Help Diagnosing a Pesky Problem/Virus

August 22, 2012 at 18:04:35
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, Core 2 Duo / 2 Gigs
I am working on a client's computer and I am stumped. I wasn't really told anything about the problem other than being handed the computer with "it has a virus, fix it."

What I've noticed so far is that they are running Win 7 64bit. The task bar is a Vista task bar (related to the virus or not, I do not know). They have Avira installed and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Neither will load. Neither will uninstall.

I tried downloading and installing AVG but after installation failed in normal mode, I tried in safe mode to no avail.

Next I tried Avira Rescue CD. The program scanned and supposedly detected 7 threats and deleted them.

I am still unable to run any AV software in Windows normal or safe mode.

My last resort is to obviously format the drive and start over. I tried making a bootable USB that always works and after it would not boot from that I almost gave up. I finally found a copy of Windows that will boot so I am going to be able to wipe the system and reinstall.

The fact that I can give the client a working computer again is all hunky dory, but I am still concerned with the root of the problem Obviously for me and the client, it wasn't worthwhile to spend my time and their money trying to find the root of the problem when it made more sense just to back everything up and start from scratch in this case. I just would like some insight for the next time I run into this matter. Obviously I can no longer provide logs or diagnosis files since I am well past the point of no return from the old OS.

Can anyone provide me with steps I should have tried or any fail-proof method for diagnosing these issues? For the record, the system was operable other than not being able to run AV. Internet and other programs worked fine.

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August 22, 2012 at 18:33:22
The latest rootkits are very hard to remove.

Eset is one of the best starting points.
Why Would I Ever Need an Online Virus Scanner?
I already have an antivirus program installed, isn't that enough?
Once onto a machine, malware can disable antivirus programs, prevent antimalware programs from downloading updates, or prevent a user from running antivirus scans or installing new antivirus software or malware removal tools. At this point even though you are aware the computer is infected, removal is very difficult.
How can I view the log file from ESET Online Scanner?

Make sure when you reinstall, you delete ALL partitions & format to NTFS.
D to Delete the selected partition ( XP )
W7 - Click on > Drive options (advanced) Then highlight each partition & hit > Delete.
Here are some examples of why you delete all partitions.
World's stealthiest rootkit gets a makeover
"This is what we are up against, malware has installed an infected hidden partition within your Master Boot Record and set that partition as active so everytime you boot up your system it boots from the infected partition and the malware is activated."
Rootkit Bounces Back …with a vengeance
Malware Prevention
"There is no magic involved. The majority of malware is installed by the user themselves"

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