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Recover from viral damage to IE, System Restore etc

On a Dell Precision 690, a virus damaged IE so that I cannot open it, update it or even have other programs use it. I cannot use system restore. I was using TrendMicro when the virus struck. I believe I stopped it and erased it with BitDefender. Now I am using Avira's free antivirus sw. I believe the virus is gone, but I know its legacy damage is not.

2 questions: what flaws do you find with my plans (see below) to recover from the viral damage; and what should I do about convincing my computer to recognize an external drive plugged into a USB port?

I would like to reinstall IE, but I cannot figure out how to do that without installing all of Windows XP.

I plan to back up the drive, format it and reload Windows XP. I plan to use the installation CD that came with the computer; after I install XP, I plan to load Avira's full product, then I plan to copy the communications sw from the back up, and then plan to download all of the XP updates.

After I am relatively confident I have as close to a secure system as one can rasonably expect to have, I plan to reload the backed up data.

My plans are stuck as I cannot get my computer to recognize the G-Tech drive that I plugged in. My computer makes the sound that it usually does when I plug anything else into the USB socket, but my computer does not report any location for the G-Tech drive. When I went to the device manager and clicked on properties for the G-Tech drive, it reports the location as "0".

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

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First, the external drive. Sounds like the drive letter that is trying to be assigned to the external drive is already taken by something else. To resolve this, right click on My Computer and go to Manage. On the list, you will see disk management. You should see your external drive on the list to the right. Right click on the external drive and select Change Drive Letter. Change the drive letter to a letter that is not already being used by another device.

Second, if you are certain that the virus is completely removed, then it is possible to uninstall and reinstall IE, just make sure to download the install from Microsoft to your PC first before uninstalling. The install for IE 7 can be found here.

On the other hand, if you are not certain, then reformatting and reinstalling is not a bad idea at all. Not only will this most likely solve your problem, but it cleans up a lot of gunk on the PC as well. The only problem I see is if the virus is still infecting some of the files that you are going to restore. Just make sure you've ran a full scan on everything before proceeding.

Hope this helps!!

Posted on Dec 27, 2008


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