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Dell / OPTIPLEX 755
June 29, 2012 at 07:42:07
Specs: win 7 pro, n/a
I noticed some of the helpers keep telling people with malware infections to reformat their PC's.
What the heck is with that? The security and virus forum is for people to HELP others to remove these infections...NOT tell them to reformat!

To me a reformat is the LAST resort AFTER everything else has been tried to remove the infections. I notice most of these format suggestions are from new users.
A helper has absolutely NO idea how many programs a user has on his/her pc and if the user has access to replace those progs.

If a helper suggests a reformat and re-install as a cop-out, I don't think they should be posting in that forum.

After ALL the possible attempts have been made and the user still has problems, then YES, a reinstall can be suggested, as long as they WARN the user to be sure to save ALL precious documents and Pictures and to EXPLAIN that ALL the progs installed will be lost and have to be re-installed.

Just to think...these helpers that keep suggesting a re-install are gaining E-rank....that is pretty funny!

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Golds


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#1
June 29, 2012 at 07:56:19
There do seem to be a large number of people who reformat just because of a virus (and then come to forums like this with problems re-installing their OS). I agree that a format should be the last option, and should only be done after exploring all other possibilities.

The problem with simply re-installing everything, even if it goes smoothly, is that it doesn't address the original problem. Nothing is learnt and the chances of reinfection must be high. Teach people to address the real problem and they might actually become knowlegeable enough to avoid these problems in future.

But it is inevitable in a forum such as this that there will be a high proportion of inappropriate answers. And the OP pobaably has no means of determining whether the advice is good or not. Mind, when I consider the number of people who get excellent advice and never bother to come back and say it worked, i sometimes wonder whether it matters.


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#2
June 29, 2012 at 08:02:59
Why don't the more experienced helpers put a series of how-tos on removing viruses, other infections.

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#3
June 29, 2012 at 09:22:28
Something like http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho... for example? There are quite a few How Tos. I'm not convinced that many people read them without prompting.

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#4
June 29, 2012 at 12:36:15
Why don't the more experienced helpers put a series of how-tos on removing viruses, other infections.
That's a good question, on the other hand, maybe sometimes the virus and malware helpers could be answering posts...that would work too.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Golds


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#5
June 30, 2012 at 03:22:10
HI XpUser,

even worse (perhaps) is suggestions to flash the bios.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#6
June 30, 2012 at 03:23:29
To Mike Newcomb
Who said flash the BIOS lol.

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#7
June 30, 2012 at 05:31:10
XpUser4Real: I noticed some of the helpers keep telling people with malware infections to reformat their PC's.
What the heck is with that?

Let me answer your question with another question. How can you tell all traces of the infection are gone?

EDIT: ↓ ↓ ↓ Well, yes, but what virus author is going to write custom BIOS for every different MB your virus might encounter? At least traditional root kits remain in the realm of Windows. ↓ ↓ ↓

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#8
June 30, 2012 at 05:38:22

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#9
August 16, 2012 at 13:36:36
I can see what you mean in some situations Razor2.3 , I think XpUser4Real is talking about the posts where the first response is to reformat. There was a run on a couple of posts where this was the first response.

Although there is always a doubt once you are infected that your system might be compromised, there are a lot of updates between the initial install and the current status of the update on the system that may be left undone after an install, so I would say its possible to make a system weaker after the reformat.

:: mike


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#10
August 16, 2012 at 13:51:29
Weaker than infected with a root kit?

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#11
August 16, 2012 at 14:16:20
Fair enough Razor2.3...

:: mike


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#12
August 17, 2012 at 08:15:20

Something like http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho... for example? There are quite a few How Tos. I'm not convinced that many people read them without prompting.

I made a nifty little text file complete with html codes that point users to some how-to's I wrote. I got sick and tired of typing the same stuff out all the time.......lol

So, when I want to refer someone to say, my "how to add a second router" how-to, I pop the word doc open, copy the appropriate section (there are a few) and paste it in a response here. I suppose if I was really nice, I'd put the appropriate link in there, but all of mine basically say "click on my name above and read my 'how-to' guide titled......"

Anybody could add a link to a how-to guide to a response. If you find yourself repeatedly telling people to go read a specific guide do like I did and type it up once in a text file then copy/paste every time it needs be said again.

See example below:
****copy/paste****
Click on my name above in this response and read my “how-to” guide titled, “Add a second Router to your LAN
****End****

As for xpuser's point about people telling others to format, if I hung out in that forum, every time I saw a response like that I would respond immediately with something along the lines of "Ignore that response, formatting your drive is always the VERY LAST thing you want to consider doing......" and I'd continue from there to respond with alternatives.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#13
August 17, 2012 at 12:47:42
'As for xpuser's point about people telling others to format, if I hung out in that forum, every time I saw a response like that I would respond immediately with something along the lines of "Ignore that response, formatting your drive is always the VERY LAST thing you want to consider doing......" and I'd continue from there to respond with alternatives.'

I usually give that type of response too....immediately...and sometimes the comment is made by a respected moderator...could just be the mood they were in I suppose...LOL

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Golds


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#14
August 20, 2012 at 09:06:30
There is no application on the market today that can remove all malware. Some may get 95% but infected with rootkits will require a complete reload. The so called best antivirus can't get all infections nor can it fix incidental damaged files.

Why fool with second best fix when the best choice is available? A new reload will insure that the data is correct. It will allow the user to get rid of bad programs that never did install and uninstall correctly?

Any common user ought to have the ability and skills to repair their computer back to OEM state.

If you want to waste their time with a second best choice then fine. I would prefer to fix it 100% correctly, remove all rootkits, malware, bad data, and un-needed apps in one shot.

Google is evil


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#15
August 20, 2012 at 10:00:56
I am with Razor and Jefro on this. For me it all comes down to time and how much risk you're willing to put yourself in. You can spend hours trying to remove a virus and still not remove it 100%. To me that's a complete waste of time when I can backup the data and reformat it in under an hour and be sure the infection is removed. I can't justify spending potentially hours trying to fix something when a reformat or re-image is so simple.

You have to weigh the risk vs time and cost. To me, a virus infection is too risky to not completely reload the system.

Tony


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