July 13, 2009
Ok, yesterday my son got some computer virus. It began downloading porn and crap onto his computer, even created a desktop icon for a porn site and seems to have taken over admin function on his computer. He immediately shut down his computer and locked it. He is fairly computer savvy and wants to just transfer all his latest music to his external hard drive and then reformat the whole hard drive. Is this the only option?
He has a Dell with vista he just bought about four or five months ago. He doesn't know how he was 'hijacked' or from where. Seems to be a very nasty virus [in more ways than one!] to do all that it has done on it's own.
Where should he begin to solve this problem? What are his options? We have four computers on wired routers networked ... is there a chance this thing could get onto the other computers? If so, how do we protect them? I have firewalls and good protection on my computer but our other son, I have no clue about what he has on his computer.
For the life of me, I just don't understand why people find enjoyment in creating nasty bugs that harm other people's computers. Pitiful!!!
Thanks for any help, guys!
August 11, 2011
Viruses are fun stuff and while 10 years ago caused people to panic now are just a blip in the radar of computer attacks.
If his computer is truly infected, the safest option is going to be to format and start over with his Windows installation. In the meantime, here's how I would get the data off:
Unplug the computer from the network.
Boot up into Safe Mode.
Plug in a USB Hard drive
Copy off the files you want/need.
Reformat and reinstall windows.
Ideally, there would be a backup with all these files so you can skip the boot up step, but if there's not that's the best way to approach it. Sadly, once infected there is no guarantee that the computer is clean without the reformat route.
And chances are very good that this wasn't done on it's own. More than likely a link or a file was clicked on that started the whole process. But that's neither here nor there.
As for the other computers, yes there is a chance it could have spread to the others. I would perform a virus scan on each computer on your network and verify that they are clean. If they have firewalls and active virus protection, the chance is small that it could have spread, but there is still a chance.
Best of luck.
April 26, 2010
Hey Marci - As Ziggie said...these things usually do not happen on their own. Methinks number one son has been a tad naughty...or careless perhaps.
[quote:1id9sum9]He is fairly computer savvy and wants to just transfer all his latest music to his external hard drive and then reformat the whole hard drive. Is this the only option?[/quote:1id9sum9]
It is not the [i:1id9sum9]only[/i:1id9sum9] option but it[i:1id9sum9] is[/i:1id9sum9] the only one which will guarantee the nasties are all gone. You could attempt a cleanup but that may well involve a long and complicated process with absolutely no guarantees of 100% success. After a machine has been heavily infected (like your son's) the best option always is to wipe the drive clean and start over.
It would be a good idea to scan those files with everything you can get your hands on!! You don't want to copy the virus itself, or an infected file, over to the new computer.
I would also start scanning every computer you have. Once one is infected it is very possible that the infection spreads to other computers on the network.
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