AV's it is a good idea to have more than one anti-spyware application.

People have different views of which applications are better, but most will say that if you keep them updated, and use them regularly whatever you have, you're doing your best to keep your own computer clean, and you seem to be doing that ok.

I hope you get your 30gb drive sorted out. I can understand your hesitation about plugging it in. Years ago the first types of virus I heard about were boot sector viruses, the types that resided in the boot sector of floppies and hard disks, and infected everything each time the computer was started and the disks booted up. I don't know if they are still about, (I'm sure they are), and if so, how do you format or repartition your 30gb disk without having it booted up in the first place. But not my expertise I'm afraid.

Good luck

Mark

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Confusion on Security Applications
by billzhills / June 13, 2005 6:00 AM PDT

Sory should have mentioned that I use three different systems. Different Anti-virus each machine.

AVG

Or do these look at the same problems from different angles/with slightly different algorithms? -->Yes <--

Oh, and what's MSASW?
MSASW

Bill

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uno mas
by PhotoFixer / June 13, 2005 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Drive Partition

And I just found and installed WinPatrol 9.1.0.0.

~BB

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