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  1. #1
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    Restore computer to factory condition

    If my computer got a virus, could I eliminate that virus/malware by executing the restore to factory conditions function.

    Thank you for your help.

    moon

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Moon,

    It should do it unless the factory image has become infected. Be aware that it will completely wipe all your programs, settings, and data, not to mention all Windows Updates since you got the computer. HTH
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  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I did a restore to factory conditions once to eliminate some malware. I tried everything, but couldn't get rid of it in any other way. There was nothing on the computer that needed saving, so I figured that that was the best approach.

    It goes without saying that you need to have a namebrand antivirus package on your computer after doing the restore.

    Also, make sure that you have made your router secure -- select WPA2 as your encryption level, and change the admin password. In this way, if the virus entered because of an insecure router, you'll be keeping that from happening again.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-03-11 at 15:37.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by moon1130 View Post
    If my computer got a virus, could I eliminate that virus/malware by executing the restore to factory conditions function.

    Thank you for your help.

    moon
    Is this an hypothetical question or have you picked up an infection ?

    Viruses and Malware are two different things and your AV program should protect you for the most part against viruses, but may not pick up on malware and for those you would need an anti malware scanner.

    While a factory reset is the most efficient way to clean and restore a computer, because of the amount of Windows Updates as RG has mentioned, not to mention your programs, it will be a very time consuming operation and is just used usually as a last resort.

    I recently factory reset a laptop for another reason and the Windows Updates took ~8hrs to download and install (758MB).

    I create a monthly system image on external media, so if something untoward occurred in between, then I would be able to restore much more quickly with that.

    If your restore points don't resolve an infection and you haven't created an external system image, then scanning with an anti malware scanner such as http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...l-software.htm will probably do the job.

    For a more serious infection, a root kit scanner may be needed and the free Norton Power Eraser may be able to root out anything embedded.

    This tool can also be used in its less aggressive form - see its instructions.

    Because of the serious nature of Ransomware, another useful program to have installed is the free version of CryptoPrevent

    Prevention is always better than cure and safe browsing and not using P2P to download illegal programs are good steps to achieving that.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Viruses and Malware are two different things and your AV program should protect you for the most part against viruses, but may not pick up on malware and for those you would need an anti malware scanner.
    I have noticed that many people use the word "Antivirus" to refer to all types of malware, and "antivirus program" to refer to software which can deal with all kinds of malware.

    "Malware" is the catch-all name for any kind of problematic, malicious software. Viruses are a type of malware.

  6. #6
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    I agree that terminology is getting blurred on that, but as the article explains, security programmers are extending what their programs will scan for, but a competent AV program should block most Trojans, which are viruses.

    However, AV programs don't recognise malicious add-ons/Toolbars as threats and which is Malware in its truest sense.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-03-12 at 13:01.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I wanted to know if doing a "system restore to factory conditions" was a viable way of getting rid of malware/viruses. I appreciate your responses and will try out one or more of the programs suggested by Sudo 15.

    Everyone have a good one...

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    NOT THAT SIMPLE

    If the factory reinstall is performed from a supplied DVD disk to a single non partitioned HDD, then the chances of eradication are 100%.
    If you have a partition on the main drive, then there is the possibility of cross contamination after clean install.
    It would depend upon the type of infection.
    If your factory reinstall is located on a hidden partition, then there is also a similar possibility, although somewhat less.
    It would be highly dependent upon the type of infection.
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  9. #9
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    Thanks CLiNT. I believe that the factory reinstall is located on a hidden partition. How would I check to see if this is so?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Windows Disk Manager or a decent 3rd party partitioning tool should show you.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  11. #11
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    If when you go Start - Computer and it doesn't show additional drives to Windows (C) then it will be hidden although I think it would show up when you go Start - type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.

    Different makes & models of computers have other means to access the Recovery Environment but tapping F8 as you switch on then select Repair your Computer will list something like HDD Recovery (usually the last option).

    If it is a different set of keys for you then just Google - how do I factory reset <your make & model> and there will be a tutorial for you to follow.

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    One of the first things I do when I get a new system with a Recovery Partition on it is to make a set of DVDs that can be used to restore the system to its original condition.

    This guarantees that malware will not infect the recovery process.

    I do think that regular disc imaging is a better solution provided that the image is clean.

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate01pa View Post
    One of the first things I do when I get a new system with a Recovery Partition on it is to make a set of DVDs that can be used to restore the system to its original condition.

    This guarantees that malware will not infect the recovery process.

    I do think that regular disc imaging is a better solution provided that the image is clean.
    ...and provided that you do it!

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