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Reformatting Hard Drive

My computer is riddled with viruses. I want to know if there is anything I can do without reinstalling the operating system because I don't want to lose any of my files. Unfortunetly my hard drive is currently not working.... I'm not able to use any of my programs or the internet. Is there ANY way to fix this without reformatting the hard drive???

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If you harddrive is not working then you can't even reinstall the os. Enter the bios (delete key when booting) and see if you see the harddrive. If it's a Gateway then you should have a restore cd or something to restore the os like it was the day you bought it. Don't format the harddrive if the restore files are on the restore partition.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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Please don't reformat! There are some reasonable steps you can take to get your machine back to a 'healthy' status.

Assuming Windows XP/Vista:
So let's get rid of whatever created this mess.
Most people look toward the major antivirus tools to fix these problems and are disappointed in the results. You may even have one of those installed on your machine. It's not that they are bad tools, it's just that no ONE tool can detect/clean everything anymore. So let's go looking for some help in the form of stand-alone removal tools.

In fact, there are a number of stand-alone spyware/malware removal tools. Many are FREE!
I've had the most luck with spyware removal using Malwarebytes. Download here: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Download Link.
And since no one spyware/malware tool is perfect, don't be afraid to use any of the malware tools found here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-adware-spyware-scumware-remover.htm.

The only tool I use that isn't mentioned there is ComboFix: http://www.combofix.org/. Honestly, while some of the others have better detection rates, if it finds it, ComboFix is THE most effective removal tool I've found.

Don't be afraid to run these in various combinations with one another, and don't be surprised if you have to run them multiple times to remove ALL the infections you suspect are there.

And if none of this works, a last resort is to use a Live Boot Disk solution like UBCD for Windows. You will need access to a working computer and a Windows XP installation CD to do this, but this solution allows you to 'get around' your infected OS and, hopefully, clean things up without interruption.

A YouTube video on How To Remove Malware with Ultimate Boot CD ...

I know I've thrown a lot at you, but it's important that you use any and all these tools as necessary. Be patient, be diligent, and be determined - you can win!

Good Luck! And if you run into any roadblocks, please post them here.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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You can boot to a rescue disk (many frees ones on the internet) and copy the files to an external hd. Take that HD to another computer and scan it immediately to remove any viruses. Reinstalling windows is definitely your best option. Let me know if you need help with the rescue disk.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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