After finding — and curing — Alureon and Blacole malware infections, a reader wonders where to find authoritative information.
Plus: Options for simple disc imaging with a boot disk, a do-it-yourself recovery disc, a Spinrite update, and a different way to add a Start button and menu to Win8.
How to find out exactly what malware does
Reader Howard Burton wants more info on two nasty malware infections he recently wrestled with.
“I had a friend’s laptop that was crashing on regular startup and would stay stable only when booted into safe mode. Suspecting an infection, I ran Windows Defender Offline; it found Alureon and Blacole infections and removed them. Unfortunately, the laptop would not boot after that.
“After several failed attempts to redo the [master boot record], I deleted it. [I then] rebuilt the master boot record (MBR). The laptop was able to boot and function normally.
“I was wondering whether the infections had written themselves into the MBR and removing them made it impossible to boot.”